If your website fails to appear on the opening page of Google, Bing, or Yahoo's search engine, your potential customers may not even know of your existence. Optimizing your SEO is essential to generating more visits to your website, resulting in improved brand recognition and higher profits. However, you may not have the time or technical know-how to enhance your website's search engine ranking. In this case, consider employing a dependable SEO specialist.
- Do they have any referrals or past clients?
Vanessa Fox, the author of "Marketing in the Age of Google" and founder of Nine By Blue, advises looking for an SEO consultant willing to share a list of current and past clients and contact information. References can help gauge the consultant's experience and confirm that they ran effective campaigns. Clients likely won't provide analytics, but they should be able to tell if they've seen an improvement in search results ranking, conversions, and audience.
- How will they boost your rankings?
Beware of SEO advisers who dodge questions on their tactics, as Fishkin from Moz - a search engine optimization firm - suggests. Ask them to give you the details of their scheme, like techniques to boost your website's ranking on search engines and an estimate of when you'll achieve your SEO targets.
A technical SEO review should be part of the candidate's proposal. They should be ready to identify any issues that could decrease your search engine's ranking, such as broken links and error pages. In addition, they should be pros at on-page optimization. The right experts can make your website more attractive to search engines by improving your URL, internal linking structure, and titles on web pages, headers, and tags.
Lastly, ask the consultants if they offer "off-site" SEO services. This is often in terms of social media and press releases. And it promotes your content and enhances your visibility on other website blogs.
- Are they compliant with webmaster rules?
SEO pros must observe Google's standards- the web admin guideline. Google's practices need to be taken seriously. All consultants must abide by them for the best outcome and top rankings. If not, your website's ranking will stagnate, or Google will ban it from search results.
Bing still has standards that SEO pros must adhere to get the best results. Compliance is key. Be sure candidates stick to the rules. You should not risk low rankings or bans.
- Ask them whether they can guarantee No1 ranking on search engines.
Heed the warning: if the candidate says yes, flee! Fox cautions that no one can guarantee a top ranking on any search engine. Unscrupulous SEO services might be a sure sign to run. It's a red alert if the candidate boasts of guaranteed tricks for Google or other search engines that will ensure #1 rankings. Only Google, Bing, and Yahoo can control search results.
- How long is their experience in Local SEO?
If you are a small business, consider hiring an expert in local SEO. But ensure the specialist can optimize a website to appear in SERPs when nearby customers search for relevant keywords. To this end, knowledge of keyword research, city and state in title tags, and meta-descriptions is essential. Besides, the consultant should be able to complete the necessary paperwork required by Bing, Google, and Yahoo's local listings.
- Do they share the changes they make?
Sometimes SEO specialists alter web page coding. Ask what changes they'll make, how many pages, and if they need permission. Do they plan to add title tags, improve copywriting, or redesign the navigation? Make sure you're happy with their proposal before moving forward.
- What metrics do they use to measure SEO success?
To evaluate success, a consultant must measure website traffic & its source. Experienced SEO experts use Google Analytics to track website rankings, the number of links from other sites, keywords used & more. Make sure to ask how often they plan to share analytics & use data to improve rankings & traffic.
- How much will they charge for your projects?
Moz's 2011 survey of 600 SEO firms shows charges vary by consultant & project complexity. Retainers expected range is $245–4500/month, while hourly rates may go as low as $150. Check their payment frequencies as well as penalties for late payment interest.
To get the best SEO consultants in your areas, focus not only on costs but also on techniques, transparency, and credibility. So crosscheck their claims with their past clients and learn how they can boost your rankings. Lastly, remember to ask what they do after the contract expires.