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Taking the decision to hire an SEO Consultant is a great step in overcoming online business hurdles and growing your business.
After going through the selection process to find your SEO professional, discussing tentative budgets and time-frames, what else do you need to discuss? How should you brief your SEO consultant?
In most cases, your SEO consultant will guide you on this process, but here are some things you may want to consider prior to engaging with an SEO company.
1. Website History
Provide some background on your website, this may include when it was created, what the scope was and whether you have had any assistance with SEO in the past.
You may wish to discuss additional technologies you have used on your website, if any, for example: Google Analytics, Heat Map software, A/B testing, newsletter sign ups and so on.
Take a moment to think about any hurdles you have faced in that time and what measures you have taken, if any, to attempt to overcome these.
Also, any comments on what you do or don’t like about the site may be useful information.
2. Main Challenges
Describe what the main challenges you currently face. Here are some examples to get you thinking::
- Not updating the website
- Being unsure of what to do to keep the website fresh
- Lack of traffic
- Lack of relevant traffic
- Receiving too many customer support related inquiries, but not enough sales
- Lack of time to work on website and social media
- Bland or outdated web design
- Understanding on how many visitors your site is getting and other site metrics
3. Marketing Activity
What marketing activities has your business undertaken? This might be running a facebook page, advertising in a local business directory, networking or running Google ads campaigns.
Whichever tools you have used and use on-going, including social channels, will be very important information for your SEO.
The frequency of use of these channels is also essential information to pass on, as is your capacity for ramping up these marketing activities, whether that is in-house or outsourced.
This helps to plan the marketing strategy that your SEO will develop for you so that you can grow your web presence and grow traffic to your website.
4. Your Involvement In the Project
If you are comfortable editing and making changes to your website, or you have staff who can do this for you, would you want to be involved in making the necessary changes?
This will be useful information for your SEO Consultant, as they will be able to tailor a project to these needs.
In the instance that you or your team are able to work on the project, this might involve all or some of the following:
- Running SEO audits and passing on the tasks that your team may be able to resolve
- Passing on technical issues on to your web developer
- Working on a content strategy that your team can follow over time
- Creating guides for your team to follow when editing the website
- Providing SEO content training for you and your staff
- Working on a strategy to promote your content including social media use
- Backlink Strategy
- Re-running audits after a set time interval, measuring website analytics and search analytics
The benefits of this would be that you are up-skilling your team and can continue to improve your SEO over time without paying ongoing costs for a consultant.
However, not every business has the time, skills or inclination towards doing SEO, in this case it’s a no-brainer; simply outsource.
Next, what is your preferred communication style?
Everyone has different circumstances, so it’s helpful to discuss your preferred communication style early on in the engagement.
Are you a busy Director who doesn’t have time for regular communication, but wants to see monthly reports?
Or perhaps you are a hands on marketing professional who will be involved in the SEO work and prefer regular phone and email communication.
Whatever your needs, defining this will help create a smooth process and everyone will have a clear understanding of what to expect and when.
6. Future Plans
Do you have any plans to bring in any new product lines, services or software which may change the landscape of your business?
This would help the SEO consultant to plan for this change and amend the SEO strategy to meet these future needs.
7. Detailed Planning
If you have already considered which key words or phrases you are keen to rank your website on, discuss these with your SEO consultant as well. The SEO will be able to research these keywords to determine the likelihood of success.
This is not a must as your SEO consultant will research keywords and select suitable terms to target based on search volume and expected traffic.
So, now over to you, is there anything else you think is important to discuss with your SEO Consultant pre-project?