Just like a CA, Financial Advisor, Business Consultant, at some point of time you would need an SEO specialist because a major portion of the people getting in touch with your business is online, and a major chunk out of that is organic search engine traffic. Your website is the new address for your business and customers are searching for you on Search Engines. If you wish to increase the visibility of your business and let your customers easily find your business, you need an SEO consultant.
Google’s official recommendations for hiring an SEO (Search Engine Optimizer)
Maile Ohye from Google
Search Engine’s seldom shared advice, forget guidelines on how to hire search engine optimisation experts or agencies. But as an exception, Google has shared an unbiased directive as a video on How to hire an SEO.
This new video on Google Webmaster Help’s YouTube channel titled “How to hire an SEO,” is exactly whats needed for small and medium scale businesses to understand the nuances of choosing the right SEO. Hence we decided to write this detailed blog about choosing SEO consultants, to help Google’s effort reach the right audience, especially SME/ SMB’s.
So if you’re looking for an SEO consultant, or even if you are an SEO Agency, this short video is a must watch.
Not to forget
Search for someone with a proven track record in SEO. You may come across with the persons who have knowledge of SEO, but they might not be good at it. If they were not able to rank their past customer website, there is no use to hire such person.
Conduct a Face to Face virtual or real interview for your potential SEO agency or SEO consultant. If someone is genuinely interested and have the sound knowledge of SEO, he/she will put up questions, inquire about your business competitors and may also complain & give suggestion on your existing website (if available)
Request to audit your website by giving him/her SEO restricted-view access to your Google Search Console and Google Analytics accounts. Allow him/her, if wish to have any discussion with your web developer. The audit requires a considerable amount of time and research; you should be ready if he/she asks for a fee.
Hire, if you feel satisfied with the audit. If you are willing to engage with the SEO specialist, make your whole organisation give full support to the SEO specialist.
Ask these 8 Questions before hiring SEO consultant!
1. Who are your clients, historical as well as recent case-studies?
An SEO Expert should be willing to share their results both organic ranks and traffic generated for different clients and websites. He/she should also explain how much quantum of impact they were able to generate, month on month, quarter on quarter on search rankings organically, especially in increasing right traffic and highly targeted conversions.
2. What is your SEO Process to increase search engine rankings of my website?
Stay away from SEO experts who do not wish to outline methods to achieve desired results. An SEO consultant worth his salt can deliver an organic search plan to improve search engine ranking of your website within 24 to 48 hours. It’s important to understand that SEO specialist has actually reviewed your website and not submitted a general template-based SEO Plan for saving time on SEO research. Do ask questions, how they will implement Off-page link building strategy while avoiding poor quality links or spamming. Most importantly what would be their approach towards on-page SEO, whether they will make the changes related to website speed, broken links, metadata on their own, or they will need your website team, inhouse or third party.
3. How important is search engines guidelines for you?
Every SEO expert should keep a close watch on Google’s or for that matter Bing Webmaster Guidelines and announcements, which strictly prohibit unethical and black hat SEO methods. In case SEO expert imparts grey or black hat techniques your website may be wiped out of Google index and even can get blacklisted from search engine
4. Can you assure top rank on Google?
If an SEO expert says yes, stop the further process and look forward to an actual SEO expert. Any expert saying Yes to the question is actually not an SEO Expert and he/she would most probably use Blackhat techniques which might get some immediate results but in the longer run, your website may be blacklisted. It’s impossible to guarantee top ranking on google and only search engines can decide the ranking of your website which depends on a number of quality driven factors with respect to content, linkage and authority.
5. Are you experienced in local search rankings?
SEO expert should also have expertise in local SEO techniques i.e your website should appear when someone nearby is searching for keywords that are relevant to your business. To improve local SEO search result, the SEO expert should be executing a structured campaign with NAP syndication, Google, Bing and Yahoo Listing Optimisation and so on.
6. Would you document all changes to be made on the website?
It’s important for you to know what exact changes consultant is planning in your website before you give him permission access to the admin panel of your website. And what would be the approval process for changes that may impact consumption of website content?
7. How to track SEO success?
- How content and scope would be monitored?
- What milestones in terms of traffic and ranks should we expect?
- Is there a performance assurance quarterly?
8. How will you report and communicate?
SEO people tend to work with different reporting formats and communication patterns. One has to think about personal preference as far as reporting is concerned and can get a communication and SEO reporting structure defined together with SEO consultant. But whatever way you decide don’t forget to go through in details each SEO report as that is what matters, as far as results are concerned.
Thus by the way of above Guidelines, recommendations and possible hiring questions, you can end up getting right SEO results. Do share your feedback once you avail the benefit of this blog here in comments.