If done right, SEO can get your website ranking higher in search engines which generally leads to more traffic, a larger audience, and an increase in sales leads, but the success of your SEO efforts greatly depends on finding the right provider. When searching for the expert that’s right for you, it’s important to create a healthy dialogue to ensure all of your questions and concerns are addressed; after all, you’re putting quite a bit of trust in someone to help you boost your brand. To help you feel comfortable and assured that you have all of the information to make the right decision, here are a few starter questions to ask your potential candidate:
Do you have references?
As with any service, speaking to past or current clients of a provider can help give you a clear idea of what to expect. Are deadlines met on time? Are the delivered results harmonious with what was originally promised? How is the communication? These are the types of questions that will help you make the best decision, and while some companies prefer to keep their SEO campaigns private and confidential, an experienced industry expert should have at least one client willing to put in a good word.
When will I begin to see improvements in my rankings?
The answer to this can be estimated, but it cannot be set in stone. The reason for this is that there is no guarantee that search engines will crawl and index your website by a specific date, and even when this does happen, there’s no way to predict exactly when the changes will be applied to ranking algorithms. With dedicated efforts, a boost in rankings (as a result of ethical SEO practices) can usually be seen within 4-6 weeks, but anyone who promises anything definite is probably just trying to snag you as a client.
How will you keep me in the loop, and how will I know what my money is going towards?
It’s important to understand both how the communication will work and how the results will be delivered before you agree to sign on with an SEO specialist or agency. Since it does take a bit of time for white-hat, sustainable methods to have a direct benefit, it’s essential you know how your investment will be initially implemented. Generally speaking, weekly or monthly written reports can clear up how your resources are being utilized, what your current analytics are, if/how they’ve changed, and what work needs to be done to get those numbers to an ideal spot. Also, agreeing on deadlines for deliverables (i.e. receiving a technical analysis of your site by the first week) will help you know things are steadily moving forward.
Do you specialize in one branch of SEO, or can you help me cover all of the bases?
There are many sub categories of search engine optimization; local, content, technical, on-page, off-page, etc. are common terms that you’ll hear being passed around in the industry, and typically speaking, it takes an amalgamation of most (if not all) of these to get a company site to rank number one and stay there. There are many firms that specialize in one area, but if you’re starting from scratch or trying to heal poor practices from the past, you’ll have a greater chance of receiving all of the benefits SEO can offer if you invest in someone who encompasses knowledge in all of these areas.
What techniques will you be using to help my rankings?
Even if your understanding of how SEO works is very limited, this is still a good question to ask; first off, it will help weed out the few who still use shady methods (such as keyword stuffing or article farms), and secondly, any reliable specialist shouldn’t have a problem being a little transparent. Just like a good doctor explains to his/her client how a medical procedure will work before starting in, you want to hire someone who takes the time to ensure that you have a basic grasp of what will be done on behalf of your company. This helps you become an active participant in the process, and it allows you to stop and ask questions about something you might be concerned about before it goes into motion.
Also, the more detailed and customized your expert is willing to take your campaign, the more advantageous it will be for your company long-term; this might help clarify why some search engine optimization companies charge only a few hundred dollars for basic strategies and others charge higher rates for a complex approach that’s molded to fit the needs of your specific brand and industry.
It’s fairly well known now that SEO is necessary to create a high level of online visibility, especially for brands in competitive niches, and our team at Websnare, Inc. wants all of our clients to have full faith in our services and abilities. We sincerely care about advancing the web presence of each company we work with, and we’ll be happy to answer these questions, as well as any others that cross your mind, if you’d like to set up a consultation with us!