Updated: Sep 10
If you're like most business owners, you want to make sure that your website is performing to the best of its ability. One way to do this is by working with an SEO consultant. However, before you do that, there are a few key questions you should ask them. By asking the right questions, you can get a better understanding of what they can do for your website and whether or not they are the right fit for your company.
So, what are the top 5 questions you should ask an SEO Consultant? Let’s start with the foundation:
1. What is your experience with SEO?
When you are looking for someone to help you with your website's SEO, it is important to understand their background. How many years have they been doing SEO? Have they worked in an agency setting? How long have they been an independent freelancer/consultant? See if they have experience in your industry and if so, what they were able to accomplish for similar clients.
It is important to note that an SEO will often have a focus within the trade they most proficient at. For example, some are better at local SEO versus ecommerce SEO, others better at on-site optimizations versus off-site. Have a baseline understanding of what you need before going into your intro call so you can vet the SEO consultant quickly and efficiently.
2. What is your approach to SEO?
When you are looking for someone to help you with your website's SEO, it is important to ask what their approach is. This will help you know what they plan to do and what kind of results you can expect.
You don’t need to have a good foundational knowledge of SEO to gauge whether or not the consultant knows what they are talking about. If they can’t clearly explain their strategy in a way that demonstrates that they’ve done this before, it is likely that you won’t see great results from them. When an SEO consultant has put in the hours and run tests on their work, they often have strategies and success stories that they are delighted to share with anyone who asks.
3. What are some of the most important ranking factors?
When it comes to SEO, there are a number of ranking factors that can make a big difference in how your website performs. Here are a few of the most important ones:
Quality content: This is one of the most important factors, as Google wants to provide its users with the best possible results. If you have high-quality content, your website is more likely to rank higher.
Internal links: Internal links are another important factor, as they help Google determine the structure of your website.
External links: External links help Google determine the authority of your website. Each reputable website linking back to yours, is a vote of confidence from Google’s perspective.
User engagement: This is another factor that Google takes into consideration when ranking websites. If people are spending a lot of time on your website, converting and sharing what they see, it will rank higher.
4. How do you measure success?
One of the most important things to look for when working with an SEO consultant is how they measure success. Different consultants may use different metrics, so it is important to ask what they use to determine if their efforts are successful. Some of the most common metrics include:
Rankings: This is one of the most common ways to measure SEO success, as it gives you an idea of how your website is performing relative to others.
Traffic: This is another common metric that SEO consultants use to measure success. By tracking the number of visitors to your website, you can get a better idea of how well your SEO efforts are working.
Conversions & Conversion Rate: This measures the percentage of visitors to your website who take a desired action, such as signing up for a newsletter or making a purchase. By tracking this metric, you can see how well your SEO efforts are helping you achieve your business goals.
The quality of your metrics is what will matter most. For example, all three of the common metrics listed above can show significant increases YOY, but what’s important are the details. Did traffic and conversions actually increase because of branded traffic tied to offline initiatives? Did average keyword visibility climb for your tracked list because a few high funnel, high volume keywords related to blog posts move onto page one?
A good SEO Consultant will not get too reliant on high-level metrics. They’ll also report on focused initiatives and show the results of recently completed work. What’s more, they wont shy away from reporting on what’s not working and will be ready with a plan in place to address it.
5. Can you provide examples of your work?
Seeing what an SEO Consultant has completed in the past will give you a good idea of what you can expect from them. However, don’t get too caught up in the metrics, focus more so on HOW those metrics were obtained. Does the work completed align with your brand vision? Ask how the SEO would integrate a similar strategy on your site. Depending on your CMS, there may be limitations and stylistic considerations you'll want to address before moving forward.
Asking these questions will help you get a better understanding of what an SEO Consultant can do for your website and whether or not they are the right fit for the job. If you have any other questions that you think are important, be sure to ask those as well. By asking the right questions, you can increase your chances of finding your ideal partner.