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Jan 31, 2013

Questions To Ask A Prospective SEO Consultant or Agency

You run a business. You know you need to rank high in Google to get the all important traffic and conversions coming your way on your site. You don’t have time to learn the intricacies of SEO, and keep on top of the rapid change that mark the search optimisation industry.

There’ll probably come a point where you have to bite the bullet and hire either an SEO consultant or a fully fledged digital marketing agency to take care of your organic search results.

Before you take the leap and sign up with an SEO partner you need to make sure you go into it with your eyes open. As such there are a range of questions you should be asking any potential consultant.

How Long Have You Been Doing SEO?

The first and most obvious question to ask is “How Long Have You Been Doing SEO”. Although it’s not imperative that you get the world’s foremost expert on SEO as your consultant, especially as a smaller business, you certainly don’t want an amateur or first timer working on your site.

Who Are Your Clients?

Following on from this a natural question to ask is “What sort of clients have you worked with” – any SEOs worth their salt should be able to provide a few clients from a range of industries. It’s important to also check for how long they've been working with these clients. Long term relationships suggest good retention rates, a sign of great service in the past from the SEO consultant.

Testimonials Please!

Questions to ask a prospective SEO consultant or agency
If the potential SEO consultant is really awesome they’d be happy to back up their claims with case-studies and testimonials, so it’s definitely worth asking for them. A case study should highlight the great work they have done for clients in the past, and testimonials from a managing director or decision maker at another business is further validation that they know their stuff. If they are cagey about naming past clients, that should certainly sound alarm bells.

Knowledge Levels

It is also important to conduct a primary assessment of their technical skills. A consultant bidding for your business should be happy to provide a health check on your site for free. This document should contain a top level analysis of your site, with recommendations on the areas that need improvement. Always get any consultant to perform a health check, and have a good read of it – assess their language and recommendations, and maybe do a bit of research on SEO basics online to see if they know their stuff. You should be able to work out the higher quality consultants by comparing their health checks.

As with all business dealings in life, it’s best to go into the hiring of an SEO consultant with your eyes open. Ask all the questions and ask to see previous results and clients – if they are apprehensive about providing these I’d recommend walking in the other direction.


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