Is it that time in your business journey where you need to up your online presence with an SEO specialist but don’t know where to start?
When it comes to SEO, aka search engine optimisation, many dodgy operators out there have tainted the industry for those professional SEO experts who do their clients’ right.
It’s important you do your research as SEO isn’t a one size fits all approach. There’s a lot that goes on behind the scenes before anything can start to be implemented. It can feel like a foreign language to some.
This is why we run through some important things to consider before hiring an SEO consultant for your small business and some great tips to ask to help you to find the right one.
Where do you find an SEO specialist?
Recommendations are always the best. If you have friends or business colleagues, ask them.
Or if you’re in a great business, Facebook groups ask. You’ll probably get inundated with answers and people recommending themselves. But if there’s a name that keeps popping up or someone says something about a particular option that stands out – then you might be onto a winner.
But always do your due diligence and research:
- Check out their own website
- Have a look at their Google reviews
- Stalk them on social media
- And Google them, of course – I do this with any business I’m going to engage even personally (this is how I found our last plumber who turned out to be fabulous). It can be quite interesting sometimes when you do.
6 Tips to ask SEO consultants before you hire them
When you’re looking to engage a good SEO consultant, here are some great questions to ask them:
1. What experience do you have?
2. What types of clients do you work with?
3. What’s your approach?
a. SEO strategy
b. content marketing
c. blog posts
d. link building
e. internal linking strategy
4. Can you get me in position 1? This is a trick question on my part that I recommend including. As if they turn around and say yes. Run! (I touch on why below).
5. How do you measure results?
6. How long until we can expect to see results? This will depend on your industry and a few other factors, so be aware of what they say or promise, especially if they make promises. This isn’t something I’ll answer in initial discussions normally as I need to assess:
a. What keyword research results show
b. Where your website is currently positioned
c. How long your website has been around
d. What your competitors are doing and where their websites sit
Can you get me in position 1?
This is one of the questions above that I wanted to highlight more as it’s one I feel passionate about. And I quite often hear other SEO professionals promise businesses position 1.
In my opinion, no one should be promising position 1 as many factors contribute to this. And if they’ve promised it in initial discussions, then it’s unethical, in my opinion.
If an SEO expert does promise position 1, I’d be questioning what sort of tactics they use. Tactics are a crucial aspect as you don’t want any black hat SEO techniques used and end up with a penalty – as that’s just a huge headache to fix.
When business owners tell me that they have been promised position 1, my first question is always:
- For what? I can’t stress this one enough
- Is it a keyword that’s going to be beneficial to you?
- Will it bring sufficient traffic to your website?
- Will it bring the right traffic? This is important as if it’s not the right traffic, then all you’re going to do is get a higher bounce rate which you don’t want.
If the company won’t be transparent and provide solid statics and explain them too. Then run! There are some huge red flags for you.
How do you know the SEO expert you’ve hired will do a good job?
You honestly don’t know for sure. But you can do a lot of checks and balances and due diligence.
- Have a phone or Zoom meeting with them
- Check them out online to see what others say about them.
- Are they ethical and honest?
- How do they communicate – this is always a big one for me. As if their communication is lacking before I’ve even signed, it always makes me think what it will be like after I’ve committed.
- What’s their contract say – check out the fine print.
Some SEO professionals like to use 12 month contracts, and I can understand this as you want your client to be committed.
SEO isn’t an overnight success.
It takes time to rank and work your way up the search results, and a contract is one way of showing that clients are in it for the long term.
But a 12 month contract can also be detrimental for you, the client, if the SEO expert isn’t doing what they said they were going to do and aren’t getting you any results. Which unfortunately does happen. (Not with me, of course).
Who wants to be locked into a contract in that instance? I wouldn’t want to be, so I don’t make my clients.
All my SEO services operate on a month by month basis. Clients that way stay with me because they want to and are happy with the service and results they’re getting. Not because they’re locked into a contract. So, win/win in my books.
Consider how you like to work?
This is an important one in my books too. Although not for results but if you’re going to be working closely with someone long term, you want to ensure you’re a good fit. And depending on how you like to work, this may be a contributing factor as to whether they’re the right business for you.
- Are you someone that likes to meet in person, in which case locally would be needed?
- Do Zoom meetings tick your boxes?
- Is email communication your thing?
- Or do you like to pick up the phone, or is the phone not your thing at all?
I often have face-to-face meetings with my Hobart SEO clients, but I offer Zoom meetings for my clients located in Melbourne, Sydney, and Brisbane. (On a side note – I’ve just realised all my clients are located on the eastern side of Australia).
What’s next for your SEO journey?
Tell me in the comments below where you’re at in your SEO journey. Have you worked with SEO professionals before? Have you tried to go it alone and DIY your SEO?
Would you like an SEO consultation for your business? Send me an email or give me a call and let’s tee up a time to talk about your business and where your website is at.