Unlike in the 90’s when the internet was new, having only a handful of websites, today, there are millions of websites online. The web is so saturated that there are websites dedicated to nearly everything you can think of.
These days, it’s rare to find a credible business without a website, in fact, fraudsters now have websites with which they perpetuate their nefarious acts. For consumers looking to buy products or pay for services online, having so many options to choose from is great, but for businesses, this means fierce competition.
Yes! A person may think they have come up with a business idea that no one has ever seen, only to proceed to build a website and find out that there isn’t just one competition that already exists, but several of them. This saturation makes it difficult to get customers online as businesses expected when building their website.
This problem is constantly on the minds of many businessowners that rely heavily on website traffic to generate revenue and meet sales targets. But there’s a way out, a way to come up top on search results and position yourself in front of as many customers as you can handle. This lifeline is called search engine optimization (SEO).
What is SEO?
If your business or company has a website, chances are that you must have heard of SEO. But if this is new to you, don’t panic as we’ll briefly explain what it is all about before diving into the main reason for this article. Search engine optimization is the on-going practice of improving every aspect of a website to attract quality traffic as well as increase the quantity of this traffic.
Take note of the word “on-going” as many website owners think that SEO is a one-time thing. These people couldn’t be any more wrong because the algorithm of search engines is constantly being changed and modified for reasons not always disclosed to the public. What this means is that the SEO done on a website prior to an algorithm change may become irrelevant post change.
Optimizing a website involves many different aspects, some easy to do, while others are a bit technical and may require the services of search engine optimization experts. Finding these skilled professionals isn’t as difficult as you might think, thanks to the internet.
Most SEO experts have active websites for people looking to hire their services; all it takes is a simple web search. For example, people that need this service in Detroit could search “SEO services in Detroit” on Google or any other search engine to get started.
Now that we’ve understood what search engine optimization is, let’s look at how you can hire an expert as there are lots of people online that claim to be “gurus” without having any real strategy to improve a site’s rankings.
Questions to Ask During the Hiring Process
You don’t have to have a deep understanding of how SEO works before you can hire an expert to better your marketing efforts. By asking these questions, you can filter through all the noise to find only the genuine ones that can get the job done.
What Sets You Apart?
If you have employees working under you, this question may be familiar as it is used almost every time in recruitment and hiring processes. Asking the potential hire what sets them apart from the rest gives you a quick insight into their value proposition. You also get to assess their confidence levels and how sure they are about what they can deliver.
Will I be Informed About Technical Changes?
In search engine optimization, your website might get shaken up good to get it to rank. In extreme cases, websites may get a complete makeover, from aesthetics down to code level. A trust-worthy expert following best practices will have no problem filling you in on any major changes done on your site.
What is Your Process Like?
In SEO, there are several methods that can be applied to drive traffic to sites and get them to top search engine rankings. Asking the hire to briefly explain their strategy allows you to further gauge their capabilities. You can explain a site problem and allow them respond with tips they employ to solve that issue.
What Tools Do You Use?
In this line of work, tools are incredibly important and can affect the success of a strategy. These tools are used to diagnose site problems, assess backlinks and their strengths, as well as study competitor sites.
While there are several tools that can be used for this practice, a few like Moz, Ahref, and SEMrush are incredibly popular. That said, if the agency has its own tools and software, it means they have a defined approach and strategy which should count as a plus. Click here to find out more about SEO tools.
How Long Before We See Results?
It’s nearly impossible to see the results of an SEO campaign in a day or sometimes even weeks. The time it takes for see results especially rankings for keywords is unique to every agency since they all work at different paces. Other factors like their skill and the resources put into the campaign affect the time it takes for results to be noticed.
From all this, one may be pondering if this question is necessary since there is no standard timeframe with which to measure performance. Well, you should ask this question because as have been mentioned search engine optimization is an ongoing process that must be tracked to ensure that the changes being implemented are effective.
While the experts may not give you an exact date, they should be able to give you an estimate based on similar projects like yours that they have worked on.
Can I See Testimonies from Previous Projects?
This question is extremely important because many of these so-called experts have a way with words and can give incredible pitches. The genuine ones that know the ins and outs of site optimization will have testimonies and case studies to back their claim and pitch.
While you shouldn’t waste any time in optimizing your site for success online, the process of hiring an expert or an agency should be done with caution. Taking your time to find the right agency not only saves you from wasting money, but you also avoid hurting your site because there is bad SEO that may provide results in the short term, only to come back and harm the website in the future.