Hiring the right SEO coach or agency can be one of the best business decisions you will make. The right SEO agency can help your business dominate search engine rankings and drive a steady stream of targeted traffic to your website at zero cost per click. However, hiring the wrong SEO contractor can cost you a lot. In addition to the fees you will pay them, poor SEO tactics can cause your business to suffer from missed revenue opportunities and can seriously damage your company’s brand, and reputation.
It is already known that a professional SEO company helps to increase organic traffic. What questions should you ask to determine if they have the industry experience, talent, and technology needed to grow your business? How can you be sure that their tactics won’t blacklist your business from Google? Below are the top seven questions to help you in hiring an SEO company and avoid some costly mistakes.
1. How long has an SEO company been in business?
Working with a startup has its risks. You can’t be sure that this agency will exist for another year. A professional firm will be able to demonstrate a significant track record of success. The below questions can help determine the company’s experience and longevity:
- Have they worked with web design/development teams?
- Have they developed long-term, successful digital marketing strategies?
- Do they have experience with SEO, PPC management, and social media marketing?
- Do they have the ability to create high-quality content that converts visitors into sales?
- Do they understand how to use the power of social media to improve search engine rankings?
If the SEO agency you’re checking out can’t answer all of these questions without hesitation, keep looking. Remember that you are looking for an SEO firm that will work as a true partner for your business.
2. Who will be your designated contact?
It’s unlikely that the person selling you the company’s services will also do your SEO work or serve as your day-to-day contact. A professional company will assign you at least one designated contact who will be available to you by phone, email, or in person. You may find it useful to have an assigned contact in or near your time zone. Ask to be introduced to your contact person and make sure you can work well together. Blog post ideas, questions about the PPC campaign, reverse engineering of a competitor’s SEO strategy, and new products or services to add to the site – these are just a few topics you should discuss before moving on.
3. How long does SEO take to get results?
Achieving top search engine positions for highly competitive keywords takes time, technical expertise, cutting-edge tools, hard work, and often out-of-the-box creative thinking. To avoid disappointment, the smart thing to do is to work with an SEO agency that is willing to do a preliminary technical analysis of your site along with competitive keyword research.
Beware of hiring an SEO company that guarantees top Google rankings in several months. Google clearly states that no firm can guarantee a №1 ranking in their search engine. Any agency that makes such a promise is either deliberately trying to mislead you or is simply incompetent. Remember, that the cost to hire an SEO company may also vary depending on the expected results.
4. Can you show specific examples in a related industry?
Ask an SEO contractor to share the real results they have achieved for companies like yours. If all of their case studies are about dentists, and you’re in the automotive business, they might not be good for you. Check out the results and statistics of their case studies. Google’s №1 rankings are a great start, but it is also worth looking to site traffic, leads, and quality conversions. You’ll also be able to read real customer reviews, whether they’re found on the company’s website, Google, or forums. Read testimonials from your customers about what it’s like to work with this agency.
5. What is included in my offer?
Before signing a contract, you should receive a proposal that will state the current state of your website and a clear SEO strategy that the company plans to implement. The first step in this proposal is a technical audit, which identifies technical errors that could prevent your site from achieving top rankings. Their experts will fix these mistakes and tune your site for maximum performance. From there, they must determine the main keywords that will drive not only site traffic, but also conversions.
6. How familiar is the SEO company with your industry?
Your agency needs to be able to understand your business’ unique demographics and needs in the digital marketing space. For example, if you’re a B2C business in a small town, your SEO strategy should target Google Maps results for keywords related to your products or services. If you’re getting traffic with no conversions or unqualified leads, you may need to reevaluate your partnership. On the other hand, if you are a large national B2B corporation, you will need a different strategy. The company you are interviewing should be able to provide insight into what marketing tactics will work best for your business.
7. Can I meet with the team?
In addition to the seller, it’s helpful to meet the team members who will be working on your project. From technical SEO to content development, link building, performance analysis, and reporting, doing SEO well requires a variety of skills. Learn the professional experience of your experts. See how long they’ve been with the company. Are they certified by Google? If you use PPC, are they Google Ads certified? You should also know about the day-to-day activities of the team working on your project. What is the role of each person? Do they specialize in one thing or work in several areas at the same time? Ideally, each person will be an expert in one particular area. This way you get better content, better optimization, and better PPC management.
Have you gone through the process of hiring an SEO company? If so, did these questions influence your purchasing decision? Share your experience with us!