What to Ask an SEM AdWords or SEO Vendor

Many businesspeople wonder: What do I ask about when choosing an AdWords consultant or an SEO vendor? It’s very important to choose the right one. The wrong choice could be costly for your business. Choosing a vendor or consultant you can actually depend on can be massively beneficial, however.

Of course, you are not likely to be meet these people in person, just interview them via phone or online, and you also likely will not have time to ask all of the numerous in-depth questions you may have. So, what’s most important? What will help you choose the right AdWords professional or SEO vendor without too much hassle?

Let’s focus on the basic question you should ask that will help you the most. They will, at the very least, help you understand what to do in order to qualify these professionals when you talk with them about their expertise and services.

Who is the person that will be doing the work?

When you contact an SEM consultant or SEO vendor company, you will likely be talking to someone from the sales team. That person’s job is to get you to spend money. It’s not the person who will be responsible for your account. The salesperson will make a lot of promises to you.

To know what to actually expect from the company, however, you need to find out who will be handling your account, so ask for that person’s name. Ask to speak with this person, the one who could make or break your SEO efforts. You need to make sure you know who they are and what they have to offer.

Next, you should research this person individually. Remember that it is not the company itself you need to spend the most time learning about, but the person who will essentially be working for you. Questions to ask include:

  • What is your experience? (You can also check LinkedIn to look for experience information, references, and recommendations.)
  • How many clients are you managing? (If an SEM consultant or SEO vendor is managing five, 50, or 100 clients, this will drastically impact how much attention you will get.)
  • What is your availability? (This will depend on a number of factors, including the answer to the previous question.)

The actual availability will depend on a number of things, including how much you are willing to pay, as well as how many clients they are currently managing. If you want a close, one-on-one relationship, then paying a low price for someone who is managing 50 clients alone will not be satisfactory.

How will you improve my business?

This is a question you have to be very specific about because the person will likely tell you what they have done with other clients and what qualifies them. What you need to know is what they can offer you personally. Remember that when they talk about how good they are, they are only going to be telling you about their clients that had the best results.

Have them take the time to go through your AdWords account and explain what they will be doing differently, and if you don’t have an account yet, get them to explain a plan. Then, have them answer these additional questions:

  • What are some ideas and strategies for my business? (As your professional consultant or SEO vendor, how they will offer you specific service?)
  • How will you be accountable for results? (You need some form of accountability that they will produce results for you.)

While you are asking the questions of the consultant, be sure to pay attention to the things you care about. Listen carefully. Don’t just expect them to say they will get you leads. You need quality leads. Don’t just listen for empty promises like “you will sell more”—look for signs they will minimize your cost per sale. Basically, you need to make sure they understand your business.

Ask these questions, and you will choose the right SEM consultant or SEO vendor for your needs.

Lior Krolewicz, is CEO of Yael Consulting, a leading Google AdWords and paid search marketing consulting firm that helps both small and large companies grow profitably online.

Lior Krolewicz


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