Most of you would probably have a good enough idea about just how important SEO is for your business and for any other purpose you are using your website for. Now the next obvious question would be “who and how should we do it?” and the most simple answer; “get an expert to do it for you”. Hiring someone to work on SEO for you is like hiring someone to do gold-mining for you when you enjoy the beautiful sun on the beach. Right now, SEO is a galaxy with no limits. Look for hard and fast rules and you probably won’t find any; ask for the “right” answers and there aren’t more than a handful; and there’s nothing to stop you from plunging into it.

If you are looking for a SEO partner or an “expert”, there are hundreds and thousands of them out there right now, ranging from large companies to freelancers knowing not much more than the people hiring them to do SEO work for them. As a business, I know, the question about price would obviously be circling around in your head. Along with the assortment of hiring options, there is a wide assortment of packages being offered. Just for instance, type in “Link building Sydney” in your search engine and boom! You would start to feel like a kid in the candy store. The critical thing for you as a business, though, should not be the price. There are many factors and questions you should ask before you finalize a SEO partner. It is a strategic move, so think strategically as well.

7 Key Questions

There are 7 critical questions you need to ask while choosing an SEO partner to ascertain that you find the one who knows what SEO is and in which direction the trends are moving, so that his services are most beneficial for you and your clients.

1. What are the criteria you judge the success of your SEO campaign on?
There would be a lot of firms claiming to get you ranking number 1 in the search results, but be very vigilant that ranking is not the only thing you should be satisfied with; it is the revenues that you as a business are most concerned about. So choose the one who set the criteria for the success of their campaigns in terms of leads, online sales, the number of queries generated or the number of phone calls etc. Along with ranking, these are the elements you should like to see as a part of regular reporting.

2. Search terms – how they are determined by you?
With this question you want to judge their analytical ability in terms of search terms, keywords, along with how well they can analyze the business model and use that analysis in determining the search terms to optimize your website on. Here, you are looking for those who display knowledge of testing terms and tools.

3. Content writing – what is your methodology?
I believe we all know what content writing is and just how critical search friendly content is right now to optimize a websites search engine ranking. In your partner analysis, assign high marks to those who create content with media such as photo galleries and videos along with the text. In short they create content that captures interest of the reader and the search engine at the same time. Many SEO providers have dedicated content writer or copy writers on their team; they would probably be the best pick. It is important that you ask for and review their work samples too

4. Integration of SEO plans with the marketing plan – how do you do it?
SEO doesn’t work in isolation; it is a marketing tool, so it should be integrated into the marketing plan. Look for partners who understand and recognize this. What you should be looking for in their response is; concern for public relations, propagating the existing marketing elements through SEO and optimizing search terms related to a new product or marketing campaign.

5. How do you plan to get more links?
Links are critical to a site’s ranking. You need quality links to your optimized content from authority websites. The partner you should look for should be having a clear plan about how he is going to get quality links to your website and proven expertise in this area. Again, ask for and analyze their link-acquisition campaign work samples.

6. Month-to-month services that you will provide after the basic setup?
SEO is an on-going thing and you need continuous work and improvement. This is where a number of SEO firms would play a few tricks. Initially they will put in a significant effort and come up with healthy results; say in the first 60 days or so, and after that they will charge hefty amounts for basically very little work. So make it clear upfront that what they are going to do for improvement on on-going bases. You want your partner to provide continuous improvements, links and to keep up with the competition.

7. Give us your one success-story?
As a business, you want results. So you want to partner with someone who could deliver them most efficiently and effectively. Ask the partners for their best work and what they consider their success story. That would help you make a better fact-based choice.