Hiring an SEO Expert
While there are numerous posts available on the internet about SEO techniques, or about the various ways to get started in using SEO strategies, you may not always have the time to commit to it.
This is why it’s advantageous to hire someone who is experienced in SEO. This could be a copywriter, a content writer, a digital marketer, or a general SEO consultant.
In order to help you get started on your search for an SEO expert, here are some useful questions you should keep in mind. This will make sure you get the right professional for your dollar.
Question 1: How long have they been doing SEO?
The number of years that someone has under their belt is not always an indication of their technical skills. SEO is quickly evolving, and there are certainly consultants and other types of writing professionals who are new to the scene, yet are incredibly tech savvy.
However, it’s always a good idea to get a feel for how long an SEO expert has been involved in SEO practices.
Question 2: What are some samples of work they have optimized?
There are numerous companies and ‘SEO experts’ out there who have never actually optimized anything in their life! They read a few blog posts, and then decide that they know absolutely everything there is no to know about SEO.
Be sure you are carefully entrusting your money – and business reputation – with someone who knows what they are doing. You probably want to hire someone who has a few past clients on their resume. If you do go for someone new, have them do a sample optimization for you. This will enable you to get a better understanding of their abilities and skillset.
Question 3: Do past clients recommend them?
Testimonials are a salient aspect of any professional’s portfolio. I would this say this about anyone that I am considering – editor, plumber, makeup artist, dance instructor, surgeon, or SEO expert.
It’s important to have referrals, and reputable people will be able to share a list of them. Check their references and referrals. Do they all add up? Are they positive?
Question 4: Do they know all three levels of SEO?
Search engine optimization is not just one basic level. There are three different levels, or tiers, when it comes to SEO:
1. Technical: This is the structure of a site. This determines how easy, or hard, it is for search engines to crawl and index your site or blog.
2. On-Page: This is the use of keywords and elements like HMTL tags. When properly employed, these elements will increase search engine traffic to your site or blog.
3. Off-Page: This is link building.
Someone who is experienced (or at least knowledgeable) in SEO will understand that all three tiers should be implemented. If some of the information is stuffed too far down in the site, then that means the search engine can’t access all of the content. This means everything else on the site will be pretty much pointless when it comes to SEO.
Question 5: How well do they communicate?
An SEO expert must be able to effectively communicate why a change must be made to your website. They should be able to give an explanation that everyone involved is able to easily understand.
Now, as someone who has a speech impediment, I feel the need to point out that not all effective communication is necessarily oral. Written communication, such as via email, is just as important and effective. It also has the added benefit of there being a copy of the conversation. This makes it easy to go back over what was said, should there be any confusion or discrepancies.
These are just a few questions to keep in mind when thinking of hiring an SEO expert. Ultimately, the choice of SEO expert – or even to not hire one – is entirely up to you.
However, these questions can serve as a good starting point for your search. Go with a company, or professional, you trust. Don’t rush into the investment. Research the consultant/company. See what they have been up to, and with whom they are associated. Would you want to be associated with them, too?
Some Important SEO Terms:
If you are going to hire an SEO expert, you should know a fair amount of the basic terms they are going to be using. Not only does this keep you more in the loop, but it also ensures you are hiring someone who knows what they are talking about.
It’s always a good idea to determine and set your SEO keywords, image and post descriptions, and page titles. These bits serve as key phrases and terms by which search engines will find and rank your website or blog.
Check ‘em out:
Keywords: These are terms people look for when they happen to come across your site. They are looking for a specific type of article or post, and yours holds these keywords.
Example: News, technology, technology news, breaking news, technology trends, local news, local technology news, world technology, tv, tv news
Meta Description: This is what shows up underneath your title on search engines. Ideally, you want this bit to be between 130 and 170 characters. You will also want to accurately describe what the website is talking about.
Titles: These serve as a way to tell users and search engines what your site’s page (or blog post) is all about. Make sure your titles are clear and concise, and describe what the users should be seeing on the page/post. This is directly correlated to what shows up in search engines, so it’s really important!
Anchor Text: Anchor text is basically hyperlinked text, as it is the anchor to the link. This is really important because keyword-rich anchor text helps to enhance rankings.
SERP: This stands for Search Engine Results Page. It’s what is returned to you after you type in a search query. It’s the page of results after your search.
Example: > Type in any word you want into Google. > The page that you look at after you hit Search is the SERP.
Indexing: Indexing is what a search engine does when it collects and stores data across the web. It’s sort of like Google is filing things away in a file cabinet. But, like, a massive one.
That’s just a small snippet of SEO terms, but this list serves as a general understanding. Still have some answered questions? I will be happy to help you out.