If you’re not on the first page or two of Google, in the minds of your prospects, your business might as well be invisible. But although improving your search engine ranking can potentially increase your conversions and sales, it is a long-term strategy and the results won’t be visible overnight.
Furthermore, it requires in-depth technical expertise, which may lead you to seek out SEO (search engine optimization) specialists. But before you hire one, it’s important to know what to expect, since if it’s done wrong, search engine optimization can do more harm than good, and may even penalize your site’s ranking.
Here’s what to ask before you take the next steps:
How Will You Specifically Improve My Search Rankings?
If the SEO specialist you’re interviewing can not give you specific, concrete steps and instead says something like, “we’ll be using paid ads”, it’s best to look elsewhere. Chances are they will be using paid ads, but without a direct, step-by-step strategy in place in terms of how many ads, what landing pages they’re going to, how much you’ll be expected to pay and what are the expected results, it will seem like they’re throwing a lot of your money at a wall and hoping some of it sticks.
Can You Guarantee Me a #1 Ranking?
Run for the hills if they tell you that they can, or that they have some sort of insider relationship with Google. The fact is that Google (and other search engines) are powered by hundreds of algorithms that are tweaked every single day and likely several times a day in order to deliver more relevant sites to users based on their searches.
No one person can guarantee anything when it comes to specific ranking, and those that do may be using harmful tactics that could get your site permanently blacklisted from appearing in the search engines at all.
Can You Improve My Local Search Results?
Another helpful question, particularly if you run a brick and mortar store, surrounds local search engine optimization, which although similar, follows a somewhat different process than ranking for specific keywords. Google My Business, for example, has a specific set of criteria that need to be followed, and savvy search engine specialists will know how to implement this to help encourage more local foot traffic to your store.
Will You Keep Me Informed About the Changes You Make to My Site?
Good SEO may require some changes to your website. For example, Google prefers mobile-optimized sites that are responsive, meaning they conform to whatever device they’re being viewed with. Google also likes sites that load fast, and in order to make these things happen, it may be necessary to make some tweaks to your site.
A good search engine consultant will keep you abreast of all the changes before and after they’re made, as well as why the changes are being made and what the intended result is after they’re implemented.
How Will You Define and Measure SEO Success?
What does your SEO specialist define as “success”? Is it a certain ranking for certain keywords? More traffic? More conversions? All of the above? Different SEO consultants measure success in different ways and understanding what constitutes success will help ensure that you are all on the same page in terms of what’s expected and what the results will be.
Other Important Questions to Ask
Of course, it should go without saying that you’ll want to nail down things like the payment terms and delivery dates. It’s also a good idea to keep the lines of communication open should an emergency arise or should you have any questions. Knowing you can reach someone in a pinch is invaluable, especially if you’re launching lots of campaigns and you’re struggling to keep track of them all.
Your Next Steps in Working with an SEO Specialist
At Workdom, you can have professional, experienced and knowledgeable SEO specialists working for you at a moment’s notice. Through our on-demand chat-based marketing service, we provide as much or as little SEO support as you need to help you grow your business.
But SEO is just the beginning! We also offer website design, paid advertising, social media, MarTech stack optimization and much more. Our goal is to bring wisdom to work to help you work smarter, not harder. Contact our advertising professionals today to learn more about how we can help you improve your SEO no matter what you have to sell!