Having Trouble Finding the Right Columbus SEO Specialist? Questions You Must Ask Before Hiring One
By Kim Shandrow ; July 17th, 2017

Does your website show up on the first page of search engine results? If it is nowhere to be found on Google, Yahoo or Bing, it is high time you hired an SEO agency. Studies show that people use search engines to find information online. This means if they are looking for a service you offer, they will type relevant keywords into search engines and go with the service providers who show up on the first page. Not being on the first page of search engine results will really hurt your business. This is why investment in SEO is very important.


There are so many companies that you can reach out to when you need expert SEO services. The downside is that they are not all built equal. It is your duty to ensure that you find a company that understands your needs and one that has the know-how to help you achieve your goals. Asking your candidates the following questions will ensure that you end up with the right company for your website needs.


  • Can you provide us with a list of your references?

The first thing you want to do when considering a service provider is to hear from their current and past clients. Are they happy with the services they are receiving? You can only do this if you get a list of clients that the SEO agency has worked with. Make sure the contact information of the clients is included.


The best thing about using the references is that they will help you determine whether your target candidate is a good fit for your business. You will also be able to verify the tactics that the company uses. When you contact some of the references, they should be able to tell you whether the company's techniques had any positive impact on their ranking. If they never saw any change, then this is definitely not the company you should be working with.


  • How do you boost search engine rankings?

When it comes to search engine optimization, there are no guarantees. This means you should avoid SEO experts who promise top rankings. The company you need to work with is the one that tells you how they plan to improve your ranking. They should discuss their strategy in detail. The right candidate will explain the different strategies he will use to boost your ranking and give you an estimate of how long the whole process will take.


The proposal given by a candidate should include the initial technical reviews of your site. This should explain the things that will be done to eliminate problems that may affect your ranking such as error pages, broken links and poor coding. The service provider should also give information on how they will handle on-page and off-page optimization. Simply put, the right SEO expert should cover all the three levels of SEO: technical, on-page and off-page optimization.


  • Do you follow the guidelines given by search engines?

The last thing you want when getting North Star SEO is working with a company that will damage your reputation. To get lasting results in search engine optimization, you want to work with an expert who abides strictly to the search engines' webmaster guidelines. There are specific SEO tricks that are strictly prohibited. They include the automatic generation of spam content and the use of bogus hidden links and text. Violating the guidelines will cause your website to be banned. Needless to say, this will hurt your business. It may take months and thousands of dollars for you to rebuild your reputation. The SEO consultant must confirm that he follows the best practices set by all major search engines.


  • Can you guarantee number-one ranking on Yahoo, Google and Bing?

If the answer you get is yes, you should steer clear of such a service provider. The reason for this is because the service provider may use unethical strategies to help you achieve that ranking. As aforementioned, the unethical strategies will cause your website to be banned. If the service provider will be following the webmaster's guidelines, there is no way he can guarantee number-one ranking on search engines. The acceptable answer here is for the SEO specialist to inform you of the strategies he will use to help you achieve high ranking.


  • How do you measure success?

Last but not least, you need to understand how the SEO agency measures success. The methods used vary from one agency to another. Make sure the method that your candidate uses tracks exactly how much traffic you get from SEO campaigns. Your candidate must also be experienced in Google Analytics.


These questions will surely help you distinguish the best candidates from the rest. You must never base your choice of candidate on the cost but rather on the competence of a service provider.

About author

Kim Shandrow is an experienced SEO expert and the former West Coast editor at the Entrepreneur. She currently focuses on North Star SEO and has written many blog posts on the same. You can connect with her on LinkedIn to learn more.

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