There are many good reasons for using professional SEO services. The trick is to know what you’re looking for and to ask the right questions. SEO consultants also enjoy working with a knowledgeable client, as opposed to someone who is completely ignorant or has unrealistic goals, so doing your own background research is always advisable. Here are four important questions that you should ask your potential provider to help judge whether it’s worth the investment.
When will I see results?
You might see some tangible results within weeks, but typically it takes between six to twelve months to see a real return on investment. Pay close attention to how your prospective SEO consultant answers this question. Ensure that your consultant (whether it be a firm or a freelancer) provides an analysis of the competition for your target search terms rather than pulling a time line out of thin air.
What will you be doing to the site itself?
Their answer should include a look at the HTML coding, Meta data, content optimisation, internal linking structure and more.
How much will it cost?
This is a tough one. Remember that you get what you pay for. The more established SEO firms and consultants charge tens of thousands per month. Some newer or less established providers charge a few hundred per month. Consider that most medium to large corporations employ full time SEO specialists at a cost of £30,000 to £60,000 annually. If you play your cards right, you may be able to find a legitimate up and coming firm or freelancer that is eager to build their portfolio and will charge less than £1000 per month. Beware of are anyone that charges a one off fee. There is no such thing as a permanent SEO ‘fix’ that will yield lasting results because SEO is an ongoing process.
Do you offer a guarantee?
It’s impossible for an SEO to guarantee results because nobody knows the exact algorithms and these are constantly changing, new competitors are always coming into picture and lots more. Only the search engines have direct control over their results. So if the consultant is only charging you a few bucks and guarantees you a #1 position within 6 weeks, its probably best to steer clear.
In summary, do your research, ask for references, and be patient, it will be worth it in the end.