For many people, search engine optimization is a very elusive field of internet marketing. Due to the general lack of information of people about SEO, it is a fertile ground for charlatans, frauds and simply incompetent people who advertise themselves as SEO experts and want to take your good money for their sub-par services. In this article we will try to suggest some possible questions you can ask at the interview when you decide whether to hire an SEO consultant. If the answer to any of these questions is unsatisfactory according to your criteria, you will know that you are not talking with the right candidate.
Ask for references and testimonials
If your future consultant is someone in whose abilities you are supposed to have trust, ask if he can name you a couple of past clients which could confirm their services were satisfactory and give recommendation. Although clients of SEO experts do not like to talk about this in public, in private conversation they will most likely be willing to tell you their opinion about your candidate.
Inquire about the ranking of the consultant’s web site
The most natural thing in the world is to expect an SEO expert’s website to rank well in Google. If this is not the case, something must be wrong with their skills. However, try not to form too harsh criteria because SEO companies all do their SEO, and the bigger ones naturally do it better. This means that the first page of Google will probably be reserved for the big fish and the rest, which might even possess quality, will have to be satisfied with larger number pages. Bear in mind that this still doesn’t mean your consultant should be on page 10.
How optimized is your potential expert’s website?
Ask the expert to illustrate some of their optimization techniques on the example of their own website. Similar to the ranking principle, a website which advertises SEO services needs to be perfectly optimized. The difference between ranking and optimization, however, lies in the fact that there is no excuse for your website not to be as optimized as the website of the highest ranking competitor. In this case everyone has equal opportunities and has to be judged equally.
Ask about the consultant’s career history
You will want to know if your potential candidate has published any books so far, presented at some conferences or did something else which would serve as a proof of his experience. SEO business heavily depends on the experience of ones who do it and you should hire only the best you can find.
Ask about price and the way you would be charged
The last tip will be about the price. This is perhaps counter intuitive, but you are not supposed to search for the candidate with the lowest offer. Of course you are not supposed to hire the most expensive expert, but picking the cheapest one will usually mean you are about to get cheap service, too. Small price usually means that the expert is outsourcing the work, which is rarely a good thing.