The top of Google SERPs can be a wonderful place to be at: you have a profitable--and oh so delicious--helping of organic traffic, a mouth-watering dip of exposure on the side; all covered with a spicy mix of authority and trust from both Google and readers. All these flavors come together to make one sweet salad of success to be sure.
But here’s the thing: lots of chefs talk a good game but can’t bring your palate to life. In the same way, a lot of SEO consultants promise the world and deliver nothing close to the top of the SERPs and sometimes, they might even leave you with the sour taste of a Google penalty in your mouth.
To help you ensure that you are getting served your money’s worth, here are 8 questions you should ask when hiring a SEO consultant:
1. How Long Will It Take to Rank on Google?
Test your memory: what were you doing on the 31st of November last year? Can’t remember? Don’t sweat it: November only has 30 days. It was a trick question.
It’s the same with this question. Any expert who gives a definite answer off the top of their heads without any research (on your company and the industry at least) is probably full of hot air. Run and don’t look back.
2. What is the Strategy for Backlinks?
Backlinks are still the backbone of SEO. Ask your SEO consultants about their backlink strategy and how they plan to generate links pointing to your website. If you two are already in business, and they claim they are already generating backlinks to your site, ask them for the backlink profile so you can see the links and make sure they are legitimate.
3. How About On-Site Optimization?
An effective SEO company should know the importance of giving a great on-site experience and reducing bounce rate. Ask your SEO consultant how they plan to fix the pages on your website that have a high bounce rate or which do not offer a pleasant user experience.
4. I Run a Local Business, What Is Your Local SEO Strategy?
Local SEO is crucial for your local business. Ask your SEO consultant if they understand this and what they plan to do about it. They should be willing to submit your business to Google My Business and other local directories, optimize your title tags to the local market, and ensure your NAP is consistent throughout the internet, among others.
5. Are You Willing to Make Time to Understand My Business?
This is very important because the better the SEO company understands the business, the easier it is for them to make Google understand it--and this plays a big part in how high you rank. Your SEO company will need to understand your business well in order to know which channels, markets, products, and services offer the best returns as far as SEO strategy is concerned
6. Are You Going to Do Proper Keyword Research?
Keywords are a great way by which Google understands your website and what it talks about. Ask your SEO consultant what their Keyword Strategy is and how it can help your website gain more traffic. What tools do they use? And so on.
7. Who Are Your Past Clients?
This is normal for every business and should not be different for SEO companies. Your SEO consultant should be able to produce a short list of past and present clients so that you know they worked on specific campaigns and maybe even get some insight into how effective their efforts were.
8. How Do You Measure Success and How Often Will You Communicate?
Sure, nobody can guarantee top spot on Google, but that does not mean there is no way to track progress and measure results. Your SEO consultant should be able to measure how much traffic is coming to your website and where it is coming from. They should be experienced enough with Google Analytics to track improvement through the rankings and the number of backlinks driving traffic to your website.
A good SEO consultant will heat up your SEO campaigns and bring you closer to the sweet spot in no time. This is an ongoing process and nobody can guarantee the number 1 spot, however with right expert will leave your business in better shape than when they met it. Speaking of which, if you are looking for expert help in increasing your website’s ROI and improving your website’s SEO we at Eternity would love to hear from you. Reach out anytime!