We talked about how to recognize the warning flags of an incompetent or incapable SEO. Now let’s investigate the way to tell a good SEO when you meet one. A good SEO consultant or firm will:
1. Provide a consultation at which they evaluate your website and explain what they feel the weak areas are, using data to back up their observations.
2. Ask YOU what YOUR goals are, and help you to clarify if you are being too vague.
3. Lay out an ideal plan of action, with variations that can take into account your budget, etc. They shouldn’t make claims like “We will get you to the top of Google” or “We can get you ten thousand links!” Instead, look for comments like “I believe we can boost your conversion rate by 30% over a three month period”. The first two are ‘specific’ but meaningless – top of Google for what? your weird, unique company name? a long tail keyword phrase searched for once every other day? The last is a specific goal that actually has quantifiable measure of success.
4. Give you periodic reports and updates with real data that shows a clear improvement in your bottom line over time.
5. A good SEO will be practical, forthcoming and transparent about their methods. They will never compromise you or your website trying to get fast results and will be honest about the amount of time and effort it takes to get you to a decent ranking.
Once you find a good SEO consultant or firm, hang on tight. The good ones are hard to come by, and you only want the best working on your website!