Being a brick and mortar type of business doesn’t mean you won’t be needing any online marketing strategies. In fact, there’s more reason to do so seeing as social media and connectivity are becoming a habit of the general populace. Opting for Local SEO can be risky for your site’s visibility if you don’t know what you’re doing, however, not doing it at all would be much worse. So how are you going to succeed in your Local SEO strategies without risking any penalties with Google?
The answer’s pretty simple – get someone who knows Local SEO like the back of his hand and have him on your team. There are a lot of Local SEO consultants and companies out there who have dedicated their time in understanding the logic behind Google’s algorithms and hiring them is imperative if you want to rank your site in local SERPs faster.
However, before hiring an SEO consultant, you have to be sure about some things about them first. Many business owners have spent thousands of dollars for some crappy work by some so-called SEO experts that will, if not always, claim that they will take the top spot for relevant search queries – make sure that you won’t become one of them.
Here are some questions that you need to ask a Local SEO consultant before you hire him/her.
Do you have a list of your current and previous clients?
You can’t call someone a professional if they don’t have any previous working records of them. Asking an a Local SEO consultant a track record of his/her current and past clients will enable you to carefully examine how good his/her performance is. A simple phone call to one of them should tell you if the guy you’re hiring was able to do what he claims to do for you.
How are you going to execute your job?
Your consultant should also be able to give you a detailed layout as to how they’re going to optimize your site. And also, they should be able to discuss it with you on layman’s terms – make them speak english. If you think his/her answers are quite vague or you think that they’re trying to confuse you with all the useless jargon then simply hang up your phone. Local SEO can be quite complicated, but it’s methods and strategies should be explained to make sure you understand what they’re doing.
A professional SEO consultant should also be able to give you an analysis of your site and give you a heads up as to why it doesn’t rank well in the SERPs. And then he/she will give you a list of strategies and methods that you can do to alleviate this problem. Having a general knowledge about Local SEO should make these strategies much easier to understand.
Are you doing it by the book?
By now, you should be familiar with the terms blackhat and whitehat SEO. Simply put, whitehats are people who play the the rules in optimizing the site while blackhats are those who do things via underhanded methods.
These blackhat methods such as link spamming will indeed increase your rankings and traffic for a short period of time, but it can potentially ruin your site for good if it gets penalized by Google. Unless you want to take some unnecessary risks, then I strongly suggest you steer away from people who can illegally raise your ranks and go for people who can properly do it the right way.
What do I have to do/give to make sure you do your job right?
It’s not only about how much you’re paying your consultant – but of course, that topic is also an important issue. There are a lot of things that you need to do so that they, in turn, can do the job with utmost performance. You should be able to know beforehand these things before you sign the contract.
Will you give me constant updates and changes regarding the site? How about my business’ social accounts? Will I still have access to them?
Local SEO requires changing the structure of your site at some point. It also requires some changes on the social pages of your business as well. You have to be sure that you’ll have access to these information once the process starts and that you have to be constantly updated about the new changes being done to it.
How do I know that the strategies are working?
Aside from the changes, your consultant should also be able to keep track of the improvement in your traffic rate. They should be adept at using Google Analytics so updating you shouldn’t be a problem. Ask them how long the intervals between these updates so you’ll be able to expect some changes at certain times.
How do we catch up on one another?
Basically, your consultant should have a viable tool that enables you to communicate with each other with ease. Skype should be a preferable choice, given its efficiency – however, you can still use other methods. These communication tools are important as they can also be used to update you on the changes being done on your site.
What happens when your work is done?
You have to be sure that there aren’t no loose ends and any catches to your deal. Some unethical SEO professionals will either take your earned links hostage and will threaten their clients to remove them unless they keep up their partnership with them. Make sure that the contract you’re signing should be transparent enough.