As Panda, Penguin and Penguin 2.0 get harder and harder to master, many of us webmasters are turning to SEO agencies and freelancers who promise us, beyond a shadow of doubt, that they can rank us on Google for whatever keyword we want; even for “make money online.”
Granted, some of those who claim to know how to rank for keywords actually DO know; they really are ‘gurus.’ Unfortunately, the majority of those who advertise freelance SEO services know no more SEO than you do. Here are five questions you should ask anyone who claims to be an SEO ‘guru’ before hiring.
1. What is the Difference Between Onsite & Offsite SEO?
If they know anything about SEO, then their answer for onsite SEO should be keyword research, keyword density, title tags, header tags and the like. Researching and targeting the right keywords is one of the most important things you can do as a webmaster if you want any sort of traffic from Google. The person you hire should know this.
Offsite SEO will primarily be backlinks, article marketing, article directory marketing, and the like. Backlinks will be the most important thing and should also be the first thing that comes to their mind. Even though article marketing & article directory marketing are also important, building high-quality backlinks is one of the most important things in the Penguin era.
2. Does HTML Coding Play a Role in SEO Today?
Yes, yes, yes, yes. Sloppy code in a free WordPress theme could be another rank-killer, and your interviewee should know this. This is also the primary reason why a lot of WP users are opting for premium themes, such as the coveted Genesis framework.
3. Name Some WordPress SEO Plugins.
If they don’t know this right off the top of their head, then burn them at the stake. Seriously. WP SEO plugins go a long way towards helping your site to rank well for the right keywords.
Three of the most popular plugins are Yoast SEO, All in One SEO, and Scribe (premium). There’s no way any SEO freelancer should not have knowledge of this.
4. What Are LSI Keywords?
Latent Semantic Indexing Keywords is the correct answer.
In short, LSI keywords are synonyms to the main keywords you are targeting. For example, a synonym to SEO is just plain ‘optimization’ or search engine friendly. Inserting and using LSI keywords in tags also help optimization levels to a great extent. Your SEO agency/worker should be able to figure out LSI keywords and be able to target them effectively.
5. What Are Some Ethical Ways to Build Backlinks?
As we have already discussed, high-quality backlinks are probably the most important part of a website’s overall Google rankings.
Consider a backlink to be a ‘vote for your site.’ Thus, it is only possible to have as many votes, as visitors, correct?
Any SEO service that claims to build 50,000 backlinks in one week is either lying, or really does not know SEO. If Google notices any suspicious behaviour concerning your site, such as a whole lot of backlinks really fast, then you’re likely to be penalized.
A few good, ethical ways to build backlinks is to use article marketing and article directory marketing (note that the two are not the same thing). Guest posting, forum posting should all be done in an ethical manner, and backlinks should only be built on high-PR websites (optimally PR-5 or higher). This counts for better stead with Google.
Using these five questions and others, it should be rather easy to uncover the difference between a tried-and-true SEO agency, and a fly-by-the-night business looking to make some quick cash without providing a valuable service.