I’m having an issue lately. I’ve noticed a trend whereby experts in whatever-they-claim-to-be aren’t really experts. They are marketers.

And trying to decipher the game-changers from the players is a tedious job. Don’t get me wrong, there is room for everyone. But sometimes you need an SEO expert who really knows their stuff.

So how do you test the knowledge of an SEO expert? First, pop onto their social networks. My first stop is typically LinkedIn.

Amazon & Google SEO Expert

To optimize or not?

If you know what you’re looking for, you can usually see the difference between a profile that has been optimized and one that hasn’t. Did they:

  • Hit on several key words relative to what they do?
  • Spell out how they got their experience with clients?
  • Use any statistics or figures in their profile?

You may want to review their Twitter, Facebook and other networks as well. The same rules apply – do they appear to be on-point with relevant, niche-based profiles?

Second, you’ll want to ask a few questions that directly relate to their previous experience. Several platforms are known for their ability to support aggressive programs. What systems has the expert used and what results did they see?

During your conversation, listen for some of the trends that we’re seeing now. An SEO expert  who works on these programs should know:

  • Titles with less than 10 words convert best
  • Headlines, metas and lead images are the key to clicks
  • Images matter – a good one gets huge page views

The overall strategy

Finally, does your SEO expert have questions about the overall strategy? You might just be hiring someone to bang out the content you need, and that’s a perfectly functional response, however, take it a little further.

What else can you do with the blogs? Are you targeting a niche? Can you make them into a book or an ecourse? Ok – now let me use my real-life experience to illustrate some of this.

When Wiki Travel hired me as their SEO expert , they were using Hubspot to launch a campaign on their WordPress website. I wrote over 45 blogs that increased leads 300%. (And Katie Webb is a hardcore genius for executing that beast!)

Recently, they rehired me to write even more content. With the same high-end, strategic SEO principles in mind, out of 35 additional blogs, seven got more than 500-page views. Seven other blogs had over 200 page views each.

Of course, about six staff members promoted each blog on Google+, Pinterest, Facebook, and Twitter, so that helps. I also was not apprised of the conversion rates – did they get many sign-ups or phone calls from those results? What was the goal of the content?

Unfortunately, they are the only client who actually shared detailed metrics with me. Despite writing for Global Projects on three accounts, I was never apprised of the performance of those daily blogs.

But just like I can tell you that newsletters using my email headlines typically double open rates, as an SEO expert I love to see my writing get results. What are you launching lately?