SEO services are hard to do in-house. For one thing, the existing teams in most companies do not have the required level of professional experience in this field. For another, concentrating resources such as funds and time on SEO operations may divert them from more pressing matters of concern in the organization.
Therefore, most businesses find it economical to hire SEO consultants to manage the SEO requirements. If you are considering this option as well, here is a list of items that need to be discussed and taken care of before you enter into an agreement with the SEO service provider.
1. The reputation of the service provider:
While asking for a list of past or current clients may not be in line with the confidentiality norms, it is not impossible to gain feedback about the consultant you intend to hire. Upon doing this, you can gather a fair idea about how effective the service provider’s strategies are, and how friendly they are on an overall basis. This can go a long way in helping you choose the right consultant.
2. The strategy employed by the consultant:
It is necessary to ensure transparency in procedures. Some SEO consultants do not share their techniques and methods with potential clients. This can hinder the chances of gaining maximum advantage from the SEO strategy. The more open a client is about the procedures they utilize, the better a client can request modifications and improvisations to suit their business better. When it comes to SEO service provisioning, the consultants who are open to discussion are the best.
3. Adherence to webmaster guidelines:
You need to make sure that the consultant follows white hat SEO techniques, and adheres to the webmaster practices. SEO service providers, who opt for black hat SEO strategies, and prohibited tips and tricks, could spell ruin for your business. If you do not verify this early on in the agreement, you could end up with more damages than possible to correct. In extreme cases, your website could not just be ranked abysmally low, but could be banned as well.
Related: The Complete On Page SEO Checklist
4. The level and frequency of communication:
While most businesses prefer to leave the entire responsibility of SEO management to the consultant, it would not be wise to shut the doors on them completely. Take the time to discuss the details with your consultant, and ensure that they send you periodic reports of the changes they make to your website. This will ensure that you stay abreast of the latest version of your site.
5. The terms of payment:
Of course, this is one aspect that few clients will skip. The amount of fees, the frequency of payment, and the resources and benefits obtained in return must all be distinctly laid out. It is also advisable to have the consultant send in periodic reports of the exact expenses incurred in the process of optimizing your website. This ensures that you can determine whether or not you receive your money’s worth.