25 Essential Questions To Ask Your Next SEO Consultant

At First Rank, we’re dedicated to search engine optimization because we know it’s one of the most cost-effective and highest-converting forms of traffic generation. We take great pride in the incredible increases in online visibility, search engine rankings and, ultimately, the revenue we’re able to generate for our clients across a wide range of different industries.

But we also understand that, when prospective clients approach our team, they’re not always sure what questions to ask. This post is designed to help.

Tips for Hiring an SEO Expert

Our primary tip for hiring an SEO expert? Ask the right questions.

At First Rank, we’re selective about which businesses we work with and only take on clients we believe we can truly make a difference for. Likewise, we expect and encourage prospective clients to ask us all the tough questions without hesitation so that we can determine whether or not the partnership feels like the right fit from every perspective.

Below, we’ve outlined and answered some of the top questions we believe you should ask an SEO consultant before committing to a partnership.

If you have even more questions after reading this post, contact our professional team directly for further information.

Essential Questions To Ask

As you prepare for one or more meeting(s) with potential SEO consultants, here are 25 essential questions to keep in mind. We’ve separated them into 5 convenient categories below:

General SEO Questions

What is your SEO approach?

This question is a great starting point that helps you gain a big-picture understanding of how an SEO consultant or agency operates. Many consultants and agencies will talk about on-page SEO strategies, off-page SEO strategies, and technical SEO strategies.

At First Rank, our comprehensive and proven 6-pillar SEO approach goes beyond these basics to also include keyword strategy, Google Business Profile optimization, blog management, and much more. Learn more about our 6 Pillar Approach here.

What are your SEO deliverables?

Deliverables refer to the specific tasks and outputs that an SEO consultant agrees to achieve for your company. It’s always recommended to ask about deliverables so that you have a clear understanding of exactly what SEO services you’re paying for.

At First Rank, some of our deliverables include increased search traffic, search engine rankings, overall online visibility, clicks, visits, and more. Meet with us directly to learn more about the deliverables you can expect from our team based on the needs, profile, and budget of your particular business.

Have you worked in our industry?

At First Rank, we have a wealth of experience customizing our SEO approach for businesses from a vast array of different industries. The chances are high that we’ve already successfully worked with a business similar to yours! (You can refer to our Case Studies for more specifics.)

If your business presents a new niche for our SEO agency to tackle, we’ll do our research and prepare a personalized presentation to show you how we plan to move forward. We’re confident in our professional knowledge as well as in our ability to learn the ins and outs of your industry. Let’s talk!

What are backlinks?

Backlinks, also known as external links or incoming links, are links that point from other websites directly to your website. They’re critically important for demonstrating to search engines that your website is relevant and authoritative (i.e., that other high-quality websites see it as worth linking to).

What is an SEO audit?

An SEO audit is an evaluation of your website that identifies specific issues which may be holding it back from performing highly in organic searches.

How do you respond to Google’s algorithm updates?

Staying up-to-date with Google’s algorithm updates and taking an agile, proactive approach to ensuring that clients’ rankings aren’t negatively impacted by them is one of the hallmarks of an excellent SEO consultant.

Search engine algorithms are constantly evolving and, at First Rank, so are we. We’ve been around long enough to have confidently pivoted, tweaked, and adapted our strategy many times over. We’ve also built an extensive professional network around the globe that allows us to reverse engineer and navigate updates small and large with exceptional speed and precision.

Technical Questions

How do you conduct keyword research?

Keyword research is at the core of any effective SEO strategy, so be sure to ask all prospective SEO consultants about their approach to it.

At First Rank, we use a multi-pronged approach that reflects the perpetually evolving goals of your SEO campaign at different points in time. Our strategy includes competitor research, content gap analysis, and the pinpointing of low-hanging fruit (rich keywords just waiting to be targeted by your business), plus much more.

What is your link-building approach?

No SEO campaign is complete without a solid link-building approach. At First Rank, we begin by running a toxic backlink audit, cleaning up any links that may potentially be hurting your website, and starting fresh. After that, we conduct competitor backlink analysis and focus on citation building while also publishing press releases for your business and reaching out manually to establish other high-quality links on an ongoing basis.

What tools do you use?

