11 Important Questions to Ask When Hiring an SEO Consultant
Did you know that 51 percent of all website traffic comes from SEO? And over 40 percent of revenue comes from organic traffic?
But, as important as SEO is for growing your business, it can sometimes be hard to find time in your busy day to work on your business's SEO. That's why hiring an SEO consultant is so important.
By hiring a consultant, you leave your SEO planning in the hands of an expert who can get you results in half the time it would take you if you did it yourself.
But, in order to get the results you want, you need to make sure you hire the right consultant.
How do you know who to hire?
Check out this guide to learn the top questions to ask when hiring an SEO consultant.
1. How Do You Measure Success?
This is a very important question and you want to make sure you ask it right out of the gate.
By knowing how an SEO consultant measures success, you'll be able to make sure their process aligns with your goals.
When talking about success, the consultant you interview should touch on three areas. These include:
Simply put, the consultant needs to answer what you spending money on them will specifically accomplish.
For most businesses, this usually means an increase in sales, gaining more leads, bringing more traffic to your site, or an increase in brand awareness.
Consultants should touch on goals that are both tangible and intangible. For example, an increase in sales would be a tangible goal, while building brand awareness would be an intangible goal.
Consultants should discuss what data they'll use to ensure that they're staying on track with their goals.
They should discuss how they plan to measure website traffic, sales, and ROI.
These are real-world results that differentiate failure from success. If you're focused on revenue, then benchmarks should relate to gross profits, revenue generation, and cost per acquisition.
2. What Services Do You Provide?
When searching for an SEO consultant, you'll quickly realize that they don't all offer the exact same services.
So, just as you wouldn't hire a massage therapist without knowing what type of massage you're going to get, so too shouldn't you hire an SEO consultant without knowing what types of services you're going to get.
Now, this doesn't mean you should automatically hire the SEO consultant with the longest list of services. Instead, you should hire one whose services align with your goals. And, you should hire a consultant who offers services that you're lacking.
For example, maybe you'd really like to do some blogging to boost your SEO, but you don't yet have a blog. In that case, you should hire a consultant who offers blogging services. Other services that SEO consultants typically offer include:
- Social media optimization
- Content strategy
- Technical SEO
- Link building
- Email campaigning
- Video production
So, think about the services you're most in need of, and go from there.
3. May I See a List of Current and Past Clients?
Don't just take a consultant for their word when they say they'll help improve your SEO, instead, ask for some proof!
A reputable SEO consultant should be able to show you a list of current and past clients they've worked for. They should also be comfortable giving you their contact information so you can reach out to them directly for a reference.
By contacting these references, you'll be able to get an idea of how effective a consultant is, how well they communicate, and how long their results last.
4. Do You Have Experience Improving Local Search Results?
If you own a brick-and-mortar business, then this is a question that you'll definitely want to ask.
If your website is optimized for local SEO, you'll be much more likely to attract nearby customers and clients.
If a consultant has experience with local SEO, then they should know all about adding your business's city and state to meta descriptions and title tags. They should also know how to optimize your local Google My Business Page as well as your Yelp and Bing page.
Again, you should ask consultants to provide you with local SEO campaigns they've worked on. Local SEO is a different game than general SEO, so you'll want to make sure you hire someone with experience in this area.
5. Do You Outsource Any Services?
You shouldn't automatically turn down an SEO consultant who outsources some services.
However, you should know exactly what services they outsource and why they do so. For example, many SEO agencies and consultants outsource copywriting and blogging services. This is because they know it's better to have an expert, niche writer produce content for your site than a generalist.
However, if they're outsourcing core services, like link building and on-page optimization, that should be seen as a deal-breaker.
6. How Do You Go About Link Building?
Link building is one of the most important components of SEO. Without good links leading back to your website, it'll be incredibly hard to outrank your competitors.
However, it's important to keep in mind that not every link is a good link. If you hire the wrong SEO consultant who builds spammy links, then you could wind up with a penalized website that leaves you even further from your goals.
This is why it's so important to ask SEO consultants about their link building process.
You should ask SEO consultants what kind of links they build, how they build these links, how many links you should expect per month, and what, in their opinion, makes a quality backlink.
Are You Ready to Hire the Best SEO Consultant?
By asking these questions, you'll be able to find the best SEO consultants for your needs.
If you have any questions about hiring the best SEO consultant, comment below.
And, once you've nailed down your SEO, be sure to check out this guide to PPC advertising.
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