How to spot the best SEO expert in 6 questions
If your website doesn’t show up in the first page of search engine results, there is a good chance that potential customers do not even know that you exist. Search engine visibility is essential for boosting visits to your online business and this will lead to increased brand awareness as well as higher sales and profits.
But what happens if you don’t have the experience and the technical expertise to boost your search engine ranking? The answer is to hire a reputable SEO firm. However, for you to hire the right person for the job, you have to ask the right questions.
1. Can I get a list of both your current and recent clients ?
The goal is to hire someone who has a good reputation as a service provider. The only way of doing this is to listen to what his current and past customers are saying about him. A reputable search engine optimization expert should be open to the idea of sharing a list of his former and current clients as well as their contact information.
The list will give you great references that will further enable you to gauge the quality of services you can expect from the service provider. The list will also help you verify that the expert actually rendered the services he claims to have offered. The clients you talk to should be able to tell you that they saw positive impacts on search engine ranking, site traffic and conversions.
2. How will your services boost my search engine ranking ?
Prior to hiring an expert, it is imperative that he show you exactly how his services will improve your search engine ranking. Let them explain to you the strategies they will be using to drive up your ranking and after how long you can expect to see results.
The services of a great candidate will include the technical review of your online business to identify its strengths and challenges. The professional should then give you details on how he will weed out the problems that are impacting your ranking.
Typical services include :
- Improving the URL of a website
- Fixing internal linking structure
- Developing web page titles, tags and headings
- Removing spam inbound links
- Reworking the web design to make it SEO friendly
- Creating new content with relevant keywords
3. Do you follow the search engine guidelines ?
When hiring an SEO expert, you want a person that adheres to the set search engine guidelines. You don’t want to work with a professional who will cause your website to be banned simply because he used black hat strategies. Hire a professional who has never had a bad reputation in matters relating to search engine optimization. If the professional does not adhere to the guidelines, there is a good chance your website will only be relegated to low search engine results.
All search engines post their own list of webmaster’s best practices. Don’t focus only on Google. There is Yahoo and Bing and many other search engines to worry about. Confirm that the expert you are considering follows best practices.
4. Can you guarantee the website will achieve high ranking on Google, Yahoo and Bing?
One thing you need to understand about search engine optimization is that there are no solid guarantees. If the answer you receive from your candidate is a resounding yes, you should be warned. Avoid experts who claim to have insider relationships with search engines. The best answer is one based on past results as well as the effectiveness of the strategies the expert will use.
5. Will you help with local search results ?
For smaller businesses, appearing in the local search engine results is crucial. Your customers are locally based. You need to be able to get to them. To attract the nearby clients, you need an expert that offers local search services. Your business needs to show up when nearby customers search for keywords that are relevant to you.
6. How do you measure success of the SEO campaigns?
Last but not least, the right expert should be able to keep track of your website’s progress. He should have experience working with Google Analytics. The expert should also share the essential analytics with you.
Although the list of questions is incomprehensive, these questions will help pick the right expert for your SEO needs. Only settle for the expert you have the most confidence in.
Author Bio : Vinod Jethwani is the CEO and Founder of Walnut Solutions and he helps web based companies with his SEO strategies to grown their revenue. He started his career in 2007 as a software developer with an Indian based MNC and later in 2011 became an entrepreneur. Follow him on Twitter @VinodJethwani or through his blog.