I am amazed to see the amount of people still buying cheap SEO services, dodgy black hat stuff like link wheels and forum profile links following Googles recent panda and penguin updates. Outsourcing your website optimisation to a company who uses black hat and unethical webspam tactics, could severly damage your sites longterm ranking potential. With this in mind it is important for you to ask any potential search optimiser the right questions.
Below are a few questions that I think should keep you safe in your search to find a reliable SEO consultant.
1. Keyword research – How will a potential SEO Provider make their keyword recommendations, what will they base the recommendations on? What sort of search volumes do these terms generate? Adequate keyword research is essential for your campaign to be a success, some companies guarantee first page rankings, this is useless if the terms bring no custom. Make sure they will be doing organic SEO and not just pay-per-click advertising, when you stop paying for pay-per-click ads so will the traffic.
2. Competitor analysis – Will they analyse your competitors sites to see what makes them rank?
3. Results – What results have they achieved? Can they show you proof of current rankings?
4. Timescale – Some keywords could take months to gain first page rankings, other more local terms could rank very quickly, it’s dependant on many factors including competitors. If a company guarantees you organic placement for a very competitive term in a very short period of time they maybe using blackhat or unethical methods.
5. Reports – Make sure they supply a monthly report to show the work they have been doing.
6. Analytics – Analytics helps track traffic through your website so you can see if the SEO work being performed has any effect.