SEO (search engine optimization) is a vital part of creating and sustaining a successful business, as it is the key to being noticed by major search engines like Google. SEO done well takes specific knowledge and skills, so it makes sense to hire a specialist to manage SEO tactics and practices on behalf of your business.

Unfortunately, anyone can call themselves an SEO consultant, and many promise amazing results, but this doesn’t mean they can actually deliver. Before you hire an SEO specialist take the time to check them out – we have put together some ideas on things to look for, and questions to ask when you make contact so you have a decent chance of finding a great SEO specialist for your business.

Do they have solid experience of working with similar businesses to yours?
Ask for examples of successful SEO campaigns they have done for businesses in your specific field, including details of positive outcomes presented in language you can understand. Don’t be afraid to contact the owners of those businesses for first-hand feedback on the service and results they achieved.

Are they aware of current SEO trends?
SEO is a field subject to regular changes and updates, which a specialist should be able to talk about without hesitation.

What’s their experience in related fields of work?
Successful SEO involves making good use of social media marketing, digital campaigns and content marketing, so a useful specialist will have strategies to incorporate these things into an action plan.

Are they interested in your business?
Most businesses turn to a SEO specialist because they are not currently getting the web exposure they want, so the first thing an SEO specialist should want to do is work out why this is the case. That means asking questions about your particular business, your product or service, your current and potential clients or customers, and your competition. Without this level of commercial understanding a successful campaign will be less likely, as any plans they make will not be based on a true understanding of where you are right now and what your business needs in terms of SEO work.

How do they communicate?
Once a plan is drawn up and agreed some SEO specialists may not check in with you for a while. Think about how you would prefer to be updated and be given results to assess and monitor. Although it may be unreasonable to expect daily contact for a long time it’s vital to agree on a schedule (and a method of communicating) which suits you both.

Remember that your SEO contact will also need to communicate with other specialists they call on to deliver their service – these could include content writers, website designers, and computer engineers – so you can’t afford to hire someone who never answers emails or is generally uncommunicative.

Take your time to hire, check out references and reviews, and if you feel confident after working through these suggestions then you can go ahead and make a confident decision to hire a particular SEO specialist.