When it comes to hiring an SEO consultant, knowing what questions to ask can make all the difference. In this article, we’ll explore 20 key questions that can help you make an informed decision.
What is your process for improving our SEO?
Understanding the consultant’s approach to SEO is crucial. This question will help you gauge their expertise and whether their methods align with your business goals.
Look for a response that includes a thorough site audit, keyword research, and a clear strategy for on-page and off-page optimization.
They will have a way of asking the right questions back to understand your SEO goals, and develop a roadmap or masterplan for results.
How do you plan to acquire backlinks for our website?
Backlinks are a vital part of SEO. A good consultant should have a clear and ethical strategy for acquiring high-quality backlinks through guest posting, statistics pages, or digital PR.
Be wary of those who promise a large number of backlinks in a short time, as this could indicate the use of black hat techniques such as PBNs.
What industries do you have prior SEO experience in?
SEO strategies can vary greatly depending on the industry. A consultant with experience in your industry will be more likely to understand your unique needs and challenges. They should be able to provide examples of past successes in your field within ecommerce, B2B, B2C, etc.
Can you provide some examples of previous clients and the work you did for them?
A reputable SEO consultant should be able to provide case studies or examples of their work. This will give you a better understanding of their capabilities and what kind of results you can expect.
Case studies are a great way to show proof of results over time.
What type of SEO will you be doing on our website?
SEO is a broad field that includes entity SEO, on-page optimisation, off-page, technical SEO, A good consultant should be proficient in all three areas and be able to explain how they plan to optimize each aspect of your website.
What kinds of results do you expect to achieve in the first few months of our campaign?
While SEO is a long-term strategy, it’s still important to have a clear understanding of what to expect in the early stages. The consultant should be able to provide realistic expectations based on your specific situation and goals – depending on size and scope of site, aiming to give results with 12 months is a standard expectation.
What keywords will you try to target with your SEO strategy?
Keyword targeting is a fundamental part of SEO. The consultant should be able to explain how they will identify and target the most relevant keywords for your business, based on research on what you’re currently ranking for, what you’d like to, and what are striking distance keywords to go after etc
How much do you charge for your services?
Understanding the cost structure is essential. Whether they charge a flat fee, by the hour, or on a retainer basis, make sure you have a clear understanding of what you’ll be paying and what services are included.
Do you follow Google’s Developer Guidelines for search engine optimisation?
Following Google’s guidelines for search is crucial for maintaining a good standing with the search engine. Any consultant worth their salt should be adhering to these guidelines.
Will you send me regular reports on the progress of our SEO campaign?
Regular reporting is a key part of any SEO campaign.
These reports should provide clear insights into your website’s performance and the progress of the SEO efforts. This should be tailored based on your goals and be able to see measurable against the SEO project.
Will you provide local SEO for my website?
If your business serves a local area, local SEO will be a crucial part of your strategy. The consultant should be able to explain how they will optimize your website for local searches.
If your business is not local, then there’s no need to worry about it.
What’s your measure of success for my SEO activity?
Understanding how the consultant measures success will give you a clear idea of what to expect. Whether it’s improved rankings, increased traffic, or higher conversion rates, make sure their goals align with yours.
Do you keep up to date with Google algorithm updates? If so, how?
Google’s algorithm is constantly changing. A good consultant should be staying up-to-date with these changes and adjusting their strategies accordingly such as the Search Generative Experience.
What happens when our contract ends?
Knowing what to expect at the end of the contract can help avoid any surprises. Whether you choose to continue with their services or not, the consultant should provide a clear exit strategy.
How will your SEO strategy fit with my existing marketing mix?
SEO should not exist in a vacuum. A good consultant will understand how to integrate SEO with your existing marketing strategies for a cohesive approach.
Do you outsource any of your SEO work?
Some consultants may outsource certain tasks. While this isn’t necessarily a bad thing, it’s important to know who will be working on your website and what their qualifications are.
Will you let me know every time you make an update to my website?
Transparency is key in any business relationship. The consultant should keep you informed of any changes they make to your website.
How do you plan to improve our website’s visibility in search engine results?
This question gets to the heart of what SEO is all about. The consultant should be able to outline a clear strategy for improving your website’s visibility in search results.
How do you handle penalties and algorithm updates from search engines?
Penalties and algorithm updates can have a significant impact on your website’s performance. A good consultant will have a plan for dealing with these potential challenges.
How do you measure the success of your SEO campaigns?
Finally, understanding how the consultant measures the success of their campaigns will give you a clear idea of what to expect. Whether it’s improved rankings, increased traffic, or higher conversion rates, make sure their goals align with yours.
As you wrap up your initial consultation, if you’re confident about the potential partnership, consider requesting a comprehensive proposal. This should encompass all the discussed elements, along with a projected timeline for execution. If you’re still in the decision-making phase, it’s perfectly okay to communicate that you’re considering multiple candidates and will inform them of your decision by a specified date.