18 Questions to Ask Before Hiring an SEO Expert
Originally published at www.themexpert.com.
You all know the motto of ThemeXpert blog is to educate and facilitate our clients with technical as well as informative contents. A couple of weeks ago we published a useful content, A Complete Joomla! SEO Guide. We’re glad, you guys find the article helpful. But SEO is considered the easiest and most difficult job in online marketing. Do you know why? Let me quote a quote of Dave Naylor first before coming to the answer. He says “My rule of thumb is to build a site for a user not for a spider”.
To gain a strong position on SERP (Search engine results page) maximum developers care spider readability instead of emphasizing user friendliness. Consequently browsers change their search algorithm frequently. A statistics says only Google changes search algorithm more 600 times a year. So, you could understand without spending dedicated time for SEO, It would be difficult for to reach expect destination single-handedly. If you fail to spend enough time improving your SEO benefits, you hire someone or firm proficient in SEO consultancy.
Looking for a proficient search engine optimization (SEO) consultant could be daunting. One thing you have to bear in mind SEO is the beginning of your website’s overall marketing strategy. If you or your recruiting team do not have sufficient knowledge or experience of judging candidate’s quality, you might wait for expecting nothing. Here 18 questions to consider in the perspective of SEO consultant.
01. Am I ready to hire a SEO consultant?
This is the most substantial question you should answer yourself first. You should circle your expectation, set the SEO goal and sum up your budget. Before hiring an SEO consultant or a firm. This initiative provokes you to take cost effective and future proof decision.
02. Does the SEO consultant have previous client list?
People are evaluated by their work and talent. You will find a professional SEO consultant very frank and do not hesitate to share their client list and their contact information. Such information is really helpful for both consultant and for you. You can easily gauge effectiveness of candidate and verify his indeed work on SEO campaigns.
03. How many projects did you work on and what is their success story ?
The consultant is sitting before you, may have worked with renowned companies. But it isn’t going to give any benefits. Because renowned companies may have their brand value. Ask him, how many successful SEO campaigns did he involved with and asked for an explanation why the campaign saw the light of a successful day.
04. How will you pull up my search engine ranking ?
If you think the interesting guy is capable to the field, he has been called for. Ask him to make everything steer clear how he is going to drive up your website ranking. This is the very tricky situation for the consultant, he might not clear his secrets easily. In this circumstance you have to a bit strict and ask him. How is he going to initially review your website and kick out the problem that is responsible for your site’s lower ranking including broken links and error pages. How he is going to implement on-page optimization process to make your website search engine friendly. On-page is created with technical structure such as internal liking, developing web pages, keyword research heading and tags.
05. Do you really care about Webmaster guideline ?
Webmaster guideline is a total guide of a search engine how they control search quality. Violation of guideline must result in you website’s low ranking penalty or ban from the search result for lifetime. Ask the promising consultant, does he strictly follow search engine webmaster guideline. Farley Google webmaster prohibits many common SEO tricks, including auto generating spammy content and adding bogus hidden text and links.
06. Will you ensure guarantee my website will always stick in the topest ranking on Google, Bing and Yahoo ?
If the confident candidate answers yes, ask him three times, If he is constantly answering yes, yes, yes.You should stand up, put your mobile phone in the pocket and run to the other direction as fast as you can. Because the guarantee is totally bogus. It’s impossible to guarantee for such promise. But the promise could be true for seasonal marking not for permanent business.
07. Did you work for enhancing local search results ?
Your site is for a product which has growing appeal in international market and local market as well. If the SEO consultant only focussing international customers, he might deprive your local people to reach you. If your website is optimized for “local SEO,”. It should pop up when someone nearby is search for a keyword that are relevant to your products. To gain this, ask the candidate. Is he familiar with local SEO and Can he add business’s city and state to website’s title tags and meta description.
08. which sector are you specialized for ?
If you are ready for spending handsome amount of money right away. Ask your SEO consultant, Is he specialized in the industry you deal with. Suppose you have a business of the shoe selling company. But the consultant doesn’t have any prior knowledge and experience to work with the shoe selling company. And you have been pleased with his buttery words.
