How to select an SEO consultant services or Professional SEO Expert & Specialist?

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Why do you need to hire an SEO consultant services?

  1. Google search and email are the 2 main activities online. The human being goes on the Internet to do research with an intention: to have fun, to be informed, to understand, to train, to compare, to choose, to buy.
  2. The proof: 93% of online sessions start with a search engine.
  3. The first 3 results represent an average of 60% of clicks.
  4. 75% of Internet users never click beyond the 1st page, even if they can go in 2 ° or 3 ° page.

Why always bring everything back to Google in terms of SEO services agency?

  1. 92% of searches done on the Internet in the world are done on Google; 2.75% on Bing; 1.66% on Baidu (China) and 1.61% on Yahoo.
  2. This represents more than 6.5 billion searches per day (63,000 per second).
  3. 94% of mobile and tablet search traffic comes from Google.
  4. Search engines bring on average 4 times more traffic than social media marketing networks to a website.
  5. 15% of these searches have never been made before.
  6. 50% of the queries have 4 words or more.

What works?

  • For 72% of marketers and SEOs, the most effective is the relevant content.

The improvement of the content, the rewriting of already published articles, can have very big impacts on the visibility of a site and thus on its traffic.

About the content:

  • The first page is an average of 1,890 words.

The second factor recognized by Google as the most important for ranking sites in its results pages is the quality of incoming links (according to Andrey Lipattsev, Search Quality Senior Strategist at Google):

But, as a decision maker, you are not an expert, it is not your subject, you have trouble to see clearly in all these technical terms. A recent study indicates that more than half of Internet users can not tell the difference between so-called natural search results and advertisements.

Who to call?

Regarding digital marketing services, you should already know that there are agencies whose job is to make sites (but not SEO), agencies that do SEO (but not sites) and agencies that make sites and SEO.

Here is a guide “How to Find The Right Arabic SEO Services Agency or Company?

In terms of provider, you have the choice: Arabic SEO services company, generalist agency (agencies that make sites and SEO), freelance, marketing consultant, seo consultant, students, junior company, offshore provider, personal relationship …

The difficulty is that between the technicality of the subject, its constant evolution, the diversity and the number of providers:

  • “Seo agency”: 115,000 results on Google (although these results include seo agency sites and sites that speak seo agencies.
  • “SEO consultant”: 374,000 results on Google

11 Tips for choosing the right SEO consultant services or Professional SEO Expert & Specialist?

This list is a personal point of view. Others may have another vision. No order of priority in my list.

1) Choosing which queries you want to position.

I think that a good SEO consultant should not be limited to taking your list of keywords. On the other hand, it must validate if they are relevant (especially in relation to the level of demand and in relation to competition) and be able to make well-argued proposals (with figures) and not to limit to selling you what he got for free in a few seconds via Google Keyword Planner (a more common case than we would like to believe).

A habit of some SEOs is to refer to your brand … that no one knows and therefore no one will look for. SEO is not only positioning you on your brand, it is also (above all) positioning you on queries around your products, your services and the needs you answer.

2) Clear communication

Some people are also having fun using technical terms that you do not understand. Your consultant must be at your level, adapt his language and use a suitable vocabulary.

3) Customer references (on how many keywords they are positioned and which ones)

Do not settle for speeches and promises. Ask your contact for references in several areas. He must show you that he has referenced B2B and B2C sites in different sectors: real estate, banking, heath ….

Ask him about how many keywords each site is referenced, on which are queries …

4) Google Ads

Attention, as noted above, more than half of Internet users do not differentiate between advertising results or PPC and so-called natural results. Some providers will take the opportunity to make you believe that you appear in a good position while it is only an ad for your site that appears.

5) Packages that measure

Search engine marketing has become very complex today. Practices have improved. There are several sites that target the same queries as you. Generic approaches that worked 15 or 20 years ago are not doing anything right now. Each case is unique, the needs are specific to each. Some sites have to change their structure, their architecture, the technology used to develop it, others have to develop their content, others have to work on the quality of the incoming links. The package that suits everyone, is not suitable for many people.

6) Directories

Some have told you that in a few days your site will be present in hundreds or thousands of directories. To flee immediately. This type of practice has the main risk of penalizing your site and being excluded from search results.

7) Number of words

This is an almost systematic subject when we talk about content production (article writing) with a client. Many customers want sites with little content, because:

  • They want to preserve their graphics.
  • Internet users “do not read”.
  • They have no place to put long contents.
  • They do not want long content.

Many sites still talk about making articles of 300 or 500 words minimum and many providers offer this service. Problem: The pages on the first page of the results have 1,890 words on average.

Many studies show that the amount of content is a critical ranking factor.

