The SEO Consultant: The 5 most likely questions to be asked this week

by Gary on July 18, 2007 · 5 comments

in SEO

I am going to write a mini-series of three posts.

  1. The SEO Consultant: The 5 most likely questions to be asked this week.
  2. The Web Designer : The 5 most likely questions to be asked this week.
  3. The SEO Content Writer: The 5 most likely questions to be asked this week.

Here is the first: The 5 most likely questions to be asked of an SEO consultant:

1] Are your SEO techniques Black Hat or White Hat and what do you think about the best SEO practices?

It is very crucial to know how your SEO consultant plans to get you the top rankings he or she promises you. Actually getting your web pages to the top 10 search engine results, to be frank, is not a big deal and there are numerous backdoor tactics to achieve this. The SEO consultants know these tactics as “black hat” tactics and most search engine companies have dedicated teams of search specialists to counter them. The black hat SEO tactics can get you good results very fast, but they also get your website banned by the search engines equally fast.

Ask your SEO consultant what practices he or she follows to improve your rankings. Are these practices standard, legitimate practices? Are these practices followed by all quality SEO consultants? Do all search engines endorse these practices?

2] What rankings can your SEO consultant guarantee?

Getting ranked well is a slow process and in fact, if you follow all legitimate SEO practices, it is a very slow process. If your SEO consultant can make all the right moves he or she can guarantee you a good placement because it’s all about creating the right design, creating the right content and creating the right buzz. But if an SEO company guarantees you a top ranking without all these, you must know that you should look somewhere else.

3] How does your SEO consultant get you incoming links?

The incoming links tell the search engines you have linkable content on your website and that means you have valuable content. The search engines use the incoming links for validation. Since they are a sign of validation, most links should be naturally gained and your SEO consultant should know that. He or she should know that simply exchanging links doesn’t work. To get quality incoming links you need to make your website link-worthy both in terms of presentation and content. If your SEO consultant tells you to create a link-exchange page, you can easily assume that he or she is not the right SEO consultant for you.

4] What level of reporting will your SEO consultant provide?

A proper reporting schedule helps both you and your SEO consultant because it gives you a time frame for every phase. Regular reporting keeps you abreast with the latest progress. How the website has been optimised, how the content is being generated and what changes are happening in the traffic trends; you should be able to know this as and when you want, or at a regular period.

5] What has been your SEO consultant’s previous performance?

Make sure your “experienced” SEO consultant is not starting his or her business with you as the first client. Although there is nothing wrong to be the first client (someone has to be) it helps if your SEO consultant has a good success track. Check for different keywords and phrases the previous websites were optimised for and see how they still fare. Not many will remain at the top forever, if the SEO practices were good, most websites remain on the first page or the second page and continue to be there.

I hope these questions will help you make up your mind before hiring a competent SEO consultant for your online business.

Next post: The Web Designer : The 5 most likely questions to be asked this week.

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Darren McLaughlin July 18, 2007 at 3:55 pm

I agree about the consultant’s experience. It’s the same for hairdressers: if you’re the first client you may end up living with their mistakes for awhile.

Joost de Valk July 19, 2007 at 9:02 pm

“not the write SEO consultant for you.” not the “right” i assume.

If I were to start my own business, I guess any client would be lucky having me as their SEO… It all depends on overall experience, not just in your own business.

Gary July 21, 2007 at 2:26 pm

Thanks for pointing that out for me, sloppy on my part to say the least. Cheers, Gary.