Let’s face it – SEO is complicated and if you don’t know much of it yourself, it’s going to be hard to hire the right SEO to help you grow your company.
You probably also have questions like:
- Should I hire an agency or a consultant?
- How long of an engagement should I budget for?
- How much does a good SEO even cost?
- What other resources do I need in place (design, development) before I’m really ready to hire an SEO?
Google has tried to help us out over the years with knowledge, especially this video from former Googler Maile Ohye where she gives some valuable insight:
How To Hire An SEO
When hiring an SEO, you should be prepared for a minimum 4-6 month engagement. Having an initial audit done can be a great way to learn what your site’s issues are as well as if you work well with that agency or consultant, but simply having an audit done will not move the needle for your business.
You actually need to implement the strategies and fixes, and that takes a guiding hand from a professional.
If you are concerned about the person and if they can do the job, spend more time up front vetting out if they are actually the right kind of provider for you to engage with.
This is why Credo offers the Porter service to help you define your project, but if that’s not the route you want to take then you should ask for the following:
- Case studies of clients who have a similar type of site (not necessarily the same niche) to yours. Think eCommerce, not “Nike shoes”.
- Their process for driving more traffic to your site. Some companies have a set strategy that they follow (which can be valuable if they are experts in your business type), while others do a more bespoke strategy. If the second, ask them how they’d put it together for your business.
You should also ask these questions:
- Who will you be communicating with? Some agencies have a direct consultant-to-client communication model while others use account managers. Neither is better or worse across the board, but each has their own challenges.
- How many clients does each consultant/account manager typically have?
- What type of reporting do clients get and how often do you do it?
- How much communication do you like to have with your clients?
All of these questions will not only help you get an understanding of if they are actually good at what they do (which should be covered by the first questions you ask), but also if their working style is a good fit for yours.
Every person and therefore every business has a specific style of working. If your business is a traditional 9-5 environment then you will be frustrated by a consultant/agency who works longer hours and wants a response. Similarly, if you are a small business owner who works all the time and answers emails at all hours of the night, you will be frustrated by an agency/consultant with a 9-5 mindset.
Find the right culture fit as well as the right skillset fit.