An SEO consultant creates and manages search engine optimisation tasks. Their ultimate goal is to improve business performance on search engines and increase business revenue. Hiring a great SEO consultant can increase traffic to your website and increase revenue. But, a wrong hire harms your search engine optimisation and may take a long time to fix. How do you know if an SEO consultant knows what they are discussing? Ask the following ten questions to pick out the experts from all the candidates.
The answer will vary between consultants, but a successful search engine optimisation campaign involves a combination of activities to create results for their clients. These include:
Identify the services you require before you ask the question. Do you want the consultant to handle all aspects, from keyword research to link building? Most consultants offer one facet of search engine optimisation or assist in all optimisation aspects. Make sure you choose someone with a clear strategy for balancing all the optimisation techniques.
Any eligible consultant should have a portfolio showcasing their work before and after results with clients. While verifying a person's track record can be tricky since people present themselves positively, their past interactions with clients can shed some light on the services they provide and the results. Reading testimonials or case studies gives you insights into their SEO consulting experience. While search engine optimisation is a long-term game, small changes in the data and case studies can show the consultant's performance. You can request for references from the businesses they share on their websites.
Since there's no one-size-fits-all strategy in search engine optimisation, the consultant should suggest ways to tailor their services to your business needs. Even on the first meeting, a potential search engine optimisation partner should have some ideas on improving your rankings and customised strategy for your business models and goals. For instance, if you run a small localised business, you want organic traffic from clients in a particular area. It calls for a different strategy than search engine optimisation for a large company with a large clientele.
You want a consultant with knowledge of your industry. If the specialist has worked with a company in your industry, they have a deeper knowledge of the niche. While a consultant with experience in your industry is an added advantage, an SEO consultant should show flexibility and adaptability. If they haven’t worked with clients from your industry, they should demonstrate proficiency in different industries to show they can easily get up to speed with your niche. For instance, how would they modify the strategies to suit your industry and your audience? Ensure the consultant can highlight specific areas where the strategy will change. If the consultant can showcase proficiency in different industries, they can quickly get up to speed with your company’s strategy.
The question verifies the consultant’s knowledge of the SEO process. A good consultant should start with an audit to identify the performance of your website. For instance, they check the website's backlinks and on-page and technical aspects and identify what's working and what's not. You don't want a team that fixes what's not broken, and you don't want someone who interferes with your traffic source. Most consultants are happy to share their search engine optimisation guide and explain the process and methods for improving traffic, generating backlinks and increasing a websites visibility.
If the answer you get is “ We are very efficient and can guarantee results in less than two months,” that’s not a good sign. Effective search engine optimisation takes time due to the trial and error involved before the consultant finds strategies that work for you. However, an experienced consultant should provide a reasonable time frame for some results. Generally, legitimate search engine techniques can provide tangible results in six months. Some consultants may have results sooner or later. The possibility of results sooner depends on various factors. For instance, if your rankings and search engine problems can be resolved by correcting technical errors, you can have results quickly. If the consultant promises quick results, question their methods. Be wary of consultants using outdated techniques that will lead to penalties.
A successful search engine optimisation strategy should be part of the marketing plan. For instance, a website's performance in search engines depends on content marketing, social media marketing and public relations. A good SEO consultant should help you integrate your work with other aspects of marketing, like paid and organic traffic or improving visibility through social media channels and public relations.
If you want to identify red flags on a consultant, ask about link building. For instance, if the consultants suggest using private blog network strategies, avoid them. Listen to a consultant's process of identifying link opportunities and acquiring links. Determining if they have worked with businesses in your industry to build links is also crucial. Their relationships in the industry may be beneficial to your business. A consultant can also highlight how they can replicate their successes in new niches. A good consultant should be willing to work with you to determine valuable backlinks and where they should be placed for the best results.
You want a consultant who abides by Google’s webmaster guidelines. It shows their understanding of prohibited SEO tricks like generating spammy content or adding bogus texts and links. When your consultant doesn’t follow the guidelines, you risk your site being relegated to a low search result ranking or banned from search results. Google guidelines for search engine optimisation have improved significantly, and every good SEO strategy follows should follow the guidelines. Yahoo and Bing also have webmaster best practices that your consultant should be familiar with and follow.
A good SEO consultant should have specific tools for their search engine optimisation process. It is a good start for your question when they talk about Ahrefs, Moz, and Semrush. Using Google Search Console and Google Analytics are also great tools. However, having the best tools is just the beginning; the consultant should explain their process and how they use various tools. For instance, how do they audit the website? What tools do they use for keyword research and finding link-building opportunities? You can only judge the responses when you are an expert in search engine optimisation. However, the answer of the consultant should inspire confidence. The reporting tools also help you choose a consultant. The reports should show key performance indicators, and the consultant should explain how they are tied to business growth revenue.
Knowing what you need in a consultant is easier when you have search engine optimisation knowledge. Asking the questions above helps you gauge their expertise and find the perfect fit for your needs. If you are looking for a consultant, use testimonials and case studies to determine their performance. Bravr can help you with your search engine optimisation. Reach out to us for your website development and search engine needs.