8) Arabic version

It seemed to me to be absolutely obvious: to be visible in Arabic language or for Arabic users, you need a site in Arabic. Yet I still see many sites whose content is only in English. If this is your case, Your selected SEO expert should be a native Arabic speaker to handle your business SEO services efficiently and drive the expected results.

9) Relationship

Search engine optimization takes time and it takes up to 3 or 6 months to start having meaningful results based on your domain age and your previous local SEO efforts along with the completion oe that market that you are targeting. So you need to make sure that you can get a long term relationship or support.

10) Measurement of results

There are plenty of criteria for measuring results. Ask your SEO Expert what he proposes to you: which indicators? from which source?

11) The budget

There are many offers at all prices, including a few tens of euros per month. Problem, SEO experts charge between 75 € / hour and 150 € / hour. Make the ratio from the budget we propose to calculate the time we will devote to you.

Several sites clearly indicate that SEO is a minimum of € 1,000 per month over 12 months.

The marketing SEO is a serious subject, which requires real skills and therefore has a cost. Beware, run away from all too good promises and take a step back from the offers that are made to you.

10 Questions to ask when choosing an SEO consultant services

Going up in the SERPs ( Search Engine Result Pages ) has become the goal of several companies. Places are expensive and competition is growing. The SEO consultant is able to design a strategy to increase the visibility of your website but also to write relevant content. If you plan to work with an SEO consultant but you do not know how to select, here is a guide to the 12 questions to ask him during your interview.

1. What strategy will you put in place to improve our positioning on search engines?

Just as your overall strategy has allowed you to strengthen your position in your industry, a good organic SEO needs to develop an action plan. Without this plan, all the energy put in place is likely to bring low results.

An SEO expert will start with:

  • Perform a technical audit of your website to determine the problems blocking google crawling and indexation
  • Select keywords that can generate leads for your business not just a random traffic.
  • Target the most quality external links rather than directing your choice on a lot of links that are of low quality and relevancy. Better a link of a very high quality website than a hundred links without any weight. “Spam linking” does not really work anymore. Beware of freelances or agencies that offer hundreds or thousands of links for a few dozen euros.

With this first question, you will already be able to sort out a credible professional and an amateur.

2. What are the significant results that you have achieved for your clients?

Having a methodology in mind is a starting point. But if you have no references or reports to gauge the previous actions led by this SEO consultant, it seems difficult to trust him. Also, do not hesitate to check the following:

  • The practical cases he worked on to find out if a similar model could apply to your company
  • The average duration of his missions. A good SEO consultant works with his clients on the medium-long term.

3. Which fields of SEO intervention do you support?

This question allows you to learn more about the criteria determining your SEO ranking before interventions are made. If none of the three aspects below are mentioned, it is better to refer you to another expert:

  • The technical audit: it is a question of identifying the technical errors on your Internet site which can have a negative impact on your referencing (the pages not found, to check that all your pages are indexed, the speed of the loading of your pages, the problems redirection …). Any SEO consultant worthy of the name begins his work with a technical audit of the site. This is the basis.
  • The content: all the texts and photos on your pages and their good quality (important keywords are there?) Do you have a varied semantic field, do your photos have an alt tag?
  • The Backlinking: The quality of SEO of a site depends largely on the quantity but also and especially the quality of backlinks. External links are used to certify, in the eyes of Google, the relevance and quality of your content.

A little extra: ask the consultant if he has already worked for clients in the same sector as yours. An SEO strategy can work for one sector and not another. Your Arabic SEO consultant must know a minimum of the problems of your sector.

4. What tools do you use?

An experienced SEO knows how much time is valuable in this business and that without material help, it would be quickly overwhelmed. Fortunately, he can rely on tools:

  • from standbyto monitor competitive activity and know the benefits of its actions
  • of audience measurementto know which pages experiencing the most success or check the progress of an ongoing operation.
  • to automate tasksto plan actions in advance. While it is interesting to prepare relevant posts for your own social networks, it is not the same to send the same comment on many blogs for example. Thus, the result will be rather disastrous because Google easily locates duplicate content. You could face penalties.
  • Techniquesto inform of a broken link, monitor the performance of a site or any other problem to be quickly supported.
  • Ranking to monitor the ranking drops or increase of the targeted keywords.

5. How important do you think Google’s best practices are? Do you still follow them?

The job of SEO is to improve the visibility of a website in search engines, using SEO techniques. But in fact, this is mainly to appear well in Google, which is by far the most used search engine globally. To provide users with relevant search results, Google continually updates its algorithms and best practices. Following these good practices can be forbidding and restrictive, but it is a necessary condition for building a good SEO in the long term. The update of Google Panda has had a very negative impact on the traffic of thousands of websites:

An SEO consultant who takes liberties with the best practices of Google (by making Gray / Black Hat SEO) will probably get good results in the short term, but it will take a Google update for SEO to your website is wiped out as a result of penalties. Golden rule: in SEO, you always have to think about the long term.

