Finding a qualified search marketing consultant to help you run your website’s SEO campaign is no easy task. There are many snake oil salesmen out there that will say or do anything to get you to sign that dotted line. If you want to avoid throwing money out the window, it’s essential to find an ethical, qualified search marketing consultant with a proven track record in the industry. When you’re interviewing different consultants and researching your options, be sure to ask these 10 questions so you can find someone who’s qualified and knowledgeable about the industry.
- How do you build links to a website?
Link building is an extremely important aspect of search marketing, so the search marketing consultant you hire should have several strategies in mind for how he plans to obtain backlinks. Some effective link building strategies include social media marketing, linkbaiting, directory submissions, article marketing, and PR.
- Do you have your own websites or blogs?
A search marketing consultant who markets his own websites or blogs will generally be more familiar with tricks of the trade because he spends so much time testing out new tactics for building links and generating traffic to promote his own websites. Your website will benefit from the consultant’s knowledge because he will apply proven strategies to your search marketing campaign.
- What SEO tools do you use?
Any search marketing consultant who is worth his salt will have several SEO tools in his arsenal, such as tools for researching keywords, tracking links, and identifying bad redirects. Find out what tools the consultant uses and how he uses them. Are you using Social media tools like Facebook, linkedin lead generation tool, Instagram, Reddit etc.
- Can you describe a successful SEO campaign that you have worked on recently?
A search marketing consultant who has a proven track record should have plenty of stories to tell about the search marketing campaigns he’s worked on previously.
- What changes will you make to my website?
Making changes to the structure and content of your website is crucial to improving its search engine ranking. Find out exactly what changes the search marketing consultant plans to make with your website. In addition, visit websites that he’s optimized in the past so you can see what SEO tactics he’s applied.
- What ranking guarantees do you provide?
Turn around and run in the other direction if a search marketing consultant promises you the #1 search engine result or a top page ranking. No matter how talented an SEO consultant is, he cannot guarantee rankings because search engines are owned by search companies and nobody else. And besides, attracting more relevant website traffic and converting more targeted, qualified leads is more beneficial than an impressive ranking.
- What reports and communications will I receive?
Before hiring a search marketing consultant, find out what types of reports you will receive and how often you will receive them. The consultant you hire should send you reports on a weekly, monthly, and quarterly basis to inform you of all of the changes being made to your site, when they are applied, and why. SEO is an ongoing task, so it’s essential that you know what strategies are being used and how they are being adjusted over time.
- What services do your packages include?
A search marketing consultant should provide you with a clear description of the services he provides and how much they cost. If you need other online marketing services in addition to SEO, such as help with PPC, email marketing campaigns, and social media optimization, it may be worthwhile to find a consultant who also provides these services. A consultant with broad knowledge and skills in online marketing will serve as a one-stop shop for all of your online marketing needs, therefore saving you time and money.
- Ask them for testimonials
Speaking with a consultant’s previous clients is a great way to find out how he works and whether his work is up to par.
- When will I start to see results?
Generally, it takes 4-12 weeks for an SEO campaign to achieve results because natural link building takes time. Be wary of consultants that promise you instant results!