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10 Questions to Ask When Hiring an SEO

How will you improve my search engine rankings?

A red flag should go off if a potential SEO will not freely discuss their methods in detail. The SEO should explain what strategies will be used to drive up your website’s search engine ranking. They should also provide an estimated and realistic time frame for how long it will take to achieve these goals.

Do you follow the search engine’s webmaster guidelines?

Make sure your potential SEO follows the webmaster guidelines and is aware of the 13 SEO tricks that are prohibited by Google. If these guidelines are not followed your ranking will suffer and you could risk being banned all together.

Can you guarantee my website will achieve a #1 ranking on Google, Bing and Yahoo?

This is clearly a trick question. If the candidate answers yes, have your running shoes ready and don’t look back. Don’t trust anyone that claims to have insider relationships with the big search engines and that they will boost your ranking sky high. Only Google, Bing, and Yahoo can determine your ranking.

Can you provide references?

References can be a great gauge of how effective the SEO candidate is. The reference will most likely not provide specific analytics, but they should at least be able to tell you if they saw any positive impacts on their search ranking, conversion and audience.

How do you measure the success of your SEO campaigns?

Your SEO should be experienced in using Google analytics. They should be able to adequately track improvement in your sites search engine ranking, links, kind of keywords and much more. 

What happens when we part ways?

It is important that you still maintain ownership of all optimized web content you paid for, after your relationship has ended with your SEO.

Your contract should state that once the relationship is terminated the SEO would not make any changes or remove any content they added on your behalf.

Do you have any other clients in my industry?

It is not a good idea to hire an SEO who actively has customers competing against each other. Most ethical SEO will not work for competing websites in the same industry.

Does my site need a redesign?

Website design flaws are not only visually unappealing they can cause confusion amongst your users. User confusion will affect your conversion rate and overall ranking. Your website should make it simple for your users to do what they came there to do and look pleasing to the eye at the same time.

Your potential SEO’s proposal should include an initial technical review to suss out any broken links or error pages. It should also include a on page optimization to make sure your website is as search engine friendly as possible. This step is very important and checks your URL, internal linking structure, web page titles, headings and tags.

What is your link building strategy?

If a potential SEO guarantees you a certain number of links per month, you should run. There have recently been several search engine updates that have penalized and even banned sites that have purchased or unnatural links. The only way to generate quality links is through producing unique content that people will want to link to naturally.

How long until I start seeing results?

It really depends on what type of SEO you are doing. You should expect to see at least a two-month wait to see results in most SEO projects. If a potential SEO claims they can gain you top ranking in a few days that should be an instant red flag, grab those running shoes.