Anyone these days can put on a white hat and call themselves an SEO expert. Here are ten things to look for in an SEO professional to see if the cap really fits.
A Search Engine Optimisation strategy carried out by an SEO expert may seem to take a huge chunk out of your marketing budget but like everything in life, you get what you pay for. But what are you paying for exactly and how do you know if you’re putting your website in the hands of a bona fide SEO professional? Black hat SEO techniques can be potentially damaging to your website. Here are ways to recognise whether your SEO consultant is friend or foe.
Experience: What you are paying for in part is the experience and knowledge of the SEO expert. Search Engines like Google are constantly changing and improving the quality of search for users. SEO consultants need to keep update with changes in Search Engine algorithms, new products and new SEO techniques. Ideally, you also want an SEO specialist who has experience across a wide range of industries and is familiar with your industry.
No get rich quick schemes: With white hat SEO, you may not see results in a few days and it may take as much as three months before you start to see any tangible benefits. A bona fide SEO expert will not guarantee you instant results, ranking or make any unrealistic claims. Similarly, clients may want to rank highly for competitive keywords like ‘hotels’ but a good SEO advisor will be able to hose down any unrealistic expectations of a client.
Transparency: An SEO professional will also be able to explain what services they are providing, what you are paying for and have reporting strategies in place. They will be open and upfront about what methods are used to boost your Search Engine rankings and be able to explain this to you in great detail and answer any questions you may have.
Sound link building strategy: An SEO expert can help you boost your Search Engine visibility by creating a link building campaign. The cost of this campaign may vary widely. However, not all links are created equal. Search Engines rank higher websites having quality links, from trustworthy and credible sources… and may even penalise your website if pages of a dubious nature are linking back to your website.
Keyword research: Results should be achieved on a large number of keywords, not just one or two. Keyword research should include both highly competitive, short tail keyword phrases like ‘Sydney gyms’ and long tail keywords targeted at niche markets like ‘Sydney female only gyms’. Research should be done using keyword research tools like WordTracker but also through competitor analysis and other means.
Focus on the end goal: The end goal of Search Engine Optimisation is conversion and not simply driving traffic to your site that will just chew up your bandwidth. A qualified SEO professional should be optimising your website with keywords that will drive quality traffic to your website, i.e. users ready to enquire or purchase your product.
Customer service: When deciding on an SEO expert, as well as the cost and experience of the SEO consultant, you should also factor in the customer service you can receive from an Australian SEO company. It may be cheaper hiring someone who is a one man band and located offshore but if you need to speak to them urgently about your website, will you be able to contact them urgently?
Proven results: SEO specialists should be able to show you testimonials and case studies from previous clients. Ask to speak to the clients directly so you can ask them whether they were happy with the work carried out, if there was an increase in their conversion rates but also the level of customer service in how quickly the SEO expert responded to enquiries and feedback.
Bigger picture mentality: An SEO expert should have a bigger picture mentality and look at all elements of your website including the on page elements and off page elements. SEO copywriting, link building strategies, site structure and loading time will ultimately affect the way your site will be ranked. In addition, the SEO consultant should be looking at your CMS and whether it is SEO friendly.
Large pool of resources: Ideally you want to be working with an accredited SEO strategist who is part of an experienced, established and reputable team and can draw on additional resources such as an SEO copywriting and link building experts. The last thing you want to do is hire a fly-by-night SEO advisor who may go out of business tomorrow taking your money with them.
At seoWorks, we use white hat techniques and encourage our SEO consultants to partner with you and share their vast knowledge about SEO. Contact us and find out more about our SEO experts and how we can help you with your organic Search Engine Optimisation, drive quality traffic to your website and maximise your online revenue.