Wednesday, 25 April 2012

Top 5 Things to Ask When Hiring an SEO Expert

5 Things to Ask When Hiring an SEO Expert

The SEO community is often considered a dubious one as many self-proclaimed search engine optimization experts fail to deliver on their promises and end up burning through their clients’ budgets without churning out real results.
Moreover, with search engines themselves often calling out these so-called SEO experts for their spam techniques and websites, it is no wonder that the online marketing community is considered shady by most. 
In addition, as more and more black hat specialists take to the web in an attempt to make some extra money, it is no wonder that real SEO experts are having to face some serious backlash when it comes to selling their services. Surprisingly enough, search engine optimization nevertheless remains a booming industry, especially now that so much business is conducted online.
As more and more examples of SEO “professionals” taking advantage of unsuspecting clients are made public, it would make sense that more organizations would feel reluctant about spending money on internet marketing. However, agencies and consultants are still in great demand as these organizations become more aware of the importance of being visible online. Consequently, there are a few things that you should always ask your prospective SEO consultant before embarking on a project that will very likely cost you a lost.
1) Examples of sites they have worked on
A good way of knowing whether your seller is actually who he says he is involves asking to see previous websites he has successfully worked on. In fact, if you are dealing with a real SEO professional, you should not even have to do so since showing their portfolio is often among the first steps of most people’s sale pitch.
However, simply looking at a few reports and files seldom suffices. It is equally important to ask them a few questions about these projects. While you may not understand most of the technical explanations, their confidence in talking about their past projects often indicates how reliable they are.
2) How they track results
Asking an SEO expert how he shows results is becoming more and more important as search engines (most notably Google) have enormously evolved. Tracking results in the past merely consisted of showing ranking reports as search engines would show the same results to each user, regardless of his location and previous searches.

As personalization came into play, this is no longer the case though and search engine results never look exactly the same to different users. The mere mention of exclusively relying on ranking reports should now be a red flag. Trustworthy SEO professionals will actually gladly explain this to you.
While each expert’s method of showing results will vary according to the project at hand, you should however make sure that traffic reports are included in the e-strategy deliverables.
3) What techniques they use
It is also important to ask what search engine optimization techniques they will use to increase your website’s visibility in search.

Your main objective here is to know if they are using spam techniques that may eventually lead to your website being banned from search engines. Knowledgeable SEO experts typically love what they do and may even ramble on about the joys of using specific techniques to consistently improve a website.
On the other hand, less reliable search professionals will run out of steam after a couple of minutes or may even try to completely avoid your question by turning your attention to something else.
4) Whether your website needs a redesign
This question is incredibly important as it is not uncommon for a website to require a complete redesign before the link building steps can begin. Since this will very likely come at an additional cost, you should clear any doubt about this as you want to know how much money you are spending on the whole project.
Reputable agencies will not fail to mention that a site redesign will come at an extra cost, but shady experts will ultimately try to add this to their quotation in dodgy ways since they are only concerned with making as much money as possible.
5) How long it will take to see results
Organic SEO is not a short term strategy and your research into what search engine optimization actually entails will no doubt show you that. It is however still very necessary to ask your prospective consultant after how long you can expect to see results.
Anybody who promises you spectacular results after a couple of days is someone that will do more harm to your website than you could ever imagine.
Although these are the most important five questions you should ask before hiring someone to deliver SEO work for your website, you must still realize that there are many other crucial questions you must get answers for. Moreover, depending on the specificities of your project, there may be additional questions you must consider to ascertain that your consultant is fully reliable before signing a contract and committing to a budget.


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