You’re winning if you’re considering hiring an SEO expert. It means your time is better spent focusing on your core business. It also means you know what local SEO is and why it’s important. But you want to ask your potential SEO consultant the right questions. 

Asking if SEO is really necessary for a website’s success is definitely not one of them. As an expert myself, that question doesn’t even deserve a ‘yes’ or a ‘no’. It’s like asking if eating healthy and exercising is necessary for good health. You already know the answer. 

But you may wonder, what are the essential questions to ask an SEO consultant? 

Hiring an SEO Expert Starts with Being an Informed Client

Before I tell you what to ask SEO consultants, let me emphasize the need to go through a basic guide to SEO for beginners first. How can you ask the right questions to an expert when you don’t even understand the basics of what they do? 

If you’re planning to hire an SEO expert for your business, It’s in your best interests to learn about the fundamentals of SEO, such as:

  • Keyword Research.
  • Content Strategy. 
  • Link Building. 
  • Local SEO.
  • Google Business Profile. 
  • On-page Optimization.
  • Technical SEO.

Your intention isn’t to be more knowledgeable than the expert, but you don’t want to be clueless, either. Knowing the basics will allow you to ask more informed questions and evaluate their answers better. 

You’ll also learn more about their strategies and their importance to your business. That said, let’s examine some of the essential questions to ask when hiring an SEO consultant.

1. Do Your Service Packages Offer Local SEO?

Your business most likely has a physical location and serves a specific geographical area, even if you’re an online business. It’s important to target potential customers in your local area.

I honestly believe you shouldn’t consider hiring an SEO service that doesn’t offer local SEO. It’s an essential aspect of SEO that can greatly impact your business. 

Picture a Kentucky-based business trying to rank for keywords in Texas – it wouldn’t make sense. A good SEO consultant should understand the importance of local SEO and have experience optimizing for a specific location.

You don’t need to get into the specifics with this question. A simple yes or no should suffice; don’t go further if the answer is no. If it’s yes, then a question on how they do it should come much later. 

2. Do You Have Examples of Your Past Work and Success Stories?

“Since 2008, I have worked with over 100 companies and helped them achieve first page rankings on impactful search engines like Google, Yahoo, and Bing.” 

How happy would you be to work with an SEO consultant who begins with a statement like this? I wouldn’t be because I’m that consultant, but I bet you would be. 

You see, you don’t want to work with someone who boasts about their past successes without any evidence to back it up. Ask for case studies or examples of their past work and success stories. 

You also don’t want someone who has never achieved results before. A consultant who can back up their claims with real examples and successes is a valuable asset to your business. 

3. What’s Your Experience in My Specific Industry? 

As much as you want relevant experience when hiring an SEO expert, you don’t want someone who only specializes in one industry. 

A good SEO consultant should have experience working with various industries and businesses. It shows their adaptability and ability to understand different markets and audiences. 

There’s another, more serious reason you may not want a consultant within your local area who specializes in your industry. Such a consultant could have already worked with your competitors, and it could present a conflict of interest. 

If this is the case, you can ask about their experience with similar businesses in different locations to get an idea of their expertise and track record. You can also go for local SEO agencies that successfully manage clients in other industries.

4. What Is Your Approach With Local SEO?

This question only comes after you’re impressed with their work history. You also can’t ask it unless you first establish working with this consultant won’t bring up some ethical conflict.

The reason this question is so important is that SEO strategies are constantly evolving, and it’s crucial to know what approach your consultant will take with local SEO.

Will they focus on keyword optimization, content creation, or backlinks? Or will they take a more holistic approach and use a combination of tactics?

But most importantly, how competent is their network with local bloggers, directories, and webmasters in your location? Local SEO is big on building relationships and partnerships with other websites in your area.

You can also ask about their experience with local search algorithms and any success stories they have with previous clients in optimizing location-based searches.

5. What’s Your Game Plan for My Website?

It’s not fair to ask this question if you haven’t shared your situation and goals with the SEO consultant. For example, you need to let them know the specific keywords your business needs to rank for. 

Also, tell them if you need to improve your overall search engine visibility or increase website traffic. You may be targeting to expand your business locally and want to know how they will achieve that for you. 

Ask about their action plan once you’ve given them a complete picture of what you’re looking to achieve. What steps will they take to improve your local SEO? How long do they anticipate it taking before you see results?

Also, don’t be afraid to ask about any potential roadblocks or challenges they foresee and how they plan to address them.

6. How Will You Measure Success?

Whenever you hire a professional, you need to set clear expectations. An SEO company should be able to draw a roadmap to success based on your expectations.

Ask about the metrics they plan to use to track your progress and how often they will provide updates on your local SEO performance.

Some common metrics for measuring success in local SEO include:

  • Search engine rankings.
  • Website traffic.
  • Form submissions.
  • Number of directories and citations.
  • Online reviews and ratings.
  • Online sales or conversions.

7. How Do You Keep Up with Industry Changes?

I have always enjoyed this question because it tells me that my clients appreciate how dynamic SEO is. 

SEO is a cat-and-mouse game with search engines constantly changing their algorithms and ranking factors. A good SEO consultant should be up-to-date on the latest industry changes, techniques, and best practices.

Ask how they plan to stay informed and adapt to these changes so yesterday’s success strategies don’t cause tomorrow’s failures.

Choose Wisely the Questions when Hiring an SEO Expert

Again, you want to be a wise decision-maker when hiring an SEO company. The questions I just shared are a great starting point, but you’ll also want to tailor your questions to your specific business needs and goals.

Before hiring an SEO expert, I highly recommend reading “SEO for Small Businesses: What You Need to Know.” Also, thoroughly research any company or individual before hiring them. 

Jarod Thornton

Author Jarod Thornton

I love working on WordPress development!

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