Let’s face it: The world of search engine optimization is full of snake-oil salesmen and shady consultants who have little to no idea what they’re doing. As a business owner, it’s your job to do your due diligence before hiring an SEO expert—but how do you know if he or she is legit? Here are seven questions to ask SEO experts every decent specialist will be able to answer.
1. What is your approach to SEO, and what makes it unique?
You need to know what makes your SEO agency unique. Does it have a special approach? Does it use any unique strategies or technologies? How does its team differ from other agencies’ teams? You want an SEO company different from the competition, not just another cookie-cutter service offering the same basic services as everyone else.
When you ask this question, ensure you’re specific about the answers you’re looking for. “What are your best practices?” is too vague; instead, try asking something like “What is your SEO methodology?” or “Tell me about your process.”
Once you’ve asked about their SEO methodology, you’ll want to know what makes them unique. Ask what differentiates them from other SEO agencies. What is their unique selling proposition for SEO? Can they give examples of how that process has been successful for another client? If they can’t provide details, ask how they could use the same process to make your experience better than it would be using another agency.
2. What are the essential elements of your SEO strategy?
The second question you should ask an SEO expert is, “What are the essential elements of your SEO strategy?” If they don’t have a well-thought-out answer to this question, move on.
You need to know the core components to ensure that the person working on your account has these things down pat. The most common answers are content strategy, on-page optimization, and link building.
For these three things (and any others) to work together as effectively as possible, there must be a proper balance between them. Too much focus on one thing (like content creation) can lead to neglecting another important aspect (such as link building). In addition, you must get an idea of how they see social media fitting into their overall plan because it can make or break your efforts down the line!
3. How long will it take for us to see results from your work?
SEO is a long-term strategy. The time it takes to see results depends on the site and the goals.
That being said, most SEO experts will be able to provide you with an estimate that reflects their experience and expertise. Be sure to ask how long they think it will take for your site to reach its goals based on the work they’ll be doing for you, as their estimates may vary depending on factors like these:
- How much effort do I need to put into this? If you only want your website optimized a little bit and aren’t planning any major changes, don’t expect miracles from your SEO expert—he or she won’t have much chance of making significant improvements in such a short amount of time. Instead, focus on putting together a plan for incremental improvement over time and improving other aspects of your marketing strategy so that when these small changes accumulate over time, they’ll add up quickly!
- What kind of competition do we have out there? The more competitive your market is (and therefore harder it would be), the longer it could take until someone decides whether or not they even want what we have to offer them.”
As we’ve seen, SEO is a long-te
rm strategy that can take months before it starts paying off in the form of higher traffic or sales. So don’t expect instant gratification from this kind of work—but know that your efforts will eventually be rewarded! The time it’ll take to see results depends on how much effort you put into optimizing your website and what kind of competition you have. The more competitive your market is (and therefore, the harder it would be),
4. How do you measure if your strategy is successful?
“How do you measure the success of your SEO strategy?” is an important question because it will give you insight into how your agency defines success. The answer should be based on your goals and objectives as a business. If they can’t articulate what’s driving their performance metrics, then they probably won’t be able to help you reach yours.
Some common metrics include:
- Organic traffic growth
- Search engine rankings
- Conversion rate improvements
- Sales conversions (sales generated from organic searches)
The agency should be focused on how you define success. You may have different goals from their usual clients, so they must adjust accordingly. They may want to know your SEO strategy and where it stands now. From there, they’ll need to determine how far you’ve fallen behind in reaching those goals.
5. What is your experience, especially within our industry?
It’s true that experience matters, but there are other factors to consider. If you’re looking for a company to help you grow your business, it makes sense to ask about their experience in your industry. However, suppose your goal is to hire an agency that can solve all of your problems quickly and efficiently without any extra effort. In that case, it’s important to look beyond their time in business and focus on other aspects, such as their ability to adapt or solve problems creatively.
When hiring an SEO company, it’s important not just because they need specific skills and knowledge; but rather because they need someone who knows how things work within the industry itself so that they can find creative ways around those barriers – especially when performing tasks like keyword research or ranking auditing (which requires more time than simply using automated tools).
6. Can I see some of your previous work and client testimonials?
You should be able to see some examples of the SEO expert’s work. If they’ve been in the business for a while, you can expect that they have plenty of satisfied customers and projects under their belt. They should be willing to share examples with you—if not, maybe it’s time to reconsider your choice.
If they’re confident in their abilities, they’ll also be willing to share client testimonials featuring people who had used them before and were happy with the results.
7 What do you need from us to get the best results?
As a client, there are many questions you can ask about the work that is expected to be done for you. Do they need access to your website? Do they need access to analytics? How often will they communicate with you, and what kind of feedback do they request from their clients?
How much access do they need? If there are certain pages on your site that contain proprietary information, such as employee data or financial documents, it’s important to let them know before hiring them so that they can make sure those pages won’t be crawled. This also applies if there are pages with credit card information or any other sensitive data fields where protection measures should be taken into account.
Proper SEO experts will be able to give good answers to these questions.
While there are no guarantees that a good SEO expert will answer these questions well, if they do, you’ll have more confidence in their ability to get your site ranked well. When choosing an agency or consultant, ask them how they plan on measuring success and what kind of timeline they’re working under. It might be time to move on if they can’t provide concrete answers—or if their answers don’t seem reasonable.
The questions above are essential for anyone looking to hire an SEO expert. By asking these questions, you’ll better understand the agency’s or consultant’s process, what makes them unique, and how they measure success. With this information, you can make a more informed decision about whether or not they’re the right fit for your needs.