How do you pick an SEO expert?

Our top picks:

  • Experience
  • Customer Validation
  • Proof of ranking in highly competitive niches
    • SERPS
    • Traffic Growth
  • Niche experience if necessary (e.g. Cybersecurity)
  • Ability to articulate and demonstrate strategic SEO
  • Ability to track, measure and demonstrate at a tactical level

Red flags typically include:

  • Claims a relationship with Google/inside track (common among PPC/SEM+SEO agencies)
  • Provides Technical/on-site SEO

Terms an SEO Expert should understand and what they really mean:

SERP Search Engine Rank Position
Position 0 The top organic spot above position 1 and any video, knowledge panel etc – typically an enlarged snippet with or without accompanying images
SEM Search Engine Marketing – often conflated with just PPC – meaning both SEO, PPC, Content and Video Marketing
Snippet A title and excerpt of a web page with a URL to the page displayed in a Google search results page
Google Dance The up-down oscillation for new content/domains/videos that drive webmasters crazy
Google Penalty A manual penalty applied to a site for violating the Google Terms of Service (TOS) and/or Webmaster Guidelines – almost always for egregious spammy links or buying links. Almost always requires a Disavow request and reconsideration request.
Disavow A list of URLs that a webmaster sends to Google to exclude from its link list that the user doens’t want to receive authority from as they are spammy or bought links. 
CTR Click-Through-Rate – the ratio of clicks to impressions. CTR applies to organic search, PPC and most other organic and paid platforms like YouTube, Facebook etc.