6 Areas to Assess Before Hiring SEO Consultants

By Gregory Lee in SEO on March 15th, 2013

If you are considering hiring SEO consulting services, be ready to answer some key questions. A search engine optimization consultant who truly fulfills the role of a consultant shouldn’t just add a bunch of keywords to your website and track the rankings.  An SEO consultant should add real value to your online properties and lead-generating process – which may require more than a graph of numbers to explain to your VP’s or a board of directors. In order to provide online marketing value, the agency you choose to provide search engine optimization consulting must understand the surrounding digital environment, plus the marketing, lead generation, qualification and closing process.  Your SEO consultant must understand these areas to identify how SEO can be leveraged to benefit online and offline marketing efforts whose end goal is to close more or better leads for your company. What follows are a few questions to answer before engaging SEO consultants and to help you assess your SEO needs and processes. 1. SEO Consulting Questions about Marketing What are your current efforts for overall marketing and online marketing?
  • Content generation and distribution (press releases, white papers, newsletters, videos, blog, social, etc.)?
  • Other marketing initiatives (radio, TV, trade-shows, Yellow Pages, etc.)?
  • Past SEO efforts?
  • Do you do paid search?
  • Future plans for website expansion or redesign?
  • Other domains that you own?
  • Any affiliates?
2. SEO Consulting Questions about Leads and Conversion Describe your typical sales and conversion process.
  • Where do leads come from?
  • What are the most common questions asked from potential lead inquiries?
  • How do you respond to leads, qualify, and close them?
  • How would you like to see this process change?
  • What are your biggest conversion challenges?
3. Values to Consider Before Speaking to an SEO Consultant What value is associated with website goals?
  • What is the value of a conversion (lead, sale, download, etc.)?
  • What is the value of traffic?
4. Web Development and Implementation Questions Is there a developer, webmaster or graphic designer on staff?
  • To what capacity is your developer, webmaster or designer available to implement SEO recommendations?
  • Or, do you want your search engine optimization consultant to implement recommendations?

o   If yes, do you keep a staging or development version of your website where changes are made and tested before pushing live?

5. Website Content Management Questions Do you use a CMS (Content Management System) that allows your staff to login and update website content?
  • What is the CMS?
  • Would you like to give your SEO consultant access to the CMS to implement recommendations?
6. Reporting Access for Your SEO Consultant Could you provide as many of the following as possible for your potential SEO consultant?
  • PPC results (keywords and impressions)
  • Google Analytics or whichever traffic reporting platform you use (can be read-only access)
  • Google Webmaster Tools (can be read-only access)
Starting SEO Consultant Services on the Right Foot Don’t worry if you don’t know all the answers – a good SEO consultant will work with you to analyze your past and current efforts and identify how optimization can piggy-back residual value from other marketing and sales platforms that you may not realize can be improved by SEO. Interested in speaking with our SEO experts? Contact us today!
  • All of the above areas are important to focus for hiring an SEO consultant. Leads and conversion are the essential phenomena to be focused more for hiring.