10 Questions to Ask Before Hiring an SEO Expert
Gone are the days when hiring an SEO consultant or a professional was a cakewalk. There was a time when companies used to hire an SEO Expert who knew link building was all about posting hordes of articles on submission websites, listing your business on directories and writing a few on-page blogs.
Then came GOOGLE UPDATES – Panda, Penguin, Hummingbird, Above the Fold and what not….
Are you still wondering what I am talking about? If yes, I am here to open up the secret things that your SEO professional will not tell himself if you are about to hire him for your website SEO handling.
If you have landed on this article of mine, you certainly do not know much about SEO and this is the reason you are looking for ways to become somewhat familiar with all the aspects, before you finalize one for your company. It is highly important for you to ask certain questions to the SEO consultant in front of you since search engines have become quite strict on strategies you undertake in order to improve rankings of your website. So, if you want your business to grow genuinely and progressively, you need to make sure that you ask him simple and fair questions.
Asking these 10 questions before you hire an SEO expert will not only help you understand his potential but at the same time give him an expression that you are not a novice in industry and can well understand how he will be taking things forward.
So go on and ask him confidently:
- Can you provide me the profiles of your last successful projects or clients?
If the SEO consultant you are planning to hire is reputed and trustworthy enough, he will be happy to share his list of former projects and clients. Rather he will be proud sharing some of his outstanding achievements while working for these clients.
This will help you understand the repute he carries and authenticate his working for different SEO campaigns.
- Are you sure you will follow webmaster guidelines specified by search engines when you work for my site?
It is highly important for you to hire a consultant who abides by the webmaster best practices set by Google which prohibit certain SEO tricks which include, spam content, bogus and hidden text links. If this guy doesn’t adhere to all these guidelines, the biggest loss will be yours. Google bans such sites which do not follow the SEO ethics genuinely. Similar is the case with other search engines like Yahoo and Bing.
- How will you improve the search engine rankings of my site?
Whether or not you know well about these practices, a confident and strong question will help you check his confidence in what he is planning for you. He must be able to explain every strategy when you ask him. Ask him about the estimated duration for improving the rankings of your site. Take a realistic though tentative deadline to meet your goals on traffic or rankings whatsoever suit your kind of business.
Enquire about the on-page and off-page techniques he is going to use to boost your rankings. Ask about the ways in which he will spread awareness of your business.
- Can you ensure me that my site will achieve No.1 ranking in major search engines, Google, Bing and Yahoo?
Anyone would expect a person to say YES…..But if you come across a person who says yes, to this question of yours, you must hold on….
It is just not possible to guarantee No.1 ranking on any of the search engines. Those who promise you this right away are not ethical enough and are simply befooling you.Also, make sure you do not believe if someone tells you that he has some internal contacts with Google people out there or something shit like this. Many of you may be wondering that does it really happen.
Let me be honest, this friend of mine was actually looted when he succumbed to these filthy promises on behalf of the fact that the SEO guy he hired had strong contacts in Google- Stupid!!NO?
- Will I get the report of the changes you make on my site?
SEO for your website certainly requires a great deal of changes on it. This may be in coding, designing and content on your site. It is highly important to know what are the exact changes being taken place on your site time to time and what will be the benefit of the same in rankings.
Ask him to mail the reports for you so that if you are not well versed with a particular change, you can get them checked from some other professional you know. Also, some changes may require your permissions as well.
At the same time, you must make sure whether the cost being decided includes these changes or you will have to pay extra for any changes in coding, designing or content.
- Do you have an experience in improving results in local searches?
It is significantly essential to be at top searches of your local search engines especially for small business in city. This is needed to attract customers and clients in your region and you obviously want your consultant to bring local leads for you so that they can be converted easily.
Ask the consultant whether he is confident to work for “local SEO” as they call it as. This will help your business appear when the users for your services in your local area about your services.
- How do you analyze the success of your SEO campaigns?
In order to know how well your SEO consultant is performing, you need to analyze the quantity as well as the quality of traffic that is reaching your site. Consultants should have good experience in using Google Analytics that gives clear track of traffic and in turn the improvements in search engine rankings, links from other sites bringing traffic to your site and the keywords driving traffic to your site.
Ask for their suitability to share these reports with you.
- What will be the mode of communication and how often will you?
The customer service styles and standards vary for different consultants. Make sure you look for someone who best fits your business needs. It can be through email, calls or Skype. Confirm when and how often he will reach you for the updates on the status.
- What is your payment terms and fees?
It is obviously important to know how much he will charge and this is one of the essential questions to ask before hiring and SEO expert. Project based payments is one way and is the most common in industry. This can vary as per the complexity and demand of the project.
Hiring him with the quoted prices depends on your budget.
- What is to be done in case we do not want to continue?
It can be either of you two who does not want to continue because of any unavoidable circumstances. So, make sure you know about all the terms and conditions when you part ways. Make sure that the contract adheres to the fact the changes made on your site will stay as it is even after you are not together. Also, confirm whether there is any fee at the time of contract termination if it is done from your end.
Once you have asked these 10 questions from the candidate who is offering SEO services and you have got satisfactory answers, you can trust him to take your website to the next level. However, once you hire him for your SEO, I would suggest you to start gaining some simple knowledge yourself as well so that you can check the reports thoroughly and ask for explanations in case of any discrepancy.
Do you have any more questions before you hire an SEO Expert, please share with us. We would be happy to know about different questions for hiring SEO Consultant or SEOEexpert.