6 Questions to Ask Your Prospective SEO Consultant


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For small businesses looking to grow their customer base from online marketing, investing in a SEO campaign can deliver long lasting value. The most critical aspect of any SEO campaign is selecting a competent, qualified SEO consultant to conduct your SEO program.

This presentation outlines six qualifying questions that you should ask any prospective SEO consultant who is trying to earn your business. The answers to each of these questions should give you a good indication of the level of competency, experience and results you should expect from that SEO consultant if you were to select them for your project.

This should help you weed out the consultants who aren't as qualified and may be a risk to you for your investment, and should help you determine which SEO consultant you've interviewed is the right choice for you.

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6 Questions to Ask Your Prospective SEO Consultant

  1. 1. 6 Questions to Ask YourProspective SEO Consultant By Chris J. Everett, Principal & Founder Captivate Search Marketing
  2. 2. 1) How Do You Build Rankings For Your Clients?SEO isn’t brain surgery. Be wary of SEO consultants who overuse SEO jargon anda mess of other technical terms to explain how they execute their clients’ SEOprograms. Yes, SEO is a practice that is based on a multitude of different factors,but it can easily be explained in layman’s terms.Make sure that the SEO consultant covers both on-site and off-site strategies thatthey utilize. Among the topics your SEO consultant will discuss are: Keyword research and competitive analysis Meta tag optimization and optimization of on-page content Off-site strategies such as Content Marketing, Social Media, Blogging, etc.Be sure they don’t subscribe to any automated SEO linking networks to help buildrankings for their clients – these programs to far more harm than good.
  3. 3. 2) Do You Guarantee No. 1 Rankings? This question will quickly quickly help you determine whether the SEO consultant is worthy of your trust. Of course, earning top rankings is the aspiration of anyone investing in SEO for their business. BUT... The fact is, No SEO consultant can guarantee natural rankings because they aren’t the ones who own the search engines! If you run into a consultant who promises you No. 1 rankings, you might want to think twice about their credibility and whether or not you want to do business with them.
  4. 4. 3) How Long Does SEO Take To Work? When done properly, SEO campaigns provide sustainable rankings and outstanding return for your investment, but depending on a number of factors, SEO can take several months to see major strides. If your site is well established and has been around for years and is ranking in the top 100 search results for your targeted keywords, you could see spikes in your rankings and traffic in just a couple of months, depending how aggressive your SEO budget is. If youre launching a brand new site from the ground up in a highly competitive industry, it could take anywhere from 6-12 months to see major strides in your rankings. SEO is an investment, if youre not committed to at least 6 months of ongoing work, youre selling yourself short.
  5. 5. 4) How Important is Social Media? Nowadays if your Internet marketing strategy doesn’t include social media, your strategy isn’t living up to its full potential. Social media signals and social sharing is a part of how Google ranks your website’s content. The more it’s shared, Liked, Tweeted, and +1ed, the better the opportunity it will have to rank toward the top of the search results. Social media also affords businesses an opportunity to increase the awareness of their brand with both prospective and existing customers. Keeping consumers engaged with your brand through social media by asking them questions, giving away freebies, Re-Tweeting them or giving them a mention helps to build trust, long-term brand loyalty, and keeps your company Top of Mind. While this doesn’t pertain exclusively to SEO, the consultant should be aware of the power of social media can have for small businesses in growing their online presence.
  6. 6. 5) Can You Provide Examples of Your Work? This question’s purpose is multifaceted. First, it helps you determine the quality of work that the SEO consultant has produced for other clients, including how competitive the keywords were they achieved rankings for and what industries they’ve performed SEO for before. Secondly, the answer of this question can give you a better idea of the typical caliber of client the SEO consultant works with and what the consultant’s fees might be to take on your project. There may be an occasion where the SEO consultant is bound by confidentiality and cant tell you the name of some of their clients, however there should be some clients who they arent bound by confidentiality, letting them provide you examples of rankings from their SEO programs.
  7. 7. 6) Reporting: What Kind and How Often? Staying on top of the overall performance of your campaign is a must – especially for small businesses. Knowing where your marketing dollars are being invested and what you’re getting in return for that investment is an important expectation to have when selecting your SEO consultant. Among the reporting you should expect from your consultant are:  Website traffic reports segmenting Direct, Organic and Paid search referrals  Ranking reports for your targeted keywords for the three major search engines  Link Building/Content Marketing reports: What articles where submitted and where.  Citation Building Reports: What local business directories were claimed, optimized, etc. for the time period.  An analysis of the performance and suggestions moving forward. The frequency of these reports might vary from report to report. Some of these reports could be delivered on a weekly basis (Traffic, Keyword Rankings), while others might be delivered on a monthly basis. Be sure your consultant has a well- structured reporting system to keep you well informed your campaign.
  8. 8. Conclusion If youre a small business owner or a marketer who is searching for an SEO consultant to work with, these six questions will go a long way in helping you determine which consultant is the most qualified to take on your project!