I do believe that most of the online businesses trust on long term marketing strategies such as seo services to explore their presence and lift their exposure quotient. To bring about the task to a great execution they hire dedicated SEO consultants or agencies working successfully in the domain. But do you feel that hiring a consultant giving handsome bucks is remedy of every illness? I say no. It is very important to analyze and evaluate their worth and experience. I have decided to bring in the major attributes of an SEO consultant you should look for along with the questionnaire you should ask them.
Prepare An SEO Consultant Questionnaire
You are going to hand over your website to a person you don't know well. So, it won't be a wise decision for faith blindly in the profile and portfolio he has submitted in support of his experience. You may have a number of questions to ask him and check that whether or not he will be able to proceed your business on the track you want.
Ask If He Is Familiar With Panda/Penguin Updates:
In an era when Google has made the things tough by introducing Google Panda and Penguin updates to curb unethical SEO practices, I won't believe that a consultant quotes him unfamiliar or having the basic knowledge of the updates. These two algorithm updates have become the key players behind every individual search engine optimization process. We will discuss the nature and behavior of these updates other day. Make these updates an inevitable turf for the selection. A Good consultant must have the comprehensive knowledge and details about these updates. He should have an ability to find the right cause behind the penalty and must have an aptitude to tackle the issues as per Google standards. If he comes right on these expectations, give him a green signal else go through another profile.
Ask If He Has The Relevant Technical Experience:
As an internet marketing expert, I do believe that SEO is an art of technology and not everyone is the master. However, I admit that it is not a full-fledged technology but integrated combo of various activities together. An SEO Consultancy must be familiar with certain very important and pivotal SEO standards and basics. You can term it SEO skills if you want. The skill set includes:
- Extensive Knowledge of Meta Tags
- Theory and Technical aspects behind the server level redirections
- Information architecture to support SEO activities
- Knowledge of URL naming conventions
- Content conventions and knowledge of thin and spun content
- Ability to handle 404s and server codes
- Basic knowledge of optimized coding
- Basic knowledge of responsive web design
By listing the qualities I don't suggest that a single person should handle all the activities crudely. What I believe is that a consultant should have an idea about this stuff so that he can extend the helping hand whenever asked from his team.
Ask If He Has Upper Hand In Content Marketing:
Post-panda, it has become more evident to establish an authority on the topic. An SEO consultant or an SEO agency whichever you prefer can't do this without having a core team of SEO content writing experts, bloggers, content analysts and other content producers. SEO is living in the tough times with Panda and for a long term strategy, quality content is the backbone. Trust only on those content producers who can develop high quality and relevant content consistently. A good consultant has a team of writers who write equally well on below listed strategies.
- Viral Marketing
- Guest Posting
- Relationship Building
- Social Media Marketing
- Content Marketing
Ask If He Knows Social Media Beyond Facebook:
For an SEO, command over the facets of social media is equally important. Being an SEO expert a consultant can't underestimate the valid importance of Social Media Marketing. Social media directly impacts the ranking and exposure and helps a ton in relationship building measures. It also plays a crucial role in link building as well. A professional optimizer or consultant must understand some of the basic social media aspects to do well with the campaign.A consultant should emphasize on building influential bond with social media to invent more authentic and valuable content via social media. Having massive reach of primary social networks such as Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin and MySpace is very mandatory for a consultant as it extends an opportunity to build community, groups and networks of like minded people and professionals.
Ask If His Link Building Strategy Is Penguin Proof:
In the light of the recent Penguin update, this is a question worth asking. If you are still dancing around the decade old link building techniques, this is the high time to go ahead with advanced one for log term business results. Ask him if he still relies on one or all of the below listed activities for back linking purposes:
- Submits sites on countless and useless directories
- Submits articles to article directories
- Submits guest posts on blogs with no credibility or reach
- Still works with unethical and automated link building tools
If he answers in yes, show him the rear gate of your office. He is one who will ruin your entire campaign. An SEO Agency or consultant always uses ethical methods when it comes to building links whether reciprocal or one way. Rather acting unethically, he should do the following:
- Guest posting on only those blogs where traffic (referral and targets) is quite high
- Building relations and collaboration with influencers
- Leverage the maximum potential available in social networks, forums, and advertisements
- Using link building strategy that sends referral traffic
Ask If He Uses The Most Popular SEO Tools Available:
If a consultant doesn't use enough tools throughout the campaign and perform things manually, it can create a big hole in your pocket. You may ask him the number and type of tools he is using throughout the campaign. Make sure that he is not using these tools for building automated links, producing automated content and creating social media campaigns. Rather, he can use tools like Google Analytics to track results and ROI, tools to measure the increasing competition, tools to discover the audience need and tools to explore influences, targets, etc.