If your business’ website doesn’t show up on the first page of Google, Yahoo, or Bing search results, your potential clients or customers might not even know you exist. Increasing search engine visibility can be essential in getting more visits to the site, leading to better brand awareness and more sales.
The problem comes when you don’t have the technical expertise and time to improve the search engine ranking of your site, but that can be resolved by hiring an SEO consulting company with a team of experts to get the job done right. Of course, choosing which SEO consulting company isn’t exactly an easy task. It’s not something that should be taken lightly, requiring time and effort to choose one that will give you the best possible return on your investment.
That means you’ll want to ask plenty of questions, including these when considering potential companies.
Does your company always adhere to webmaster guidelines set by the search engines?
It’s critical that the SEO consultant company staffs experts who always abide by the search engines’ publicly posted webmaster best practices, such as Google outlines here. Google highlights that using illicit practices can lead to a site being removed entirely from the Google index or negatively affected by manual spam or algorithmic action, resulting in a dismally low ranking. There are a dozen common SEO tricks that are specifically prohibited, such as spammy content and bogus links.
Can you guarantee that you’ll get my site on the first page of search results?
While you might think the answer should be yes, the reality is, any company that promises a specific traffic level or ranking isn’t being truthful, they’re either doing something shady or outright lying. The best answer is something like, “We’re confident based on our past work that we can help you achieve your business goals, but it’s never something that can be guaranteed.” The agency should also work with you to forecast general scenarios based on strategy, your competition, and your budget.
Has your company worked with businesses like mine?
One of the simplest ways to determine whether or not an SEO consulting company can handle your needs is to ask for returns that can be demonstrated in the same niche. The best answers to that question are either “Yes, and here are some examples,” or “No, but we have worked with organizations in similar situations, here’s how.”
If they haven’t done either, that shouldn’t necessarily disqualify them right away, you simply want to find out if your business is a fit with their company. However, if you’re in a niche with strict legal requirements that can be tricky such as law or pharmaceuticals that must be aware of governmental restrictions, the company will need time to learn what’s acceptable and what isn’t.
How has SEO evolved over the years?
This question is incredibly important because any good SEO consulting agency should be current on SEO strategies and how they’ve evolved. They should know all about the timelines of key changes to search on Google and their names. Being able to explain how the changes have impacted the way SEO is done in a way that you can understand is also essential. Simply telling you that they watch videos and read industry blogs doesn’t really tell you anything.