If you’re looking to expand your digital marketing efforts into SEO and you lack the time and expertise to do it yourself, a third party SEO consultant or agency would be your best bet. Search engine optimisation is a digital marketing technique used to optimise a website to improve its overall ranking. Many different techniques go into improving your rank and are best tackled with the assistance of an expert.

Better search engine results can really boost your website’s traffic and your brand awareness. Making sure that you choose the right service is very important when you are opting to spend money on improving your business. Here are the top questions to ask a potential SEO consultant.

Can I see a list of your past and current clients?

A reputable business should be able to disclose a brief list of the clients that they have dealt with in the past. If you get their contact information it can be a good tool to assess how effective their service is.

Look and see if there are any businesses that are closely related to yours. Understand what did and dint work for them and how to make those sorts of campaigns fit with what you have in mind. You won’t get specific analytics but a general they saw improvement from this technique is some valuable information.

What techniques will you use to increase my ranking?

A business that doesn’t discuss their procedures should be avoided. When it comes to SEO there are quick artificial boosts that you can acquire in short term but then have negative impacts on your business in the long run, spam links and poor quality content are just some examples.

Your first point of call should be a website analysis to get the basics sorted first. You could have been negatively impacted from the start without even realising it so covering all your bases is important.

Can you guarantee me the number one rank on Google or any other search engine?

This question is purely a test, if they respond with yes you should steer clear. No one can guarantee you those kinds of results and anyone claiming to be able to is outright lying.

Watch out for other common lines such as they have an inside relationship with Google. There is an algorithm in place that is responsible for the ranking of websites and it cannot be tricked by dodgy agencies or insider relationships.

What is the preferred form of communication and how often?

Communication skills and customer service varies between consultancies. Finding the right method for you is important in ensuring the success of your campaign. If you have any worries or questions you want to be able to communicate them effectively.

Ask for the preferred channel of communication and how often you will be updated on the campaign.

What are the payment terms and fees?

You need to know how the payment process works and how much you will be charged for their services. Know if it is a contract or monthly payments. Businesses like this also have different levels of packages that increase in price with an increase of time spent on your campaign. The price can also depend on the size and complexity of the campaign that is in place.

Discuss everything beforehand as you don’t want to be faced with any surprises and then be hit with late fees (if there are any). Also to note, if you speak to several consultants and find one with a much lower price than the rest that can be a red flag.

You get what you pay for with SEO and someone promising high results at the fraction of the cost of others, most likely is too good to be true.

If you’re looking to delve in search engine optimisation but don’t know where to start, read through this list again. These questions are effective in deciding which SEO consultant is the best fit for you.