10 Questions to Ask When Hiring an SEO Consultant

For most businesses, their website is of significant importance, not only for selling directly, but also to show off products, boost your branding and as a general point of contact for customers and potential customers. So it is essential that your website can be found easily – even by people who didntt even know that they were looking for you in particular!

The best way for businesses to be found online is through ranking up near to the top of search engine (such as Google, or Bing) listings. And the best way to get your website up near to the top of the list is through SEO – search engine optimization.


In-Person Meetings are Key

You should be able to meet with your SEO Consultant in-person and define goals, strategies, and tactics before entering into an agreement.

Hiring for SEO

There is a lot that a business or individual can do to help their website in terms of SEO – writing regular, interesting or useful blogs, for example. But there are some things that are better left to the experts.

For those who are looking to create, re-vamp, or are just looking for help to get their website somewhere near the top of search results, a good suggestion might be to hire an SEO consultant. Before hiring an SEO firm, you should have an idea about how you want your website to look and work and any issues that you already know that you have with SEO.

In terms of when to hire an SEO professional, it is best at the beginning stages, so that you and they can get everything set up properly without the need to go back and change things all of the time.

When you are thinking about hiring an SEO firm, there are some important questions that you need answered. Here are 10 of them:

  1. Will the SEO agency provide a list of references and current clients? These can help you to understand how well the consultant works both technically and in relation to their customers. This is a good indicator that they can actually do what they say they can do.
  2. Will the SEO agency stick to search engine's webmaster guidelines? It is vital that they do for both effective SEO and to avoid the risks of penalties and fines.
  3. How will the SEO agency improve your website? They should be able to concisely discuss the methods and processes which they will use for search engine optimization success.
  4. Will they help improve local searches? Local searches are also very important especially for smaller business who rely on local trade, so it is vital that the SEO consultant is experienced in improving local search.
  5. Will the SEO agency guarantee top spot on the search engines? This is a somewhat trick question, as if they answer `yes’, you know that you can`t trust them. No-one can ever guarantee top spot. Never.
  6. How will the SEO agency measure success? It is important that you know how your SEO consultant will be measuring success, to ensure that it will work for you and your business.
  7. How will the SEO agency share the changes that they make? An SEO consultant will be likely to make a number of changes to your website – in pages, titles, pictures, content, or even adding content etc. If you want to be made aware of the changes that they will be making, you need to make sure that they are aware of this.
  8. How will the SEO agency communicate and when? You need to know what to expect in terms of how and how often they will communicate with you.
  9. How are payments and terms structured? It is vital that you understand how, when and how much your payments are, as well as be clear about what the terms are.
  10. What happens at the end? When your contract is over, you need to make sure that all of the content is owned by you – as well as be sure that they won`t remove anything before they go.

Finding the right SEO consultant is important for businesses to be able to get the right results. With this checklist, you will start to be able to find the consultant who can make it happen for you – the way that you want it to.

Steven Matt

I am the Director of Digital Marketing at one of the world’s largest financial institutions. I teach Digital Marketing courses to small businesses on behalf of the NYC government and General Assembly in NYC. I am a graduate of Pratt Institute in Brooklyn with a Bachelors degree in Communications Design. I have a Masters degree in Management and Technology from New York University. In my spare time, I organize volunteer glass cleanups in NYC parks and I make jewelry out of the broken glass that I and the volunteers collect. I sell the designs at an artisan market in Brooklyn.