Aloha! I’m Nick Ponte, and I run a digital marketing agency here in Hawaii. We work with hundreds of clients all the time to improve everything from website design and SEO to custom software development.

On a weekly basis, I share tips on my blog to help small business owners make tweaks to improve their digital marketing strategies. But what if you feel ready to invest in hiring a SEO consultant and get rolling with a strong game plan for success? How can you have confidence that you’re choosing the right agency? Let me share several topics you should be aware of when considering a hire.

Also Read: 5 Perks Of Hiring A Marketing Consultant On Maui

Why Does Hiring the Right Agency Matter?

When you make a financial investment for your business, you want to make sure you’ll get a significant return.

When you hire a consultant to improve your business’s form and function, you obviously want to gain on your previous performance. We’ve heard horror stories of agencies who took a business’s check for months without actually improving their statistics, or who made it difficult to acquire control of the details when the contract was up. That being said, you don’t want to spend your limited budget on a mediocre experience, either. 

So, how do you know you’ll get what you’re looking for in a digital marketing consultant? How can you be confident of the improvements they promise to you?

Let me share four important questions you should ask before moving forward with an SEO consultant.

Also Read: Designing a Website that Produces Results

4 Questions to Ask SEO Consultants Before Hiring Them

If you want to know you’re hiring the right company, start by asking them these questions:

  • What’s Their Record of Success?

Check out their portfolio to get an idea of an agency’s success rates. How have they actually improved the results for other businesses?

When you find a website they’ve worked on, and you want to know more about its performance, you can use a tool like Ahrefs’ Site Explorer to check out domain ratings, organic traffic, and keyword success. When you get in touch with the consultant, ask about trends and data according to the times they worked with that client. They should be able to give you precise information about how their services affected the charts.

Check out our portfolio and see a number of highly satisfied clients.

  • How Do They Approach Google’s SEO Guidelines?

Google provides businesses and consultants tons of analytics. A consultant would be foolish not to use their resources… but if they only use Google, that should be a red flag. Google has amazing insights and documentation helps, but consultants ought to use a variety of sources for their information.

Ask the consultant how they use Google, and make sure to get information about areas they disagree with. When opinions diverge, that means they’ve spent time exploring multiple sources, viewpoints, and results. Theory and practice can often vary when it comes to results, so experience is a must when it comes to understanding how various approaches work for different markets.

We have experience working with all kinds of businesses across the boards. That gives us insight about the variables and flexibility when it comes to understanding that different industries sometimes require particular approaches. We recommend Google all the time for its awesome free tools, but it’s not the end-all-be-all.

  • Which SEO Tools Do They Use?

Consultants using Google Analytics is a given—of course they should use those! But they should also use tools like Ahrefs or Moz.

However, the types of tools used don’t guarantee success. Ask them about how they use their resources. How do they research and apply keywords? Ask how they find link building opportunities and conduct website audits. Their answers should provide clarity and further information about their knowledge and practices.

We offer thorough website audits to potential clients for free, so if you’d like to see our processes in action, get in touch with us!

  • How Do They Set You Up for Future Success?

If you don’t know anything else about this consulting company, you want to understand this. You want to keep up your momentum and improve on the progress you’ve made together. How do you know when their time working with you ends that you’ll have a plan to keep moving toward bigger and better goals?

Their aim as a consultant should be to set you on course for continued success. Ask them about how they handle client transitions to ensure future positive outcomes. These shouldn’t be afterthoughts in a flurry of wrapping up your partnership. This process should be transparent. If it’s not, you have legitimate cause for concern.

If you want to take the opportunity to ask us these questions about our practices (and more), or to find out how we can help propel your business’s success in the digital marketing world, reach out to us today!

Further Reading: How To Fast-Track Recovery For Your Business

Photos Courtesy of Justin Aikin, Campaign Creators, and Colton Jones

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