6. Do you regularly stay informed about Google’s policies and updates?

An SEO consultant worthy of the name has to keep up to date with updates to Google’s main algorithms. Google performs about 500 algorithms updates a year. Some updates and some algorithms have no profound impact on SEO. On the other hand, some algorithms and updates are so important for SEO that they have names. Google Panda is far from being the only algorithm of Google.

An Arabic SEO Expert worthy of the name must know this list of algorithms. What good is working on referencing a site in Google if we do not keep informed of the rules used by Google to reference websites. Feel free to ask your potential SEO consultant for details on a particular algorithm to make sure you do not have to do to a beginner. In order not to get stuck, read this very comprehensive and accessible article from WebRankInfo about Google’s main algorithms .

7. How will I be informed of the progress of your work on my site?

A competent and professional SEO consultant is a consultant who keeps his client regularly informed. An SEO consultant must be able to offer you a report every month, or even to keep you informed once a week of the work done. A professional monthly report should contain the following information:

  • A summary of the actions carried out during the month (content creation, new links, on-site technical optimization, etc.).
  • The evolution of the traffic during the month, graphs in support.
  • The evolution of the position of your site (ranking) on ​​the main targeted queries.
  • The evolution of the conversion indicators. For example, the evolution of your online sales if you have an e-commerce site, or the evolution of the number of subscribers to the newsletter, etc.

Note: The SEO consultant must be able to inform you after each major change made to your site. Ask your potential SEO consultant about his availability: how can I contact you? By which channels? Anytime in case of serious problem encountered on the site or urgent question?

8. Can you guarantee that our site will appear first on several queries?

It’s a trap question. Being in first position on several queries: it is impossible to guarantee 100% this kind of performance.

Why is it a dishonest promise? For several reasons :

  • First, nobody is in the secrets of Google. Nobody knows exactly how Google’s algorithms work, including the most expert SEO consultants.
  • Nobody knows how Google’s algorithms evolve. We saw what energy Google put in updating its algorithms and in the regular invention of new algorithms.
  • No one is immune from Google’s algorithm changes.

9. Have you ever had the opportunity to work on a site with penalties?

Penalties are one of the big beasts of webmasters. Penalties can be manual or automatic. In any case, they penalize sites that do not respect the good practices enacted by the search engines (Google is not the only engine to use the penalties). A penalty results in a loss of positions in the search results, and ultimately a loss of site traffic. We saw the impact that the penalty of the Pinguoin algorithm could have on the traffic of a website (see screenshot of the fifth paragraph).

Penalties have become part of the internet landscape for many years. An experienced and professional SEO consultant has always had the opportunity, one day or another, to work on a penalized site. Ask the consultant about his knowledge of the penalties, the missions he has carried out for penalized sites. Have his clients managed to recover their initial positions and traffic? Also ask your potential consultant what he advises to prevent penalties.

10. How do you determine / measure the success of your work?

This question helps to learn a lot about the SEO consultant that you have in front of you. This reveals aspects of his method of work, but also his professional requirements. There are several possible answers:

  • “My work will be done when your traffic has increased by X% in Y months.”
  • “My work will be successful when this or that specific metric will be increased by X%”. The most used metrics for SEO reporting are those related to the rank of keywords in the engines (keyword rankings), related to traffic (number of unique visitors, page views …) as well as the metrics “on-page” like time spent on the page. If the SEO consultant is interested in the ROI and the conversion rate, this is a super experienced consultant. The ROI and the conversion rate are more important than the traffic.
  • “I will have done my job when you appear first (or in the TOP 3) in Google for such keywords”.

The answer you get from the SEO consultant will allow you to know where you are going in advance. And also to know concretely what you can expect from recruiting an SEO consultant.

BONUS – the question that kills

In a recruitment interview, one question almost always comes up: “Why do you choose yourself rather than another? “. Why not ask your potential SEO provider at the end of your interview? The answer to this question allows you to know more about the person you are dealing with and his skills. This question does not admit a ready answer. However, some answers could be worrying. like:

  • “Because I’m cheap”
  • “I can bring you a lot of backlinks”
  • “With me, you’ll get results faster than anywhere else.”

A good SEO consultant can not be “cheap” (otherwise there is eel under rock). Regarding backlinks, we have already seen that quality alone really matters. You need “good” backlinks, and not “a lot” of backlinks. Quality and quantity are impossible to associate (unless you have a huge budget). Many backlinks = bad backlinks.

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