To get a website or a blog ranked highly on search engine results pages (SERPS) you have to have great content, but you also need to optimize your site for SEO. For most of us, SEO is a bit of an unfathomable art, which is why most people turn to an SEO consultant to improve their website’s rankings. Of course, anyone can say they are an SEO expert, but how can you be sure? To help avoid some of the pitfalls of employing an SEO expert, here are eight important questions you should always ask an SEO consultant before you hire them.
1. How will you go about improving my search engine rankings?
If an SEO consultant won’t tell you what strategies they will adopt to improve your rankings, then that is one SEO expert you should walk away from. Make sure that whatever it is they are offering includes an initial technical review of your site and both on and off search engine optimization.
2. Ask for a list of other clients
A good SEO consultant will be happy to provide you with some references. Past clients of an SEO agency may not give you any precise details of the work that was carried out, but they will tell you if the campaign was a success as a whole.
3. Will you guarantee a number one position on Google?
If an SEO consultant says that they can guarantee the number one position on Google for your website, put your money back in your pocket and start looking for another SEO expert. No one can guarantee the top slot on Google or any other search engine other than the search engines themselves.
4. Will you do local search engine optimization?
For most businesses, local SEO is more important than worldwide SEO, so ask what experience the prospective SEO consultant in this area. After all, having your website ranked highly in Sydney, Australia is not going to bring in a lot of business if you own a burger joint in Detroit.
5. Do you follow Google webmaster guidelines?
SEO experts who think they can bend the rules are likely to get your website relegated in the search engine rankings, or even banned altogether. Play it safe and look for an SEO consultant who follows the Google’s webmaster guidelines.
6. How much are you going to charge me?
Make sure that you know what you are going to be charged for SEO services and what is included in the price. The most common method of charging for SEO services is by project, but some SEO consultants do charge by the hour.
7. What measurements of success will you provide me with?
To understand how successful an SEO campaign has been you will need to know what the increase in traffic has been, where the traffic has come from, how your position in the search engines has improved, and what keywords are bringing in the traffic. Find out what sort of analytics an SEO consultant will provide you with, because it is this sort of data that will demonstrate the effectiveness of their services and it will help focus future SEO efforts.
8. What will happen if we part company?
Finally, be sure to ask what will happen if you decide that you no longer require the services of the SEO consultant. You need to make sure that the SEO expert will not reverse any changes they have made to your site or remove any content if you terminate your agreement with them.
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