Is your SEO person using black hat SEO tactics or white hat SEO tactics (or a combination)?
If your search engine optimization team is using shady strategies to get your website ranked higher, you can expect more than coal in your stocking: rule-breaking SEO may have short-term benefits, but it can damage the reputation of your website and harm your traffic for years to come.
Here are seven questions to ask your SEO professional before putting the care of your website in their hands:
- What's your SEO philosophy? Listen for good words like "organic" and "natural" and "long term." Be wary if you hear words like "trick" and "easy" and "fast."
- How do you develop SEO tactics? You've found a keeper if your SEO person talks about research-based practices, working with Google (not against Google) and analyzing data. You should run the other direction if your SEO person mentions new trends, industry secrets, and easy fixes.
- Do you have references and dealership success examples? Before you hire anyone to do SEO for your website, make sure that they have records of long-term results. Talk to some of their other clients and examine exactly how they have increased traffic on other websites.
- How do you monitor results? Be extremely wary of SEO people who want to implement a bunch of new tactics on your website, but who aren't that interested in analyzing the results, improving their plan as they move forward, or sharing detailed reports with you.
- Will you be taking a look at my online competition? A truly great SEO person isn't just concerned about your website, they are interested in what your competition is doing to get the their traffic. If your SEO person isn't analyzing the competition, they they aren't doing their job to the best of their ability.
- Will you increase my traffic, or will you increase my conversion? Again, be very careful about hiring anyone who is singularly interested in getting your website more hits and nothing else. A great SEO person doesn't just want to drive any kind of traffic to your site, they want to get you more customers and service drive traffic / showroom traffic.
- Do you make any promises or guarantee to dealers? This is a bit of a trick question. Unfortunately, no SEO person can guarantee a #1 spot on Google for certain key words - or even a significant, fast uptick in business. But they should be able to guarantee that traffic and conversions will increase, even if the results come more slowly than others promise. If your SEO person is making promises that sound too good to be true, they probably are.