Unfortunately, you have signed a contact paper with him. If you do so, you have to wait for a long while to enjoy the win-win situation. Because your consultant is going to spend minimum a month only getting familiar with your business let alone setting strategies of SEO. Whereas your competitor will have won the battle of competition.
09. Are you familiar with White Hat, Gray Hat, Black Hat SEO technique?
Though this question might have made your consultant laugh. He might consider this question as childish question. Because he is a consultant and it is reasonable for SEO strategies, he knows such stuffs. But it is important for you to contract. Unfortunate your site has been imposed a low ranking penalty and you asked your consultant to clarify the reason. He might avoid showing reason of penalty is his unfamiliarity with Black Hat SEO.
10. Do you familiar with the latest update of search engine methodology?
Search Engine frequently change their searching algorithm to give its searcher a quality contents. But I think, It won’t be difficult for SEO experts if search Engine changes their algorithms 100 times in a year. ufff, I am forgetting things again. Only Google changes its search algorithm around 500–600 times in a year. If your SEO consultant is not keeping updated himself with those changing algorithm, he is not appropriate for you.
11. Can you take Data driven decision ?
Decision making has long been a subject of study and given the explosive growth of Big Data over the past decade, Even Big data is considered the strength of a business. Your company might have a database full of data stored after investing millions of dollars. But it would be worthless, If your decision making team is still using their intuition and spending minimum hours to buying single stationary.
If you are expecting vast from the SEO consult and he is not accustomed to take data driven decision. You may have to pass sometimes counting stars.
12. Are you familiar with competitor analysis ?
SEO is a zero sum game and analyzing your competitor’s websites is a key process of search engine optimization. Because this is the main motto of SEO experts, Their unexpressed endeavor is to defeat you competitor SERP position down and pull up your site’s content up. SEO experts passed thousands of seconds itching their head, finding the reason, why your competitors are defeating your site.
If you consultant does not care about competitor winning SEO tactics, he might be leggin himself behind from the stream.
13. Are you familiar with web development ?
If you are really satisfied with the consultant make sure he is familiar with web development and the web technology helps to create search engine friendly URLs. Maximum sites are developed by developers who develop a website without having instruction of SEO. If he identify the tweak for SEO, can keep himself one step forward.
14. Have you noted my each expectation from you ?
Before signing a contract with SEO consult, make sure you have steered clear your expectation. Where you would like see your website? How much traffic do you expect in a month? Where from the SEO consultant is going to start? And so on.
15. Will you feel any hesitation to share relevant changes you’re injecting to my site?
An ideal consultant feels free share his tactic is taking to improve your site SEO. Moderating the consultant’s work is really important. If you packed with knowledge which strategy harms your site’s SEO reputation. You can easily evaluate the changes what he did. If he asks for website file access permission to add title tags, provide some copywriter to prompt visitors get website directly from the search engine result page. Feel free to share site info and access.
16. How do you measure the success of your SEO campaigns?
When you have signed a contract paper, you had made all strategic how you are going to measure SEO campaign success. Even you have set argumentative duration of success. But you don’t know how to measure, It’s pretty easy.
To gauge the success of SEO campaigns, stick your eyes on Google analytic, and conversion rate and your site’s ranking.
17. How will you communicate with me?
Your SEO consultant may over-communicate with you, it doesn’t not mean he is doing a wonderful job in SEO. If he fails to give you information what you want, ask for more, A reasonable consultant will be delighted to share. Always ask him to report of traffic, ranking, conversion rate after a logical duration, It helps to create a regional responsibility to the consultant.
18. How much would you like paid?
This is the what the consultant is still sitting before you. You need to know how much you will be charged. But charge could differ based on the project’s size and complexity. Even it varies from constant’s experience and quality. Some consultants charge per hour and some charge monthly. On top of that confident consultants charge based on campaign success.
As I have cleared in the introductory text, before hiring an SEO consultant it is mandatory to have perfect knowledge of SEO or your expectation. I have discussed here the major aspects of selecting an SEO consultant or firm, but a lot of optional facts have still remained discussed such as: Consumer psychology, Sitemap submission, Webmaster tool proficiency and so on. But don’t worry, An SEO consultant is always familiar with those facts.