12 Questions To Ask SEO Agency Before Hiring Them
Have you decided it’s time to stop doing all of your SEO in-house? Is it time to start looking for an SEO agency to assist you in reaching your objectives? It is a decision that most businesses must make at some point, especially when things are looking up for a brand. When considering hiring an SEO agency, you must ask the right questions and understand what answers to expect. Here are 12 questions to ask SEO agency to help you choose the best one.
Here are 12 questions to ask SEO agency
1. What is your approach to SEO to deliver results?
SEO has three major components, and the most effective SEO firms consider all three parts of a comprehensive SEO strategy.
- Technical SEO considers code, site structure, speed, and other metrics that may influence your search traffic. An SEO professional will perform a technical SEO review to ensure that search engines can crawl your site and its content, review 404 errors, and analyze redirects, among other tasks.
- Optimizing your digital properties’ content is known as user experience (UX). An SEO expert will analyze user-facing aspects of your site, such as content, navigation, and keyword optimization, during an on-page SEO review.
- Off-page SEO entails increasing your SEO presence by earning links, strengthening your online brand, and increasing the popularity of your site and content.
2. How will you modify that strategy to fit our brand/company/industry/niche?
SEO is not a one-size-fits-all solution, and your SEO partner should have some ideas about how your company requires a customized approach tailored to your industry, business model, and goals. SEO for a small business looking to attract customers from a dozen zip codes is very different from SEO for a large corporation with a global market.
Experience in your field is advantageous, but it is not required. More importantly, the SEO agency must be able to articulate how they will modify their general strategy to cater specifically to your niche. Ascertain that the company can identify areas where the general approach will differ.
3. What metrics do you use to define “success”?
While SEO agency may arrive at the meeting with broad objectives, their success metrics should be based on what success means to you. No SEO company can guarantee page-one rankings, and those who do are most likely employing black-hat techniques. These techniques may temporarily increase traffic, but they will eventually result in a penalty and significantly reduced traffic and rankings.
Legitimate SEO professionals will design their strategies around your objectives. They might prioritize keyword optimization or content creation if you want more traffic. The success metrics of an SEO agency should be directly based on your business goals, so look for companies that turn this question around and seek your answer.
4. How long will it be before we see any results?
Effective SEO takes time, but an experienced agent should be able to give you a time frame for results. In general, legitimate SEO techniques should yield results within six months of implementation.
Inquire as to why your SEO company promises quick results. Good if they point out technical issues that need to be addressed. If not, be wary—they may be employing antiquated, spammy techniques that will eventually penalize your site.
5. What is your approach to mobile?
When discussing the overall strategy, mobile should ideally be brought up. Last year, Google announced that it was transitioning to a mobile-first index, making mobile optimization more important than ever. Look for companies that have a process for conducting a mobile audit of your website, and make sure your SEO agency can articulate why mobile is an important SEO consideration.
6. How should SEO fit into our overall marketing strategy?
The most successful SEO initiatives are integrated into a larger marketing strategy, so avoid companies that expect to complete their tasks in isolation. SEO complements content marketing, and public relations and social media marketing activities can be used to build links effectively. Your SEO partner should be eager to collaborate with your other marketing teams and any other groups that may be required.
7. How do you go about conducting keyword research?
Modern keyword research necessitates much more effort—an exercise in determining user intent. It attempts to understand what information a user is looking for when searching a keyword phrase and then provides content tailored to the user’s intent.
When interviewing prospective SEO firms, mention user intent and discuss the tools and methodologies they use to determine keyword intent. If the entire discussion revolves around the number of searches for a keyword and keyword density, they’re likely using out-of-date methods.
Some SEO companies will promise thousands of links in weeks, but those links will be poor quality. A single high-quality link from a credible, authoritative site outperforms hundreds of low-quality purchased or machine-created links in blog comments.
Link-earning is a better term for modern link-building. It creates high-quality content that organically drives incoming links and cultivates relationships with influencers and editors. Your SEO company’s link-building efforts should be described as relationship-building and quality rather than quantity and expediency.
9. What tools do you employ?
Knowing what tools an SEO company employs isn’t necessary, but knowing they can explain why they employ those tools is. Legitimate SEO professionals will use various tools to conduct audits and complete tasks and have tested numerous means to find the best. Inquire about the following:
- What tools do you employ for keyword research, and why?
- What tools do you use to track rankings, and why?
- Which crawler do you prefer, and why?
- What tools do you use to track backlinks, and why?
- What tools do you use for competitor analysis, and why?
Your SEO partner should be able to explain why their preferred tools are used and the impact those tools can have when used correctly.
10. How do you report progress, and how does it look?
To ensure that the SEO company has a valid method for reporting their progress toward your shared goals, request a sample report created for another client. You’ve already discussed your plans, so ask how they would tailor the progress report to your specific goals and KPIs. Companies that cannot provide detailed information on how progress will be measured and reported should be avoided.
The size of your project likely determines the frequency with which an SEO agency reports on progress. The majority of brands can expect monthly updates. Larger companies, or short-term and specific projects, may require more frequent updates on the work being done, but keep in mind that tracking actual progress weekly is ineffective and can be misleading.
11. How do you keep up with industry changes and Google updates?
At the very least, you’ll want someone who keeps up with Google’s Webmaster Central Blog—own Google’s outlet for news on how to best position a site for their search algorithms. Someone who follows popular industry blogs and participates in SEO forums and conversations is preferable.
The best SEO experts will do all of the above and their own research. They keep an eye on the properties they manage for signs of algorithm changes and look into potential shifts in SEO best practices.
12. What do you require from us for us to be effective?
Legitimate SEO firms should respond with a long list of questions and requirements. They’ll need detailed information about your audience, industry, goals, and KPIs to do their job well. They’ll want to know if you’re using other digital marketing platforms that will affect your content, such as marketing automation.
They will also require access to your Google Analytics account. Effective SEO necessitates collaboration among multiple teams and company leaders, so agencies that require little from you are unlikely to develop an SEO strategy to help you achieve long-term success.
What You Should Do Before Hiring an SEO Agency – Questions to ask SEO Agency
Before you begin wading through the sea of SEO experts and companies vying for your attention, it is critical to determine what you are looking for. Before you start sifting through pitches and negotiations, consider the following.
Recognize the role that SEO will play in your marketing.
SEO can be confusing and overwhelming for business owners and marketers who do not work in the industry. Although it may be tempting to “leave the details to the experts,” gaining a general understanding of SEO and its role in your organization will help you vet providers and set realistic expectations for what it can achieve.
Recognize the role that your other marketing efforts play in the success of your SEO efforts.
The methods used by each SEO agency to track metrics and measure success will differ, but keep in mind that increase organic traffic or positioning does not always have a direct correlation to the bottom line. The additional effort and what the SEO agency does may be required to make it all pay off.
Recognize your buyer persona.
Your SEO agency will be your go-to source for SEO knowledge. However, no one knows your company better than you, and your agency will need information about your target audience (and buyer persona) to increase traffic. To feel the impact of SEO on your bottom line, your SEO team must generate the appropriate traffic.
Check out the companies with whom you are in talks.
After determining what you want from your SEO efforts and who you want to target, you can begin researching the various agencies competing for your business. Before you meet with anyone, make sure you’ve done your homework.
EverRanks has compiled a list of 12 essential questions to ask SEO agencies, which you should use wisely to select the best SEO agency for your business. Your company’s operational efficiency will improve significantly as a result.
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