9 Important Questions to Ask Before You Hire an SEO Company
Search is still the number one way to drive traffic to your company’s website. In fact, using search engines like Google is over 300% more effective than using social media.
If you don’t know how to update your content for search engine optimization (SEO), that’s okay! You can always outsource it to a pro. However, there are a few vital questions you need to ask before you hire an SEO company.
Here are the nine questions you need to ask before you hire a pro. By asking these questions, you can assess their expertise and make sure you’re hiring a qualified expert. Otherwise, your marketing budget—and business—could suffer for it.
Find the right SEO company for the job by asking these nine questions.
1. What’s Your Plan?
SEO requires more than effort than sprinkling a few keywords here and there. For a truly effective strategy, an SEO pro will need to consider everything from your audience to your long-term goals. Once you develop a strategy, you can consistently attract traffic to your website.
Before you hire an SEO pro, ask them about their plan. How do they intend on increasing your search engine ranking?
Most companies will start by performing an SEO audit on your website. This will allow them to determine where they need to make changes.
Then, they’ll conduct audience and keyword research.
The better an SEO consultant knows your audience, the better they can create content designed to attract people to your site. Otherwise, readers won’t consider your content as relevant to their needs or helpful. Rather, you need SEO content that answers customer questions and shows readers you’re a credible resource.
An SEO consultant should have a plan for improving your company’s online reputation.
They’ll also need to consider link building. Featuring links from reputable websites in your blog content will tell Google you’re credible, too. Ask the consultant how they intend on helping you gain high-quality backlinks.
Gaining this full-picture understanding of the SEO company’s strategy will help you understand their expertise.
2. How Have You Helped Other Clients?
Next, see if the consultant has worked with other companies within your industry. How did they help them? What changes did that company experience after working with the SEO consultant?
If they haven’t worked with someone in your industry, ask about their other clients.
Can they share case studies, testimonials, or any data?
Consider asking if you can speak to one of their clients as well. Then, you can determine the SEO consultant’s professionalism and abilities from someone who was once in your shoes.
3. What SEO Tools Do You Use?
The tools an SEO expert uses can tell you if they’re a whitehat or blackhat SEO expert. If they’re using Xrumer or SE Nuke, steer clear. Instead, listen out for tools such as Semrush, Google Keyword Planner, and Google Trends.
Ask what tools they use to perform the SEO audit. How do they build links?
Learn as much as you can about their process before you hire them.
4. What Type of SEO Services Do You Offer?
SEO services can include:
- On-page SEO
- Off-page SEO
- Technical SEO
- Local SEO
You’ll need all four to make sure your site is fully optimized.
For example, local SEO will help you attract nearby customers to your store. Off-page SEO, on the other hand, will use inbound links to build your online reputation.
Technical SEO, on the other hand, looks at redirects, errors, and page speed.
If a freelance SEO consultant only offers one type, look elsewhere.
5. How Do You Determine Success?
What benchmarks does the company use to determine success? For example, they might establish a goal to increase your site traffic by 15% after a month.
Make sure you understand the benchmarks they use. Only then can you set clear expectations between you both.
6. How Often Will We Talk?
Determine how often the SEO expert will check in to report their progress.
Will they communicate by phone, email, or in-person? How often?
Make sure they report what updates they’re making, too, including any site changes.
7. Are You Aware of Google’s Latest Updates?
Google’s algorithm changes all the time. Before you hire an SEO pro, make sure they’re aware of the latest updates. Otherwise, they probably don’t have a lot of recent experience using the most relevant SEO strategies.
If they’re using old strategies without taking algorithm updates into account, it might not help your ranking.
8. What About Current SEO Trends?
Alexa, Siri, Google. You’ve probably used one of these personal assistants in the last year. You’re not the online one, either.
By 2020, experts believe that 50% of all searches will be by voice.
Before you hire an SEO consultant, make sure they’re up-to-date with all the latest SEO trends. Otherwise, you’ll risk falling behind competitors who are responding to new search methods.
There are other SEO trends you need to consider as well, including:
- User intent-based content
- Structured data
- Long-form content
- Technical SEO
- Machine learning
- Featured snippets
- Amazon search optimization
- Mobile-first indexing
- How blockchain technology will impact SEO
- The rise in optimized video content
Before you hire an SEO consult, ask them about the latest trends they’ve noticed in the industry. Which ones do they plan to adjust your company’s SEO strategy for? If they don’t mention any of the trends on this list, you might want to consider hiring someone else.
9. What If We Terminate Our Contract?
It happens. In order to protect yourself, you need a backup plan.
Most SEO consultants want you to sign a minimum period, such as a few months. After all, it can take time before SEO changes take effect.
However, you’ll want a way out of your contract in case you’re disappointed with their results.
Make sure there aren’t any fees written into the contract in case you terminate early.
What To Know About SEO: 9 Important Questions to Ask Before You Hire an SEO Consultant
Ask these questions before you hire an SEO consultant. Then, you can make sure you’re hiring a pro instead of someone inexperienced. Once you update your SEO strategy, you can rake in new leads and boost your business!
Contact us today to get started!
Question #9 is a really important one! Not every business transaction works out, for a variety of reasons, and this applies to way more than just SEO. If you do need to get out of a contract for any reason, the last thing you want to add to your problems is an angry former associate or an unreasonable severance clause. Always remember to locate the emergency exits any time you enter a room, lol.
SEO is such a dynamic industry, even as someone who’s pretty well versed in the ins and outs of the internet (imo) it can be a lot to keep up with all the latest tricks and trends so it’s a big help to find someone else who specializes in keeping things up to date. Even in the best case scenario, SEO can be a lot to keep up with all on my own while I’m trying to run my business. Still, finding an SEO pro that has the right mix of awareness of your industry and specialization in theirs can be very hard.