Top 5 Questions to Ask When Hiring an SEO Consultant


Search engine optimization is a sophisticated, dynamic, interesting and complex skill. Every business owner; who has a website; must either have this skill or hire someone who has it. An SEO consultant is one of the greatest strengths of a business organization today and therefore it is also important for a business owner to know exactly what to ask an individual before retaining him for his domain expertise.

Can you guarantee a rise in my rankings?

We have to start with a trick question. It may seem like the SEO guy has to answer in the positive to this question. After all, every business owner loves guarantees on service or product satisfaction. But if the consultant-to-be answers with a strong, unconditional and vehement ‘yes’, then you may like to reconsider hiring him or her. Search engines are constantly changing their algorithms and results of searches. Nobody can claim a guarantee of high rank without any conditions whatsoever.


Have you done an analysis?

Before coming to your interview, a consultant should have analyzed your website. So ask your candidate if he or she has analyzed your website in the best manner possible. Analysis should also include:

  • How your website fares in current search engine results.
  • The quality of content.
  • What people at large are saying about your website.
  • Your social bookmarking.
  • The analysis of results once great search engine optimization practices have been implemented – with the help of professional tools.

How will you work at SEO?

There is black hat SEO which can get fast results in quite a few cases but can prove to be disastrous for your website in the long run. The answer here should hinge primarily on your business culture and what you want from the consultant and search engine optimization.

You should find out if the consultant will:

  • Make changes to your web page coding and if yes, he should share the same with you.
  • Add or change tags and metadata associated with your web content.
  • Generate and use high quality keywords.

You could also ask for details of references and client testimonials and even a company that they have catapulted to fame in the recent past.

How will we talk?

Communication is key when it comes to hiring SEO consultants. So you should have a very clear idea of how you are going to converse with each other. The consultant should be able to explain – in technical and non-technical terms – exactly what he proposes to do, how he will do it and what will be the cost of the same and what will be the results that you can expect.

How will you handle content?

Yes indeed, content is king and therefore the search engine optimization consultant should have the ways and means of handling ‘royalty’. Find out how content will be generated and how it will be tweaked so as to make it SEO friendly. If your Chicago SEO consultant can give valuable inputs on what kind of content should be created and how it can be created – then you have a good thing going.