These days, a website has become essential for any business, regardless of the size or industry. But having a website is not enough. You also need to make sure it shows up on the first page of Google’s search results so that it will be visible to your target audience. And this is why you need SEO services.
But before you hire an SEO company or consultant, you need to make sure they can really help you achieve your objectives. Here are key questions to ask them:
- How do you plan to improve my Google ranking?
Google is the #1 search engine so if you’re going to focus on SEO, you better put Google above all other search engines. Ask the SEO consultant what their proposed plan is to boost your ranking. They should offer to do a thorough audit of your website so they can determine which areas need more work, and which aspects may be keeping your site from getting ranked. Stay away from SEO “experts” who refuse to discuss their methods with you.
- Can you guarantee a #1 ranking for my site?
If they answer YES, walk away. Do not deal with SEO consultants who guarantee you’ll get the top spot for your keywords. These are no more than empty promises. If they do manage to get you to the #1 spot (#1 on page 1), they are using unethical methods that will get you penalized by Google.
- Do you follow the webmaster guidelines set by the major search engines?
Google, Bing and other big search engines have guidelines that websites need to adhere to, if they want to avoid getting penalized. These rules include not trying to manipulate search engine rankings through black hat methods like spamming, hidden links, buying links, and so on.
- Can you show me your list of past and current clients?
Reputable SEO companies would not hesitate to show you who their clients are, and they can even provide you with their contact details. References help gauge how good a potential SEO firm is and how happy their clients are with the services they provide. If the company can’t provide you with any references, then move on to the next candidate.
- Do you also offer local SEO services?
If you own a local business such as a restaurant, B&B, or even a dental office, you should hire an SEO consultant that specializes in local SEO. That’s because your main target are people who live in your city. The consultant will need to modify your keywords to target those that are actually going to need your services. The consultant will also need to add your business to local listings.
- For how long will my website need SEO?
Any reputable SEO specialist will tell you that SEO is a never-ending process. It doesn’t stop the moment your website appears on the first page. If the consultant recommends you should only avail of a one-time package, then they don’t really understand the real concept of SEO.