Whether you are trying to decide whether you need outside help, are in the process of interviewing consultants, or have already retained a web strategy professional, asking some informed questions can make a big difference in your online success.
Here are some basic questions that can make a big difference:
- Can you provide examples of your work and share the results? – There is no substitute for experience. Hold your web strategy partner accountable for delivering tangible results.
- What is your position on Google’s Webmaster Guidelines? – The Webmaster Guidelines certainly leave some room for interpretation. However, how your prospective consultant interprets these guidelines will have a significant impact on their success and the risks to your professional reputation.
- What results should I expect? – From the beginning of your web strategy partnership, you should set tangible goals and expectations. If your goals and expectations don’t match those of your web strategist, you are likely to be disappointed.
- How long will it take to obtain those results? – Timing and patience are critical to successful web strategy. While you shouldn’t expect results overnight, you shouldn’t have to wait years to see significant results. Depending on the strategies in place, we generally like to see significant improvements within 6-8 months.
- How do you measure results? – This is one of the most critical questions. Too many consultants track the wrong metrics. Ultimately, you should measure any marketing on how well it increases business to your firm. You should also measure search engine positions, traffic to your site, and potential client inquiries from the web.
- What’s your experience in the legal industry? – Just because a web consultant has had success in other industries, doesn’t mean they will have success with your law firm. Web marketing for law firms is highly competitive and presents unique challenges that don’t exist in marketing other businesses.
- What’s your experience in my location? – Understanding the competition in your specific geographic region is also very helpful. Web marketing in New York City isn’t the same as marketing in suburban Arizona.
- What strategies do you plan on implementing? – It is absolutely essential that you understand what your strategy professional plans to do for you and why. That is why it’s so important for you to learn law firm seo basics.
- Will you communicate website changes, information on your recommendations, and the reasoning behind them? – Successful web strategy requires communication. There are very few “secrets”. Mostly, online marketing success comes down to knowledge, skill, experience, and leg work. Don’t get duped into buying “secrets”, “special relationships”, or other magic seo.
Asking these basic questions will help you avoid many of the most common web consultant traps. Are you considering hiring a consultant? What questions / concerns are you facing? Have you interviewed web strategy consultants? What challenges have you faced? Do you have a healthy partnership with your web strategists? What have you found makes your partnership work?
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