Hiring an SEO specialist has the potential to improve your site and save time. Here’s a general set of recommendations by Google as you go about hiring an SEO specialist.
First, conduct an interview with your potential SEO consultant. A good SEO specialist doesn’t focus only on search engine ranking, where you appear, but rather on how they can help your business through improving how you appear. Good SEO consultants tend to ask questions like:
What makes your business, content, or service unique, and therefore valuable to customers?
What does your common customer look like?
How do they currently find your website?
How does your business make money, and how can Search help with that?
What other channels are you using?
Do you use offline advertising?
How about social networks?
Who are your competitors?
What do they do well online and, potentially, offline?
If the expert doesn’t seem interested in learning about your business from a holistic standpoint, consider finding another expert. It’s difficult to optimize properly without knowing about a business’ goals, their customers, and other existing marketing efforts. Beware of an expert who gives unrealistic guarantees of ranking first on Google. No one can guarantee that, and often those who try to guarantee that do so by engaging in practices against Google’s Webmaster Guidelines, like creating unnatural linking and doorway sites. This could result in your pages or website being permanently removed from Google’s results, if there are particularly strong violations.
A good expert will help SEO become a part of your general business operations. They should be focused on long-term plans and helping your brand. Before they actually modify anything on your website, have them conduct a technical and search audit to give you a prioritized list of what they think should be improved for SEO. In the audit, the SEO expert should prioritize issues and suggested improvements. The suggestions you should look for will ideally focus on techniques and strategies that target a human audience, as opposed to a search engine. The audit also should estimate the overall investment and the positive business impacts.
A good SEO expert will prioritize ideas that will improve your business, using the least amount of resources. They will also suggest improvements that may take more time in the beginning, but will promote growth in the long term.
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