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July 28, 2017

Don’t hire a local SEO unless you understand these 6 things

Hiring a local SEO
Hiring a local SEO

Hiring a local SEO

Like a lot of people, you may be realizing that your website is not bringing any more business than you had before you built your website.

You figure it would be a good idea to make sure your website is performing correctly, and to do that you have decided to hire a local SEO.

This is great, and you are definitely on the right track. There are just a few things you need to be aware of when trying to find the right SEO to hire.

1.      Transparency.

SEO is mysterious, but it isn’t magic. SEO is marketing, not a collection of classified documents you need top level security clearances to see. This isn’t Mission Impossible.

Unfortunately, there are a handful of SEOs that think it is best if they keep what they are doing a secret.

Good SEO is no secret. There is no danger in knowing what is going on. In fact, I think it is a good idea that the client has an idea of what is at stake and what it takes to improve someone’s rank. It helps them understand why you charge what you charge in the first place.

2.      Do I maintain control over the accounts?

Back in the early 2000s I made the mistake of letting my hosting company register my domain name. When the company went out of business I couldn’t get my domain name or my website back up and running for over a year. That experience taught me to make sure I always had access to my website, regardless if the domain was the issue or the hosting.

You never want to get into a situation where your web designer or digital marketing agent has you trapped and over a barrel. You should always maintain control over your website, google analytics account, and so on.

3.      What is the difference between black hat and white hat

Better than knowing what they are going to be doing is to know that they know what NOT to do. I know of several companies that do mostly white hat SEO, but then add some black hat junk in there because they think it is okay to get away with it. Sometimes they actually don’t know any better, so it is always a good idea to make sure and ask them.

Improper, sketchy or otherwise poor SEO techniques can have dire consequences. Your site could end up being flagged by google. Even if you are not getting banned, but still practicing questionable SEO your site’s rank will suffer dramatically.

4.      How do you know when you have achieved something?

Facebook pages that have more than 5,000 active users get solicitations for advertisements, whereas others simply do not. That is just one example.

If there is a plan in place you will easily know if you have met your goals or not. There are plans built around organic searches, and ones built around click through rates. The goals should be discussed with you and agreed upon. That way there is no guesswork on whether or not they were met.

5.      How will you be contacting me?

Email, phone, or in person? Who is your point of contact? An employee, or the owner of the company? It is best to have one consistent approach to your SEO. Having a bunch of people handling your SEO is like hiring 30 photographers to shoot your wedding.

6.      If we part ways, will you be taking anything away from me?

I have heard horror stories of where SEOs would put links to a site on their secret network of websites only to take the site down if they part ways with their client. I find this silly, petty and ridiculous. Nevertheless, you might as well be extra careful and make sure you are protected if something goes haywire. Go ahead and make sure the SEO you hired for your local SEO is not going to try to undo the work they did.

You really should know that you get to keep what was done. A plumber wouldn’t take this plumbing out of your house once it was put in, would he? All business has disputes from time to time. It is a good idea to make sure your business is still going to be in decent shape if everything goes sideways.


Summary:

Ideally, web designers would be able to market your site properly, but most designers don’t even bother with SEO at all. If you do have to hire a company for SEO services at least now you have a little better understanding of some of the things you should know before hiring a local SEO.

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