When you hire a specialist to support search engine optimization, you need to look for someone who has a proven track record. What results have you achieved for your customers? Have they demonstrated their ability to help increase conversions? Or getting companies to have the online visibility they need? You shouldn't expect an SEO company to hand over their entire address book, but most will be happy to give examples from 2 to 3 reputable customers. In addition, they should be able to easily display their results (ideally over a long period of time). Finally, find out when you'll need to make your payments.
Usually freelancers like to be paid as soon as possible, but paying 30, 60 or even 90 days after an invoice is not something unheard of. Find out if there is an interest charge for late payments. Good SEO consultants should start by doing an audit to see what your website is currently doing to achieve your marketing goals. Most companies that really want to make an impact with SEO will stay with their consultant for as long as their budget allows, unless they decide to do it internally or don't see results.
It is important to get at least a rank from the SEO Consultant and know what payment methods they accept and what the billing process will be. Find out what attracted them to this type of work, what keeps them motivated and if their long-term goal is to work as SEO Consultants. You won't be able to set them in the first meeting, but the SEO consultant should be able to give you an idea of what kind of goals were set for other companies based on the outcome they were looking for. Any SEO consultant can tell you how to be found online, but none of them can promise you instant results.
This is subjective, but if an SEO consultant uses all the free tools, they probably don't have access to the best possible information to provide a comprehensive evaluation and reporting. Project-based payments are the most common in the SEO consulting industry and can vary widely, depending on the size and complexity of the project. Start here, with these 15 questions that will allow you to find out if your SEO consultant really knows what they're doing. If you work in the B2B industry sector, for example, and the SEO consultant has only worked with B2C type companies in the retail sector, they may not be the right fit.
Each agency or SEO consultant will use somewhat different techniques, but there are fundamental principles and best practices that each agency must follow. That's why it's important for companies of all sizes to take the time not only to consider an SEO Consultant, but also to think about the risks of not hiring one. Also, ask consultants if they offer off-page SEO strategies to publicize your content on other websites, often through blogs, social media platforms, and press releases.