How to Hire a Good SEO: Don’t get stung by Black Hat tactics
Here at Mobius we have been talking to lots of businesses who have had negative experiences of SEO. Usually, this stems from using a Black Hat SEO. The story seems to be the same every time. They want to take capture traffic from organic search results, find an SEO that promises them the world. The “SEO” (Web spammer is probably a better word) does a terrible job and the client is left with a bitter taste and potentially a manual action.
So we have decided to put together a list of questions you should ask an SEO before you hire them. This will help you to weed the good from the bad.
Ask for a list of their previous clients
This seems pretty normal right? A portfolio is a pretty standard way to determine the SEO’s experience. Drill a little deeper and ask about their client retention rates and get details about what it was exactly that they did for them.
How will you improve my search engine rankings?
If an SEO will not freely disclose information about their methods then the alarm bells should be ringing. Personally if I was asked this question I know that I know that I can walk my client through my process step by step. Make sure you ask for this, because it will not always be included.
Also, ask consultants if they provide “off page” SEO strategies to raise awareness of your content on other websites, often via blogs, social media platforms and press releases.
Can you guarantee my website will achieve a number one ranking on Google, Bing and Yahoo?
This is a test of honesty. If the candidate answers yes, that is a huge red flag. it’s impossible to guarantee a number one ranking on any search engine, but that will not stop Web Spammers from promising you the world.
Also, if any SEO claims to have an insider relationship with Google or any other search engine, this is a bad sign. Only Google, Bing and Yahoo can control how high or low websites appear in their search results. Here at Mobius, we do have some relationships with Google staff and product advisors but this is no way benefits rankings.
How do you measure the success of your SEO campaigns?
To gauge the success of SEO efforts, you must track exactly how much traffic is being sent to your website and where it is coming from. The SEO should display experienced in using Google Analytics. Be sure to establish how often the SEO is going to send reports and updates.
Do You Care About Content?
All SEOs know the phrase that “Content is King”. It is a phrase that an SEO will say, but not all SEOs know what it really means. Ask them about the different types of content that they can make. How they plan to use the content to link back to the site will go a long way to showing how much thought they have put into their content marketing plan.
What’s the Fastest Way to Generate Links?
This is a great question and will let tell you a lot about the SEO in question. It is easy to build links fast. No ethical SEO will ever say that they can get you links fast. Links are very important, but the quality of the links is far more important.
Do You Sell Link Building Services?
Any SEO or marketing team that offered link building should be avoided. Link building has changed a lot in the last few years. So much so that link building as a term or a service has become something of a dirty word. Links are important and do need to be acquired, but link building services often come hand in hand with low quality links. Most SEOs will explain that links should generally be earned through the creation of good content, and that is not fast.
Who Will Do the SEO on My Site?
The SEO company should be able to tell you exactly who is going to be working on your account. Ideally you should be able to meet them if it is practical. This should just come as part and parcel of the transparency you should expect when dealing with a marketing company.