Google algorithm updates have absolutely rocked SEO the past couple of years. Panda, Penguin, Hummingbird, lions, tigers, and bears. They’re all significant and they all impact how you should be approaching any SEO activities.
The days of standard on page SEO and easy link building are gone. Man, are they gone.
Today’s SEO has a lot to contend with. If they don’t have the right answers you could be the one that pays for it (in more ways than one).
1. What Does Content Mean To You?
If the answer is “a great chance to optimize” – walk away. Today’s content has to have value. That doesn’t necessarily mean it’s the most grammatically correct or large in word count. Look for an SEO that sees content as a chance to grow your site’s value to readers.
2. What Are Your Thoughts On Link Building?
Google’s recent endeavors have changed the link building landscape forever. They’re penalizing companies that buy links in anyway shape or form. Link building must happen organically. That can and should include encouraging links through social channels and content sharing.
3. Do You Know Any Shortcuts?
There are supposed shortcuts for any aspect of SEO. Automated this and automated that. But the days when this was effective are gone. You should be looking to hire an individual or firm that is very hands on and realizes that there is no fast route to SEO traffic.
4. What Is Your Client Retention Rate?
This is an awesome question. You may catch them stumbling to answer quickly. Let that be your sign to walk away. And don’t let them fool you either. It’s very easy to lie about this question. Ask for references and contacts to back up their story.
If you ask only one question – this may be the most important. (but don’t do that – ask them all)
5. Who Will Be Doing The Work on My Site?
Don’t let your prized possession be just another account for someone to outsource. Find out the name and contact info for the person or persons doing the work on your site. You’ll most likely be paying good money for this service – you deserve to know who’s actually providing it.
In today’s SEO landscape services aren’t cheap. And that’s for good reason. To stay within the guidelines you or your service provider are going to be working hard. There is no shortcut in this game anymore. If you decide to outsource don’t forget to ask these questions. If you do and they get them all right – you’ll almost certainly end up with positive experience.