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What To Ask An SEO Consultant Before Hiring One For Your Business

What To Ask An SEO Consultant Before Hiring One For Your Business

May 07, 2018

If you want to amp up your game in the search engine optimization (SEO) scene, chances are you’re likely to think of getting an SEO consultant. However, given how there are a lot of consultants out there, just how exactly do you know who is up to par for the needs of your business?

If you think about search engines right now, chances are Google will be on top of your list - and you're not wrong to think that. In fact, a lot of people depend on Google so much that it receives 63,000 searches every second on any part of a given day. That's right, per second - and 79-percent of all traffic from desktop searches worldwide are all directed towards Google. This isn't to say "worship Google," but a focus on Google should be one of the many things your SEO consultant should be able to do for you, especially since Hubspot statistics also states that 61-percent of marketers know just how SEO can potentially boost your overall inbound marketing game. So what else exactly should you ask your SEO consultant?

  • What's their initial assessment of your SEO, and what are their plans? If you're considering an SEO consultant for your business, they should be able to give you a bird's eye view assessment of your SEO performance in general, and what they think should be done in order to remedy it. The process itself doesn't have to be specific, but the way they explain their thought processes to you, alongside their suggestions, may give you a hint if their working style fits with your company's.
  • Can you get an initial proposal? In line with the above, do ask if the SEO consultant is capable of giving you a proposal about a strategy they want to implement for your SEO. See if they can include a technical review of your site's performance, and if they can see any problems that they think might need addressing such as error pages, broken links, and others that might lower your ranking in search pages.
  • Are they aware of current webmaster guidelines? An SEO consultant may be able to offer strategies that are in line with your interests, but remember they should also be able to follow the guidelines set by the posted webmaster best practices. This is important, as some SEO "tricks" such as hidden links and texts as well as spammy content are prohibited by webmaster guidelines.
  • Are they boasting guarantees of top rankings? If they make such promises, consider this a red flag as they may try to do this, but your rankings may suffer in the long run. If candidates claim they have relationship with search engine insiders, or if they make offers that are too good to be true, they probably are. Stick with an SEO consultant that is honest with their skills.
  • Do they have experience improving local SEO results? Aside from aiming "for the top," it's an important thing to consider if an SEO consultant is actually capable of improving local SEO results. This is because this actually helps expose you to local markets that might be interested in your product. SEO consultants like Online Impact 360 should be able to handle local SEO aside from global SEO as well.
  • Are they going to share with you all the changes they make? SEO consultants may make changes to your website - from little tweaks to massive changes - that might have an impact to your rankings. Ask if you can secure a copy of all changes they make whenever they do so, in order for you to have an internal record of things that happen especially when you assess returns and study the strategies by yourself.
  • What are the success metrics they’re using? For them, what is a "successful" SEO campaign? Your SEO consultant should be able to provide criteria and parameters that are not only up to par with industry standards, but also standards that are fit for your company's needs. What keywords are they planning to use, how are they planning to drive traffic, and how are they going to track improvement?
  • Who were their clients before, and who are they working with now? A reputable consultant should be able to provide you with a list of previous clients they worked with, especially if they boast they’re skilled enough to meet your company's needs. Providing you with a list of clients and their contact details may allow you to confirm as to whether or not such a person actually worked with them, and you can see for yourself if the result of their campaigns during the time they hired the SEO consultant are the kinds of results you need.

The Takeaway: It's A Matter Of Meeting Halfway

When you hire a service, one of the most important aspects of making sure they're the "one" for you is if they can fulfill your needs with the kinds of skill sets you think are best for the job. The same goes for SEO consultants, but it's not everyday you meet a consultant that works for you. What to ask an SEO consultant before hiring one for your business should revolve around making sure that not only is this prospect skilled for your business, but if their philosophies and skill sets are actually aligned towards your own company's branding.

Henry Cedeno

Henry Cedeno is an award-winning marketing professional originally hailing from the music industry where he oversaw national marketing campaigns for top tier music artist. In 2016 he founded a digital marketing agency to service the business community after realizing how behind businesses had fallen when it came to online marketing. Online Impact 360 is a digital marketing agency with a strategic focus on SEO, web design, & online advertising campaigns. We help business owners, maximize their online visibility, move them to the first page of Google for their industry so consumers can actually find them when searching online.