10 Questions You Need to Ask Any SEO (Before Work-ing With Them)

More and more business owners are turning to the internet as a route to market their product or service. As a result, businesses are in need of SEO (Search Engine Optimisation/Optimiser) services to help with generating targeted traffic and a strong online presence.

As with any industry, there are SEO’s that are worth every $ and there are many that are just interested in your money.

In order for you not to get burned if you decide to seek an SEO, here are 10 excellent tips on how to determine whether an SEO is worthy or not:

1) Ask what in-house sites they promote and where they rank in Yahoo and Google for which keyword terms. Any SEO who knows their stuff will have their own portfolio of sites. If they don’t, this is immediately a red flag.

2) Check their sites by typing the keyword(s) in each search engine, take note of the amount of results/competition (In Google, you will see the number of results in the top right-hand corner of the search results) In general, the higher amount of searches, the more difficult it is to reach to the top. Above 50,000,000 search results is a good sign.

3) Ask the SEO why they want to work on client’s sites rather than his own. Do they want to gain more experience within different industries or don’t they like the commitment of working on their own sites?

4) Find out what techniques they use to generate inbound links – Manual or Organic? Anyone can manually build inbound links (there’s nothing wrong with this technique). However, a good SEO will concentrate more of their efforts on generating organic links via quality content, social media/bookmarking sites. Find out what ideas they have for your site. Ask to look at their previous link building strategies and results.

5) The simple marketing test: If you have a set of links in your navigation bar, ask them their thoughts on what order they should be in and why. This will show if the SEO puts the end-user experience first, and you will also see some of their marketing thoughts and styles.

6) Find out exactly what you get for your money and the timelines they will be delivered in. Will the SEO work on a performance basis?

7) If possible, try to arrange a face-to-face meeting or at least a telephone conversation. Do they sound enthusiastic about SEO, online marketing? Have they got good ideas that will help grow your online business? Do your personalities match?

Ask how many other clients they’re currently working with, how many staff they have (if any). This will give you a good indication if they will be able to put the required level of commitment/effort into your project.

9) Are their rates too low? This may sound crazy, but any SEO worth their weight in gold will not offer rates lower than what they can generate by promoting their own portfolio of sites. Why would he?

10) Ask the above 9 questions to at least 3 SEO’s, more if time permits. You will get a good feel for what SEO’s can add value to your business from the questions above.

I hope the above will prevent you selecting an SEO that is just out to make a quick buck from inexperienced webmasters.

Good luck!