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Free SEO Phone Consultation: Questions to Ask

Free SEO Phone Consultation

You’ve decided to ramp up your marketing by engaging an SEO agency to boost your site’s rankings. You’ve shortlisted a few SEO agencies you’d like to work with and are making contact to see which might be the best fit for you. The best SEO agencies will offer you a free SEO consultation to guide you, show you where you stand and what’s needed.

Most consultants will walk you through everything very patiently. If they don’t, that right there is a red flag, and I’d suggest you bail on them asap. Even if you’re layman, you’re most likely going to come out of a meeting with a working knowledge of what’s what.

That said, it’s not the best idea to go in unprepared because that opens you up to falling for lofty and impractical promises.

Below, I’ll share some questions that you should ask when going in for free SEO consulting.

9 Important Questions to Ask During Your Free SEO Consultation

Asking the right questions can help you identify the SEO company that knows its stuff and aligns the most with your vision.

Remember, it’s not doing anyone any good if you go in with unrealistic expectations. Be prepared to ask plenty of questions, listen for the details and respond with logical follow-ups.

Our SEO consultants have been at it for over a decade and it’s with their experience on the free SEO phone consultations we offer that I’ve come up with the questions below.

1. How Do You Plan to Grow My Business/Rankings?

I am assuming you’ve shared your business details with your SEO agency for a free SEO analysis. So this question becomes obvious, but it’s essential.

The reason for asking this right off the bat is to learn whether your SEO consultant has done their homework. They might dodge this question or try and provide you with general good practices that are neither here or there.

Look out for cues to see how well they actually understand your niche, your specific problems and what you need.

It’s essential to get as much detail as you can to compare answers with other companies you’re evaluating.

2. How Do You Adhere To Google Guidelines?

This is a tricky question because most clients ask, “Do you adhere to Google guidelines” and its answer is a simple yes. But when you get into little details, you can uncover some shady practices.

For instance, buying backlinks isn’t acceptable under Google guidelines. So watch out if your SEO agency uses terms like, we’ll generate 10,000+ backlinks in 2 months because that’s humanly impossible.

They’re likely to use PBNs (Private Blog Networks), which might de-rank or penalize your website.

3. Can You Rank My Website For Local SEO?

Ranking on local SEO is crucial for small businesses that serve within their vicinity. You may hire the best SEO talent, but it’ll be challenging to serve nearby customers if they aren’t well-versed in local listings and ranking.

Local SEO is achieved by listing your business address and contact details on Search Engine directories (listing) and creating content that targets local users. A local SEO expert will mention all search engines, including Yahoo and Bing.

So evaluate your potential business partners based on how many search engines they are aware of and how they intend to focus on your local SEO.

4. What Changes Will You Make On My Website?

Your SEO consultant will most likely suggest changes to your existing website. This is called on-page optimization. The second part of SEO is off-page optimization, where your consultant will generate high-quality backlinks through guest posts or other means.

If you don’t want your SEO agency to make changes to your site, be sure to say so during your SEO phone consultation. Judge their reaction to see how important they consider it to be and why. The why should convince you.

Most SEO agencies start by tweaking the metas like the meta titles, description, and HTML code to make your site search engine readable. Moreover, some SEO consultants will suggest that you need to revamp your current web pages or that your site needs more relevant content. Always follow-up with a why and see it makes sense to you.

5. How Will You Communicate With Me?

You have the liberty to ask any question during your free SEO consultation. So use it to your advantage.

One of the critical things you need to discuss is communication. As a business owner, you know that staying in the loop at all times is the key to success. But SEO agencies have different channels of communication. You need to be on the same page from the get-go before signing up for a long term SEO plan.

Some agencies communicate in person, while others prefer Skype or phone calls. However, you must emphasize on weekly or monthly reports and meetings if you want to achieve desired results.

Having access to an SEO dashboard giving you useful insights as and when you need them from the start goes a long way.

6. Do You Have Case Studies I Can Go Through?

Case studies are detailed studies of success cases showing exceptional results achieved by the SEO company in the past. They serve as a reference for what they’ve done and how.

Ask for case studies that are relevant to your niche, and or budget. Make sure they are as current as possible. Looking at data that is a couple of years old is useless. Search engine algorithms keep changing and so does competitiveness.

Go through the ROI and growth achieved by the SEO agency against the budget set by the client. In addition to serving as a reference, case studies help you identify the SEO strategies that get the results you are looking for.

7. What Are Your Fees and Payment Terms?

SEO agencies have two types of payment policies,

  1. Monthly basis
  2. Project basis

Monthly payments are recurring, and you’ll be charged every month. In essence, you can check results every month and decide if you want to continue.

On the other hand, project-based payments are broken into chunks. For instance, you can pay lump sum or quarterly. Lump sum payments are advantageous because you’ll probably be offered a discount. We, for instance, often do a 3+1 package, where you pay for 3 months and get the 4th one free.

Moreover, you need to clarify if there are any “hidden” payments. Keep in mind hidden costs are different from add-ons.

Make sure you understand if there are hidden costs and what if any add-ons you’d be expected to pay for.

8. When Can I Get Results?

This is a nuanced question, so be prepared for a wide range of responses from your different SEO phone consultations.

If anyone is promising you great results within 1 month, double and triple-verify how they intend to do that. Ask questions, ask for proof. For most niches, it takes time and aggressive activities to rank. Know that it’ll take at least 3 months to see some improvement and 6 months and more for substantial gains.

Furthermore, the more you invest in expert talent, the faster you can expect to rank and reap benefits.

9. Can You Rank My Website On Google’s 1st Page?

This is the oldest trick in the SEO book, but it works every time. This question will help you distinguish between scam agencies and professional SEO services.

Ranking on Google’s 1st page isn’t easy. If anyone tells you otherwise, they probably don’t know SEO. However, the correct answer to this question would be something like, “yes, but it’ll take time, and we need to assess your website more deeply.”

If your agency has a free SEO report card feature, use it and counter the consultant’s response by saying you have a good score (it doesn’t matter what score you had). Some SEO agencies will try to make a sale at the cost of fake promises. If your consultant changes their verdict, then trust the red flags and turn them down.

No matter how much you invest, ranking on Google’s first page doesn’t get easier. If someone makes bold claims about that, know that they are only in it for the money, not to genuinely help your business.

Are SEO Consultants Worth It?

SEO consultants or organic search consultants have a responsibility to create, plan, and manage your website’s SEO strategy. They overlook all the on-page and off-page activities to make sure your site continues to grow and deliver promised results.

SEO ROI is difficult to quantify because the results are so over-arching. However, 70% of online marketers are of the opinion that SEO is better than PPC in generating sales. Organic search results receive 20 times more clicks than ads, where 40-60 billion searches are conducted every month in the US.

So yes, SEO consultants are worth it if you are looking to dominate search engine traffic and grow your business. Talking to them will help you understand how they plan to improve your online visibility.

Sign-up for Your Free SEO Consultation Right Now

As an entrepreneur, your primary concern should be finding the right SEO partner from the get-go because switching agencies time and time again can hurt your website. You need to collect as much information as you can through from your consultant.

If you’re interested, we offer time-tested and proven SEO services. You can call 855 444 4777, talk to our agent on chat, or fill out the form for a free SEO report card and schedule your SEO phone consultation.

It's time for a 180-degree transformation, Search Berg style. Rank higher on Google SERPs, build brand credibility, and drive more revenue by signing up with us today!

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