How to choose an SEO company or consultant?

Choosing an SEO company or consultant to work with can be difficult. I want to try and cover the common questions that you should be asking in a simple checklist.

A checklist of choosing an SEO company or consultant

Here’s a quick checklist for you to follow when choosing a provider for SEO services. I based this on my own experience and Google’s guide on hiring an SEO.

Do they follow the Google Webmaster Guidelines?

Google has set guidelines for SEO professional to adhere by and if your website is found to be violating the guidelines you could potentially be penalised, which can have a negative impact on your website traffic.

When choosing an SEO company you want to make sure that they are following best practices (or white-hat techniques). I would familiarise yourself with the webmaster guidelines and prepare some questions to ask your prospective hires.

Do they offer ranking guarantees?

Unfortunately, no one can guarantee a #1 ranking on Google, it’s not possible. If you’re looking at hiring an SEO company that is offering a guarantee you should clarify what they’re offering.

It’s very important to understand exactly what they are promising. It’s possible to “guarantee” to rank a keyword #1 on Google but whether or not that keyword will provide any value to your business is a different story.

My recommendation is to avoid these companies.

What kind of results do they expect to see, and in what timeframe?

SEO is a process and it doesn’t happen overnight. I would ask an SEO company what results do they expect to see and in what time frame?

In most cases, it will take anywhere between 3-12 months to see the full results of SEO work. It also depends heavily on a few factors:

My recommendation would be to go with a company that gives you realistic projections. If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

What are your SEO techniques do they adopt?

There are three many types of SEO techniques:

White hat techniques are in line with Google’s webmaster guidelines while the other two are not. You want to be sure they are using white hat techniques.

What’s your experience in my industry and country/city?

SEOs can often specialise in certain industries and finding one that has worked with clients similar to you can often be useful. They will be able to draw on past experience, however, it’s probably the least important question compared to others mentioned above.

Another benefit is if they have experience in your country or city. Understanding the local slang and how people search can help them get started quicker rather than finding it out through research.

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