Hiring an SEO expert can be perplexing. If you don’t understand all the ins and outs of search engine optimisation (SEO) how do you find the one you need? That’s part of why many people don’t do SEO in-house, right? – it’s outside your expertise (or there’s simply not enough hours in the day to do it yourself or learn to). So, let’s see if we can fill in the gaps and help you choose the right team for the job.
If their rates are cheap as chips, there will be a trade-off. Look for the compromise. Do they outsource the work to cheap labour and you can’t talk to the person doing the work? Do they spend too little time on your site, making it a rushed job and compromising on quality? What do they miss? Will they value your account and professional relationship?
If the SEO expert you’re vetting offers super speedy results or guaranteed rankings, maintain your scepticism. Search engine optimisation is a long haul, not a quick payoff. It takes time for the changes an SEO specialist makes to trickle through in Google search results. There are no big levers to pull to instantly get more clicks.
Guaranteed ranking results can also be sketchy. Rankings depend on a number of factors, including the level of competition for your keywords, the structure of your site, how Google is currently prioritising your niche, and much more. You really can’t know what’s possible, until your SEO team is in the thick of it, analysing your site, running tests, doing the leg work, and even then, nobody can promise you a #1 ranking.
SEO businesses may like to keep their processes secret. A certain amount of confidential intellectual property is to be expected, but if the SEO you’re vetting is giving you the bare minimum, plus not asking questions to understand your business well, they may not have the right stuff to establish a successful SEO campaign. They may apply a cookie-cutter approach, that they offer to everyone and not one that is tailored to suit your needs.
This is a red flag we’re probably all familiar with. How is your SEO’s communication? Do you feel reassured when you talk to them, or are they expecting you to trust them with no proof? How do they respond to pressing questions? Do you feel like they give you straight answers? Do you have reservations after speaking with them or are they keen to set your mind at ease?
How long have they been doing SEO? Do you feel they understand your niche or are able to learn it? (e.g.: eCommerce, health, community organisations, etc). An SEO newbie will not be aware of the changes in SEO practices and may not be primed to keep in step with the latest search engine announcements. SEO pros worth your attention are experienced and able to roll with the changes which are constant in an industry like search engine optimisation and digital marketing.
Someone who really knows their SEO stuff will understand exactly how the process works, what they can realistically offer you, and be able to explain it to you in easily comprehensible language. They won’t be trying to puff you up and overpromise. You shouldn’t have to be an SEO expert to understand them; you’re paying them to be the experts. Make sure you feel they have displayed excellent knowledge of their area of know-how.
A good SEO professional will ask lots of questions about many areas of your business. This is a good sign. You may not have thought it relevant, but if they’re asking, it will inform how they will approach SEO for your website, and how they’ll find the best way to bring more website traffic to you.
We’ve been running SEO campaigns for businesses in all kinds of industries since the early 2000s. Our SEO pros take pride in getting to know your business and finding the best way to boost your traffic. Every business is different, that’s why we treat each one individually. Just because an approach to SEO worked well for one business, does not mean it will work for you. When we dig in a bit deeper, we can identify the low hanging fruit, as well as the areas which will yield good returns with more work. SEO is not a set-it and forget-it form of digital marketing. We continuously report, reassess, and plough onward with the work to improve your rankings and drive more people to your website.
Want to chat about your business’ SEO needs?