SEO is an acronym for Search Engine Optimization. Hiring a SEO specialist has the potential to improve your site performance and save time.
But you also have a risk of damaging your reputation if the SEO expert follows the black hat methods to rank your site.
Black hat SEO consists of certain techniques that are banned by Google Webmasters tool. As a heavy penalty, Google can even delete your site.
Keeping these things in mind, it is necessary that you choose a SEO specialist properly. Here are some tips that will help you to make a correct decision.
When you meet the consultant, he will generally ask you about the business details, the products/services that you sell, and the geographical area in which your business operates.
The SEO consultant will also ask if you have any existing website and try to get feedback from you regarding how you get leads:
- Whether they are direct
- Or through your website
- Or through references
- Or through any other mode
This will give him an idea how to target your business.
The differentiating point between a good SEO consultant and a normal one is that the good SEO consultant will never be concerned about where you appear on Google.
Rather a good SEO consultant will be concerned about how he/she can improve ‘how you appear’ in the search results.
A good SEO consultant will always ask you questions like:
- What makes your business, product or service unique and therefore valuable to customers?
- Who commonly buys from you? Your buyer persona
- How do the current customers find your website?
- How does your business make money and how does search help in that?
- What are the channels that you are using?
- Do you use offline advertising?
- How about social networks?
- Who are your competitors?
- What do they do online, and potentially, offline?
Key Takeaway: If the expert does not seem interested in your business from a holistic standpoint, consider looking for another expert.
It is difficult to optimize SEO without knowing the business, the business’ goals, the customers and other existing marketing efforts.
In our marketing efforts from the last 15 years we have observed that people take money promising to rank on search engines.
They use that money to run a paid advertisement campaign and show as if your site is ranking on Google.
Beware! Google specifically shows the short words ‘Ad’ if it is a paid ad. It is not considered as an organic result.
As you can see clearly, the words ‘Ad’ represent ads and it is not an organic result.
Google frequently alters its algorithms, so if any SEO expert says that he/she guarantees that your site will rank number one in Google, then it is an explicit lie.
Google has a set of Google Webmaster’s Guidelines, if you don’t adhere to it then your site can be banned or deleted by Google which can damage your reputation.
An SEO company will definitely have a strong portfolio of its clients. As a prospective client you can ask for references and get inputs from the current customers about the SEO agency.
Check particularly how SEO was able to bring leads to the business or add to the productivity of the team.
Key Takeaway: Try to observe whether the results were sustainable or temporary. Because a site can rank temporarily due to bad practices. Only a good SEO will allow sustainable results on the SERPs. This helps you improve your brand image in turn.
Do not give all access to your website to the SEO consultant unless you trust him but you can always request for a free technical audit of your site.
This will give you a rough idea about how deeply the SEO consultant views your website and suggests the rectification measures to rank better.
Killer Takeaway: The suggestions that the SEO expert offers should target the human audience as opposed to the search engines. Because the USP of Google is that it wants to deliver the best content to its users and it does not want the content to be good only for the search engines.
Along with that the audit can hint you towards the possible impact on business if you carry on the rectifications and also the investment needed from your side.
A good SEO expert will prioritize ideas that will improve your business, using the least amount of resources. They will also suggest improvements that may take time in the beginning but will promote growth in the long run.
They should feel like experts with whom you can work and experiment with.
Once you hire a good seo expert, decide upon your goals, set clear benchmarks with respect to time, and be very clear how you are going to track results based on certain metrics. This leaves no room for complaints later on.