How to check an SEO specialist - 15 points to evaluate
The head or marketer of a company that plans to promote a website in search engines is faced with a difficult question - the choice of a contractor.
Each commercial offer requested in studios or remote managers is replete with the terminology, the benefits of one type of promotion or another, huge lists of upcoming analyzes, and improvements on the site.
In general, it seems that everyone is doing the same thing:
Audit the site;
Correct errors on it;
Select keywords for promotion;
Optimize pages for requests;
Usability analysis is performed;
Give the recommendation to increase the result;
Provide external links;
Deal with behavioral factors;
Configure statistics collection systems;
The functionality is being finalized, etc.
The only difference is in the budget, guarantees, and timing of the result.
How do you identify an SEO specialist who really has the qualifications to bring your site into the search engine's visibility zone, who will achieve results in practice, and not on paper?
This is a really important question, since the minimum contract period is usually six months, and on average it lasts a year and a half. If the site is taken care of by an amateur, then the result will be zero, or negative and can be expensive for the customer:
Time is lost - a year and a half, and competitors have already grown in traffic and leads over this period.
The budget, on average fifty thousand a month, is wasted. For a year it is 600 thousand dollars, on contextual advertising, you can get good traffic for this money.
15 points for evaluating an SEO specialist or company
To determine the reliability of the contractor, we recommend paying attention to the following indirect points, which are not directly reflected in the commercial proposal.
1. Individual or conveyor approach
We determine the studio approach - individual or conveyor. It is important that when communicating with the studio staff, they resolve the issue with which you applied.
For example, promotion is important for you in which traffic grows, and you are offered a commercial offer where the emphasis is on positions for several queries.
Pay attention, are specialists ready to dive into your task? Offer solutions to the questions asked? Those who work on the conveyor often offer their services, not upon request, but a ready-made standard solution, and in the commercial proposal, they simply enter the name of your company in the title.
2. Contact information
Is there an office? If you have serious disagreements, you will have the opportunity to come to the studio and resolve the issue in person. If this is a freelancer, then you will have to wait a long time until he comes to your office for discussion.
What phones does the studio have - only mobile phones or are there city phones? If behind a beautiful studio website there is only one mobile phone and email, then chances are that this is a freelancer creating the appearance of a studio.
A loner who can easily disappear by disconnecting a mobile phone and deleting mail in a month - two jobs.
3. Account managers
Pay attention, who communicates with you - account managers? How quickly do they respond? If a specialist communicates with you directly, then most likely he always communicates with clients and coordinates all issues. When will he be working on your site?
4. Studio partners
Look at the potential contractor's website for any mention of partnerships. Check the availability of information about the studio on the partner sites.
For example, the studio indicates that it is a business partner of Bitrix or UMI.CMS participates in the Runet rating and is a member of any associations.
This means that on the sites of these companies, there should be a mention of the studio. If not, then you should clarify why with the contractor.
5. Portfolio section
Pay attention to the number of works in the portfolio. Check if the sites listed in the job list are working. Look below at the indicated sites, who developed and the year of creation. Write to these companies to get feedback on cooperation with the developer.
6. Cases on the site
Look for cases, what tasks were solved by the company's specialists, how they did it. How relevant are the decisions that the studio applied to you? Check the sites listed in the cases, try to contact the website owners, and get feedback.
7. Reviews on the website and on the Internet
Take a look at the client's studio page. Request phone numbers of contact persons of these companies for communication and clarification. Search the internet for reviews of the studio:
8. Specialists in website development and content
Ask the manager if there are specialists in design, development, copywriting on the staff. SEO is a consulting service. It involves analysis and recommendations for improvements to bring the site to the TOP of search engines.
The main work with the site according to the terms of reference of the optimizer is done by programmers, content managers, webmasters, and copywriters.
9. SEO contract
Ask to send you a contract for review. It happens that some terms and guarantees are written in a commercial proposal, and completely different in the contract.
10. Details of the legal entity
According to them, you can determine the date of registration of the company. On certain services, you can check the legal and financial history of the company for reliability. If the website says that the studio has been operating for more than ten years, and the legal entity is a little over one year old, please clarify why there is such a discrepancy. If there was another legal entity before - ask for details, they should also be checked.
11. Transparency of the announced budget
Check if you will need to pay any amounts in excess of the monthly payment. It is possible that you will additionally need to pay for various services and services: widgets for online consultants and callbacks, call tracking, copyright, links, tests, audits, analysis, special hosting, etc. It is better to immediately determine the entire budget and agree on constant and one-time payments.
12. Contextual advertising
Does the company provide services for setting up and maintaining contextual advertising? The comprehensive promotion has a synergistic effect and if you have to turn to other contractors, then there can be disputes between the context specialists and the optimizers. Since there is no well-established connection between specialists, someone can delete customized pages, counters, services, which leads to additional costs for the customer.
13. Additional services
Check what other services the web studio provides. Will there be site support, performance monitoring, hosting, and domain renewals? Untimely renewed domain and hosting will lead to the disconnection of the site, and it will quickly lose the achieved positions.
14. Commercial proposal format
What kind and what kind of information it contains. Is it a simple letter or a well-formed Word, PDF attachment? Is it possible to say according to a commercial proposal how much the service will cost, what the agency will do, who will deal with the site, what result is planned to be achieved, and in what time frame?
What guarantees for SEO does the agency give? It happens that they are expressed in the form of an additional bonus for achieving a result, and they are called "financial guarantees".
For example, promotion by the position of thirty queries costs 30,000 dollars. When the TOP10 reaches more than twenty requests, it is assumed that the customer pays a bonus of 20,000 dollars in addition to the budget. It turns out that the budget becomes 50,000 dollars.
And the contractor's guarantees are that he will not receive his bonus in the amount of 20,000 if he achieves the result, and does not reduce the initial budget of 30,000 dollars by this amount, as it first seems from the commercial proposal.
These moments will be enough to make the first adequate impression of the contractor company without knowledge in the field of Internet marketing and start discussing the details of cooperation with him.
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