Our team uses a wide variety of professional platforms and tools for everything from conducting competitor and keyword research to creating authoritative content, integrating and streamlining processes, and gathering, tracking, and reporting on relevant data. Some of our favourite go-to SEO industry tools include:

  • Ahrefs, Keyword.com, Local Viking, Rank Math, Google Workspace
  • Surfer, ChatGPT
  • Elementor, WordPress
  • GoHighLevel, Zapier
  • Looker Studio

How does data inform your strategy?

Data is the backbone of search engine optimization, and no top SEO consultant will tell you otherwise. At First Rank, we are constantly collecting data and analyzing trends to determine our next steps in increasing your business’s online visibility.

How do you measure progress?

This is one of the most important questions to ask prospective SEO consultants and the answer will tell you a great deal about what you can expect from their services.

First Rank connects every client with a dedicated account manager and technical team member who work together to provide regular reports, reviews, and information about current ranking positions and other SEO indicators. This data informs upcoming goals and approaches, ensuring a clear framework for measuring the progression of the campaign.

Questions About SEO Expectations and Results

How do you define success?

The First Rank team defines success as meeting or exceeding the SEO campaign goals we’ve developed for our clients and seeing their companies thrive and grow as a result!

Can we see some case studies?

Absolutely. We’ve made a difference for many clients just like you and are proud to share the details. Be cautious of any SEO consultant who cannot provide case studies to back up their professional claims.

Do you guarantee SEO results?

While it would be unethical to guarantee our SEO results, we are global industry leaders and will not take you on as a client if we don’t believe we can positively impact your organic traffic flow and search engine rankings. We hope other SEO consultants are equally scrupulous in their professional approach.

What results can I expect?

You should be able to expect results that meet or exceed the goals and objectives laid out for your campaign by your SEO team. If you’re not satisfied with the results you’re seeing, it’s time to ask more questions.

How long will it be before I start to see results?

Unlike most SEO companies that only begin to achieve results for clients after a long incubation period of many months, our clients tend to see a linear ROI for our SEO services that gradually increases over time. Many begin to notice increased traffic and visibility after just a month or two. By 3-4 months into your campaign, progress should definitely be evident!

Questions About the SEO Consultant

Where do you rank in Google?

We are proud to say that First Rank ranks in the top positions for all of our targeted keywords.

Are your team members SEO-certified?

Yes. First Rank is a designated Google Partner with a staff composed of qualified and experienced digital marketers, software and website developers, and SEO professionals.

How will you communicate?

We’ll communicate in person or by phone, email, video chat, or text. We believe that communication is key and if you prefer to be reached via specific channels and/or at specific times, we will happily accommodate.

How does your pricing work?

We offer SEO services on a custom-pricing model that takes into account a variety of factors including the size of your company, the specific services you require, and your SEO needs and goals. Our new Accelerators Program provides a streamlined and hands-on SEO package for a fixed monthly price of $497.

Is it possible that you also work with my competitors?

Yes, it is possible. That being said, we are 100% dedicated to the success of each client’s unique campaign. Speak with our team directly for more information about negotiating a non-compete contract with us if this is a concern for you.

Questions About Communication

How will we contact you?

Clients contact First Rank through their dedicated client manager.

What will you need from me?

We’ll need access to your website, Google Business Profile, Google Search Console, and analytics platform (if you have these). We may also request information and feedback around a variety of different campaign elements as needed.

How often will you provide reports and updates?

We typically meet once a month with clients to review campaign progress but are available to meet more often if requested or warranted.

Is there a minimum amount of time I have to commit for?

No, because at First Rank, we don’t lock you into a minimum contract. You pay by the month and the responsibility is on us to demonstrate that our services are worth it.

Work With First Rank SEO

From the outside, the ever-changing world of SEO can seem opaque and the results we achieve can seem a little like magic (or so we’ve been told). That’s why, at First Rank, one of our goals as an agency is to demystify SEO and help the businesses we collaborate with to clearly understand what we do, why we do it, and how it can benefit their overall visibility and bottom line.

Now that you know some of the most important questions to ask prospective SEO consultants, it’s time to get started. Contact us today to set up an appointment!

Contact Us

Please call (204) 272-7265 or fill out the form below and we’ll get back to you within 24 hours. Also, make sure to follow us on social media
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The purpose of First Rank is to help businesses generate leads from their websites. We put a focus on SEO, because we believe it is one of the most cost effective and highest converting forms of traffic generation, however traffic alone is not enough on its own to grow your business. SEO should be combined with conversion optimization, email marketing and retargeting to maximize the ROI of your advertising dollars.