Search Engine Optimisation has become an important part of all business and therefore ensuring that you choose the right SEO consultant will be beneficial in getting the most out of the optimisation efforts.
Before looking for the ideal consultant, understanding your company goals from SEO is important and it will help to guide you in the right direction when it comes to making a decision on the most suitable professional.
When defining SEO goals they can be classified as either good goals, or bad goals. Good goals are those that are about specific business goals including;
- We want to reach a lot of people who are interested in ‘X’ and I know a lot of people are searching for it.
- We want to boost revenue with the aim of it coming through new sales.
- We are attempting to increase the number of people who connect through our free sign-ups or trials.
All of these goals are businesses specific and not just purely data goals – they have a broader picture. Some examples of bad goals include;
- We want to increase traffic.
- We want to rank really well.
- We want to beat out Company ‘X’ in the rankings for this keyword.
SEO goals need to be driven by revenue and customers. Setting appropriate goals will be really helpful when it comes to hiring an SEO consultant.
Finding a list of 3-5 agencies is the best way to narrow it down to one that will be of most benefit for your business. Gaining an understanding and having agencies to compare to will make it easier to make the right decision. Recommendations are going to be the best way to find quality agencies and these can come from;
- Friends and personal and professional networks
- Similar companies that you do not compete with. Many businesses will engage in business to business relationships both within the same industry. Asking a non-competing business in the same of similar industry is the prefect reference.
Once you have a list of agencies that you believe will be suitable, it is time to interview with them and gain an understanding as to how they likely to go about their search engine optimisation and how they will be communicating with you throughout.
Price should always be discussed but there are a few more relationship-relevant questions that I think should be asked:
- What practices will you be inputting to achieve the goals we have set out and why?
- What is your communication and reporting process? This is important to know as it will be you that needs to understand it and pass it on. Knowing what the metrics mean and why they are important to your goals is pivotal to maintaining success.
- What work and resources are we requirement to commit internally? This is super important to understand prior to any arrangement as it may be a major factor in whether or not you go ahead with it. Some SEO consultants may expect more from you internally than others. In some cases you may not be able to provide the extra time and that can be why you’re outsourcing which would lead to a dead end.
- What do you do when things aren’t working? This is a great question to ask as it gives a good insight into the professionalism and experience of the company. Ask for specific examples to help build trust.
Generally, asking broad question too, such as their knowledge of search rank algorithms and the general SEO scape will help to inform you of their expertise and how they like to go about their optimisation. Finding a consultant that goes about things is a professional and trustworthy wat is going to be beneficial for your long term SEO.