SEO consultants nowadays are a dime a dozen. Some claim to be able to work miracles and give unrealistic guarantees that trick people into signing with them. Later on, these claims prove to be false and the clients end up wasting money that they paid the SEO consultant.
Hiring an SEO consultant requires some form of knowledge about SEO. If you have been tasked to hire an SEO consultant for your company, you should at least know what it is that such a professional does and what you can expect from him. You should read up and study the inner workings of optimization before trying to interview an SEO consultant. Here are some questions to ask to help you with determine which one to hire:
1.Ask him for a list of clients he has worked for in the past
Any SEO consultant who is proud of his work would gladly give you a list of clients that he has worked for. These past clients can let you know how the consultant works and how he relates to his clients. They may not tell you specific details but they can give you clues on his attitude and his work ethic. This can also help determine the extent of the SEO consultant’s experience.
2.Ask him how he plans to improve your company’s search engine rankings
Prior to interviewing with you, the SEO consultant has probably already looked into your website and, if he is a diligent one, had taken notes on how he can improve your website. Ask him what he plans to do to increase your site’s search engine rankings. He should at least give you an overview of the plans as this will tell you how he will work on your website once hired. If he hasn’t even looked into your website prior to the interview then his level of commitment to improving your website may not be as serious as he says.
3.Ask him how he will update you on the changes and improvements that he will make on your website
Good SEO consultants make sure that the company they work for gets regular reports and updates on the changes made on the website. Most of them would provide a weekly or a bi-monthly report at the start of the project and a monthly report once the entire SEO strategy has been put in place. If the SEO consultant tells you that they will track the changes themselves that might be a red flag right there. You should be made aware of any changes to your site as these could greatly affect your company.
4.Ask him if he can get #1 ranking for your website on top search engines
If he guarantees #1 ranking for your site then you should not hire him. Only search engines can determine which websites will get #1 ranking as their algorithms changes from time to time.
5.Ask him how he determines the success of his SEO strategy
A good SEO consultant always monitors the traffic that comes in to your website. This will let him know if his SEO strategy is working or not. If it isn’t he should be able to make adjustments and changes to his strategy so that the traffic to the website improves immediately. He should also be well versed in using tools like Google Analytics to help him determine if there is any improvement in the site’s search engine rank.
6.Ask if he adheres to best practices
Most search engines put up their search engine rules to give better search engine results for the searchers. A good SEO consultant follows these rules and takes time to study them. When your SEO consultant doesn’t follow these rules this could result to search engines penalizing your website for violating the rules.
7.Ask him about his payment terms
You should know what he charges and how he intends to bill you. Most SEO consultants are project based. Some require a retainer for more complex projects. The amount will depend on the size and complexity of the project.
8.Ask him what will happen after the project is done
All the changes that the SEO consultant has made on your site should remain a property of your company. If the SEO consultant says otherwise then don’t hire him. He should also not be allowed to make any more changes or delete any existing content after the contract has been terminated. All the information that he got from your company should also be confidential unless otherwise stipulated in the contract.