Hiring an SEO Agency? Remember To Ask These 6 Questions
Hiring an SEO agency is the best way to grow your traffic. But, hiring the wrong SEO agency can leave your website and rankings in tatters. Seriously.
When SEO Goes Bad
The world is full of clients who entrusted their websites to SEO agencies; only to find out a few weeks later that they had lost whatever little traffic they were getting from their good old ‘un-optimized’ website.
Blackhat SEO practices such as keyword stuffing, invisible text, doorway pages, adding unrelated keywords to the page content, page swapping, or aggressive but thoughtless link building sprees can demote your rankings and leave your websites with problems that might take a lot of time and money to fix.
It can happen when you sign up for an SEO agency without doing any research.
6 Must-Ask Questions Before Outsourcing SEO
In a world where search engine spiders have grown ‘artificially intelligent’, every company needs to be wary of old-fashioned SEO agencies that are still relying on primitive SEO techniques. Here are the 6 questions every client should ask an SEO agency before getting hiring them.
#1 What Will They Do Exactly?
SEO is a well-defined process. Anyone who knows how to do their job should be clearly able to tell you about the SEO process and its different stages. Here’s what process looks like:
- SEO audit: Your agency will determine where you stand and what areas need work
- Research: Entails keyword research and competition research
- Goal Setting: Based on your keywords and competition, your agency should be able to tell you exactly what improvements they’re going to make in terms of traffic and ranking.
- Reporting: What are the milestones for checking progress towards your goals?
- Content SEO: Your agency will build and optimize on-page content.
- Page Optimization: Includes titles, meta descriptions, page speed, sitemap, alt tags, navigation and other technical aspects.
- Link Building: They must have a strategy to get you genuine incoming links from other high-quality domains.
- Social Media: Your social mentions and shares do have a bearing towards your ranking, and your SEO agency better knows it.
Ask the SEO agency what exactly they will offer at each stage.
#2 What Results Will They Deliver?
Remember that Google considers more than 300 search signals for ranking websites. There are probably millions of competitors in your industry, and probably thousands of them have been optimizing their websites for years. Ranking on top for each one of your keywords is quite difficult and takes time.
So, do not buy from an SEO agency that ‘guarantees’ you top rankings in a few days.
Instead, trust agencies that make less dramatic claims and promise a gradual improvement in your rankings. Ask them what kind of an increase in numbers you can expect and how much time it would take?
#3 How Will They Deliver Results?
No website can achieve top rankings unless it has external links pointing to it from quality third-party domains. So, you need to ask your potential agency what strategy they have for getting you those backlinks. Most of the SEO agencies would fill up the cyberspace with spam incoming links that will have your site penalized. Worse, it can be a real pain having to clean up spam links in order to get your rankings back.
If the SEO agency suggests that they will use long-term and sustainable strategies like content marketing, it is a good sign. Now, creating great content is one thing. Getting your content out in front of your audience is a whole different story. If your agency can tell you a few techniques for distributing content so a lot of people will see it, you’re in business.
#4 How Are Their Clients Ranking?
Are some of their clients appearing on the first page of Google when you search for some related keywords about that business? For example, if one of their clients is a fast food joint in Melbourne, does it show up when you search for “fast food Melbourne” or “hamburgers Melbourne”? Later on, you can ask them about their best-performing clients and keywords and use Google search to verify their claims.
#5 What Is Their Background?
They should practice what they preach. So, they should be ranking themselves in their industry. So, check their ranking for SEO, SEO services Melbourne etc. to see how well they have optimized their own website. Preferably, you should find SEO agencies through Google, Facebook, Upwork or another website that hosts customer ratings and reviews. Obviously, you’d like to work with an agency that has a long history, a good overall rating (think 3 stars or more) and positive Google reviews.
#6 How Will They Keep You Updated?
You don’t want to work with an agency that disappears after you’ve signed up; and resurfaces with a bad job several weeks later. Ask your agency how frequently they will communicate with you and send you to progress reports? Many agencies use a project management platform such as Trello, Base Camp or Invision App.
Of course, there can be many more questions that you can ask. How will they integrate social media into your website? How will they optimize for mobile devices? What kind of a budget outlay are we looking at?
Here at eMarket Experts, we answer all of these questions and more. We’ll explain everything to you until you’re fully satisfied. And then, we’ll deliver what we promised. Let’s have a chat today! Submit your website for a free website audit or call us at 1300 339 170.