Google updates their search algorithms nonstop, which means you have to be on your toes if you want to stay ahead of the curve. While it’s certainly possible to optimize your website by yourself, you might find that it’s much better to hire an SEO professional so you can focus on the day-to-day operations of your business.
With the number of SEO consultants and agencies all claiming to boost your organic rankings, it can be tough to make a decision. An SEO expert can help to push your website to the top of the search engines, resulting in more traffic which leads to more sales.
What you should always keep in mind is that in the SEO industry, anyone can label himself as an expert. Indeed, many think they can rank any website after successfully getting their personal website on the first page of Google. But understand that different websites call for different SEO practices. One that is fairly new to the SEO game will just do the same things repeatedly, hoping that things would just click. But one with the knowledge and experience would carefully evaluate the website and determine exactly what areas must be optimized, be it the site structure, on-page elements or link building tactics.
Many so called SEO professionals do not place as much emphasis in content as they should. They think that off-page SEO tactics can propel and webpage to the top of the results pages, regardless of the quality of the content. If the person you’re talking to doesn’t seem to care about content at all, then run away as quickly as possible. Sure, link building can get you on the first page quickly. But delivering high quality content is a much better long term strategy.
Any expert that guarantees first page rankings should not be trusted. Bear in mind that the SEO landscape constantly changes. The professional must be honest enough to tell you that rankings cannot be guaranteed. The only promise that is acceptable to make is for the expert to apply his knowledge and expertise in SEO to help your website rank prominently in the search listings.
Be sure to ask the company how links will be built. By asking this, you’re showing that you know enough about SEO practices. Ideally, you want the person to tell you that there is no easy way to build links. Hearing that producing high quality content is the best way to generate links is a huge plus. If the company makes use of black hat techniques, such as linking from their own network of websites, then you risk losing your rankings after just a few months.
It’s essential to determine how long the person has been doing SEO and the number of clients they’ve worked with. But more telling about the quality of services he provides is his client retention rate. If clients go back to him for more SEO services, then this is a good sign that the person really knows what he’s doing.
Always spend ample time researching the credentials of an SEO expert before you sign on the dotted line. By educating yourself about the best SEO practices, you will know the key questions to ask and weed out those that only make false claims.