Businesses often get taken in when their SEO consultant claims to create more back-links, or simply offers cheaper services. The truth is that good search engine optimization requires actual efforts, which cannot come cheap. While most consultants will assert that they can take your business to the top of the rankings, there are actual ways to know whether they can. Here is a detailed list of things you should consider when hiring an SEO consultant.
What types of SEO consultancy do you need?
Broadly, there are 3 kinds of SEO services. While individual SEO consultants are freelancers, SEO agencies have teams of experts that can be hired by businesses. The third category is in-house SEO teams, which can be hired for large businesses, but which can also be unaffordable at times. Based on what kind of consultancy you need out of the first two categories, there are some things to consider before hiring.
Their current and past clients
You conduct research on everything or everyone you buy or hire. The same goes for SEO services. Look for reviews, case studies, testimonials, and any remarkable past/present clients. Another important question to ask is about clients they’ve had their longest associations with.
Their strategy for improving your search engine rankings
Brush aside any SEO consultants that are reluctant to share their strategies beforehand. Not only this, consultants should be able to offer realistic estimations of how long it would take for their promised results to be achieved. Invite technical reviews of your company website and initial proposals. Finally, ask them whether they provide off-page optimization, in addition to on-page optimization.
Their adherence to Google’s webmaster guidelines
Google releases about 500 updates in its algorithm, on a yearly basis, and it is only to provide better searches. Sites that violate rules are penalized by Google, via its Panda and Penguin algorithms. Shady SEO firms can undo all the good work done to your site just for short-term results.
Their transparency with changes made to the site
SEO will require making several changes to the web page coding of a business. It will be important for you, as well, to know about the kind of changes made to your web page. Ask prospective SEO consultants whether they will add new title tags or modify the current ones, or whether they will offer additional copywriting.
Their payment terms
It is crucial to know when and how much exactly you will need to pay. Surveys have found that 7 out of 10 SEO consultants charge you on individual projects. Retainers will charge on a monthly basis. Ask how frequently the payments will have to be made.
What after the contract is over?
This is an important question from the point of view of security. Most SEO services would want to sign a contract for a certain period of time. It would take time for them to make changes and for these changes to work. Know in advance what stands to happen, should your company run into a financial crisis and cannot afford their services. You could also want to terminate the contract because of unsatisfactory work.
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