Lately I’ve been browsing the SEO blogs for the advice they provide to clients and business owners on how to select the right SEO Consultants and vendors for their website or company. I see that the advice they provide is published back in 2013 and people have learned a lot since then. So the set of questions that will help you diverse the good SEOs from the bad ones have changed a bit. So here is what you should ask:
1. What do you need from me?
A good SEO will ask you the right questions to make a good SEO Audit for your website. So if you get questions such as: “How much are you willing to spend?- on your first meeting, you should postpone making a decision about this vendor for a while. The SEO person should have a proper process in place that does not involve budget right away. The SEO person should be able to tell you what you need. That is what makes her/him a Consultant.
2. May I see your results, clients list and recommendations?
This is a classic, but still works. A good SEO has results to show off. Testimonials and recommendations are always good to see. Make sure you get in contact with those people and ask the source of the recommendation for an honest opinion.
3. What’s your opinion on the latest updates?
Here you’ll see how informed this vendor is about the latest Google updates and if they have developed an opinion about it. Good professionals know right away how an update may harm or benefit their projects. Make a little research about the latest movements Google made and play dumb:). If you get a surprised face, walk away.
4. What is that you are planning to do?
This is a general question that should get the other side to explain their strategy. If they start presenting a plan before your SEO Audit is done, you’ll know that this is just a show. A good SEO would never get into a strategy presentation without reviewing your website performance first. A good move would be to get a plan of activities or a SEO process presentation at that moment so you’ll know how this cooperation will evolve.
5. What will your strategy be based on?
A good SEO would not dare to present a strategy at a first meeting. On contrary he/she will explain how dependable strategy is on analysis. But the bases of every strategy is an attribute that works best according to search engines guidelines. The last couple of years Google has launched several updates that have made SEO a though business. Search engines demand a steady growth, authority and relevancy. So a great deal of the SEO strategy will depend on the content generation strategy. The strategy tactics will focus on the quality content distribution to the right places where your target audience is. If you get a fast link building strategy promising 200 high quality backlinks in a week for $50- walk away. If it looks too good to be true, it probably is.
So the strategy here is to ask general question and let them talk. Stay still and evaluate. If the answers are to precise for a first meeting – that’s dim, just a show off. If the answers are carefully selected and present a process and organization, that may be a dependable SEO.