For most small to midsize business owners, the process of hiring help, including an Internet marketing consultant, can be somewhat of a daunting process. Unfortunately, many businesses simply do not know what to ask when hiring an online marketing consultant. It is actually not that much different from hiring any other professional. The key is to find an online marketing consulting firm that is qualified and will perform quality work. Below are 10 questions that can help you hire the right SEO consultancy firm to help you drive targeted traffic to your website.
1. How Long Have You Been Involved in SEO?
SEO first got started in the mid-’90s, becoming a popular career choice about 10 years later. It should always be kept in mind that SEO is not the same as web design. Make sure you find an Internet marketing consultant with specific experience in SEO.
2. What Is Your Education and Training?
While some consultants may have a college degree or certification, many of the most experienced SEO professionals will have gained their knowledge via practical application and by keeping up with industry news and attending industry conferences.
3. How Do You Stay on Top of Changing Industry Trends?
A reputable SEO consultancy firm will keep up with changing industry trends by attending conferences and reading relevant industry blogs. Make a note of those blogs and conferences mentioned by any firm you consider hiring and follow up on them to ensure they are obtaining their information from reliable sources.
4. What Is Your Approach to SEO?
While optimizing your website is a vital part of search engine optimization, it is not the only thing involved. A reputable online marketing consultant should also optimize all other areas of your business that operate online; this includes descriptions, alt tags, and citation building.
5. What Will Your Involvement Be in My Site’s Design?
If you are planning to design a new site or even have your existing website redesigned, it is also important to find out exactly how a consultant will work with your website designer. Ideally, it is best for SEO professionals to be involved with the site design process as early as possible. Doing so will help prevent traffic loss due to technical issues with the site design.
6. How Can You Help Me Get More Website Traffic?
While most Internet marketing consultants will develop custom strategies once a client has hired them, when interviewing a firm, consultants should discuss strategies that include link building, reviewing your site’s code and content, and updating content to include relevant keywords. For local businesses, it is also important to develop local search profiles on such channels as Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and Instagram.
7. What Is Your Process for Helping My Website Get Links?
Keep in mind that link building takes time and is based on building strong relationships with other website owners and bloggers. Links can be obtained naturally or by approaching other sites and asking website owners to include your site’s content due to its value. Be wary of any online marketing consultancy firm that mentions purchasing links, which will result in getting a lot of irrelevant links.
8. Do You Offer Any Guarantees?
No reliable online marketing consulting firm will provide guarantees regarding how long it will take your website to appear in search engines. Only search engines, not Internet marketing firms, control where and when a website appears.
9. What Tools Do You Use for Tracking?
Ask about the tools the firm uses for tracking your SEO results as well as social media and reputation tracking.
10. How Long Will It Take to See Results?
Any reputable firm will tell you it will take up to three months to see an improvement in website traffic while it will typically take six months or longer to see full results.
Contact MacRAE’S if you are ready to work with a Team that follows all of these best practices.