If your website doesn’t appear on the first page of Google, Bing, or Yahoo search results, your potential customers may not even know it exists. Better search engine visibility is essential to increase website traffic, which can increase brand awareness and increase sales and profits.
But what if you lack the time and technical expertise to improve your website’s search engine ranking? It may make sense to hire an experienced and trustworthy search engine optimization (SEO) consultant.
Here are basic questions to ask yourself when considering a potential SEO consultant:
Can I provide a list of current and past clients?
Recognized SEO consultants should be happy to share a shortlist of current and former clients and their contact information, said Vanessa Fox, author of the book Marketing in the Google Age (Wiley, 2012) and founder of Nine By Blue. SEO software provider in Seattle.
These references can help you evaluate the effectiveness of the candidate and verify that the person is actually involved in particular SEO activity. Fox said customers may not provide specific analysis, but they should at least be able to tell you if they have seen a positive impact on their search rankings, especially in terms of conversion and audience acquisition. This is a direct result of the efforts of the consultant
How will it improve my search engine rankings?
Stay away from SEO consultants who are not free to discuss their methods in detail. Rand Fishkin warns that he is the founder of Moz, an online marketing software company based in Seattle, and the Art of Search Engine Optimization (O’Reilly, 2012) Co-author. They should explain the strategies they will use to improve your site’s search engine rankings and estimate how long it will actually take to achieve the SEO campaign goals you agree with.
Ensure that the candidate’s proposal includes a preliminary technical review of your website to rule out any issues that may reduce your search engine rankings, including broken links and error pages. The consultant must also provide “page” optimization, which is a process of making your website as search engine friendly as possible. It involves improving your website URL and internal link structure, as well as developing page titles, titles, and tags.
In addition, ask the consultant if they provide an “off-page” search engine optimization strategy to publish your content on other websites, usually through blogs, social media platforms, and press releases.
Do you follow the search engine webmaster guidelines?
You need a consultant who strictly adheres to Google’s publicly published best practices for webmasters, which explicitly prohibits 12 common SEO techniques, including automatically generating spam and adding false hidden text and links. If the candidate does not follow these guidelines, your website may be relegated to a sadly low search result ranking. Or, to make matters worse, Google may ban it completely in search results.
Bing and Yahoo also published webmaster best practices that consultants should confirm that they follow.
Can you guarantee that my website ranks first in Google, Bing, and Yahoo?
If the candidate answers “yes”, Fox will warn: “Turn in the other direction as quickly as possible.” He said that while it is impossible to guarantee a first-place on any search engine, some unethical SEO consultants do. Such a bogus guarantee was given.
If a candidate claims to have an internal relationship with Google or any other search engine that allows them to rank in priority search results, it is considered a red flag. Only Google, Bing, and Yahoo can control how high or low a website appears in search results.
Do you have experience improving local search results?
Appearance in the top results of local search engines is especially important for small entities trying to attract close customers, Rand said. You need a consultant who is experienced in local SEO techniques.
If your website is optimized for so-called “local SEO,” it will appear when people around you search for keywords related to your business. To do this, consultants need to add the city and state where their business is located to their website title tags and meta descriptions and make their website appear on local Bing, Google, and Yahoo lists, which serve specific geographic areas The company’s online catalog area.
Will you share with me all the changes you made to my website?
Search engine optimization will likely require some coding changes to your existing web page. It is important to know exactly what adjustments the consultant plans to make and how many pages it will make. If you want candidates to get your permission before accessing and changing your website code, be sure to indicate this.
For example, will the consultant add a new title tag to their existing HTML code or modify the existing one? Will they provide additional copywriting content to highlight your products and services to increase the number of viewable page keywords relevant to your potential customers? Are you planning to totally or partially redesign your website navigation or add new pages to your website?
How do you measure the success of SEO activities?
To measure the success of an SEO effort, you must accurately track the traffic sent to your website and its origin. The consultant must have extensive experience using Google Analytics to track the improvement of the search engine ranking of your website, the number of links from other websites, the generation of traffic to your website, and the types of keywords search engines use to find your website.
Be sure to ask how often they plan to share these important insights with you and how they will use this data to continually improve their search engine rankings and website traffic.
How will we communicate and how often? 4,444 SEO consultants differ in their communication methods and customer service standards. You need to find the person who best meets your needs.
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