Your website is your digital storefront, and the way it’s perceived online and is used as a tool to drive traffic to your business can make or break your sales. An SEO agency will provide a variety of search engine optimization services to help you climb up search engine rankings, improve the content of your website and its presence throughout the web, and get you seen by more people who will bring more revenue to your business. Just some of the tasks SEO agencies might work on include:
- Optimizing a website for keywords
- Link-building by contributing to high-quality websites
- Reaching out to influencers to improve your brand visibility throughout the web
- Creating a blog and adding valuable posts to it
All these tasks are vital to a strong SEO strategy. So how do you know the agency you’re working with is best for your business? Here are 20 questions to ask an SEO agency before you entrust them with your brand’s SEO efforts.
1. How Can You Help My Brand?
An SEO agency should provide you with a free consultation describing specific ways the team can increase your rankings. Vague answers don’t provide your business with anything to hold the agency accountable for.
2. What Experience Do You Have with Our Industry?
While a great SEO agency will be able to adapt to any type of business, industry experience is a plus. Having worked in the industry of your business means the agency likely has contacts that can help with content outreach, as well as experienced writers for your blog and website.
3. What Research Do You Do Before Taking Action?
SEO actions require strategy. You don’t want the agency you’re working with to do the same old thing your last one did, or implement changes that may damage your rankings instead of boost them. Enquire about the research process.
4. What Tools Do You Use?
Experts in SEO will use tools for keyword research, monitoring and reporting. Usually these are tied to Google, the world’s largest search engine. Ask to see examples of how the tools are used and how they comply with SEO best practices to avoid search engine penalty.
5. How Do You Measure Success?
You want to hire an SEO agency that can provide you with measurable results. These should be delivered in easy-to-understand reports, so you can share them with your marketing department and others at your business who have a stake in digital marketing.
6. How Do Your Techniques Boost Revenue?
If revenue is your top goal for SEO, make sure reports indicate how the agency is impacting revenue. You don’t want to hire an SEO agency just so that they can get your website linked to on a bunch of low-quality sites. SEO efforts should make sure your website is seen by more of your target customers who can turn into sales.
7. What Will Reporting Be Like?
Without reporting, your business will be kept in the dark about the impact the SEO you’re paying for is making. Ask the agency what they usually include on reports, and if you can add any elements your business specifically wants to see. Make sure reports are frequent, thorough and accurate.
8. How Do You Charge for Services?
Getting an itemized list of SEO services enables your business to see exactly how you’re spending your money. This increases transparency and ensures the SEO agency delivers on their work. An agency that charges a bulk fee for non-specific targets could be swindling you.
9. How Do You Build Continued Expertise?
Successful SEO depends on having up-to-date knowledge on the latest search engine trends, including changes to the Google algorithm and how penalties are evolving. Ask about how the SEO agency continues their education so that you have the best experts working for you. Enquire about SEO certifications that boost expertise.
10. What Are Examples of Results You’ve Delivered Other Clients?
Any good SEO agency should have access to client testimonials and examples of results they can provide prospective clients. Ask to see some case studies so that you can make sure your business goals align with the agency’s work.
11. What Kinds of Results Can We Expect?
SEO is an intricate, multifaceted marketing strategy that can’t deliver one-size-fits-all results. Any agency that guarantees a top spot in Google is one to be suspicious about. However, an agency should be able to provide reasonable results expectations to you, based on work with past clients.
12. What Improvements Would You Make to Our Website?
Part of an SEO audit will include suggestions to make to onsite SEO, throughout your current website. While an agency may not provide a full list of suggestions without being hired first, they should be able to provide you with at least a baseline of major improvements that you may not have even been aware of.
13. What Is Your Backlink Strategy?
Getting your business website linked on high-quality websites is an essential component of SEO strategy. Some agencies will put businesses on spammy websites or use tools that Google frowns upon, which results in penalties. Ask about the legitimacy of the agency’s backlink strategy, since it has an impact on your online business reputation.
14. Why Should You Manage Our Blog for Us?
A blog is another vital component of sound SEO strategy. You may already be creating blogs yourself, but an SEO agency you’re considering should be able to point out how they can help, or offer to make recommendations if you continue to manage it in-house.
15. How Communicative Are You?
Any agency your business works with is an extension of your business. While they’re not in your office, you should be able to ask questions and get responses in a timely manner. If you want regular meetings, make sure the agency is willing to do that. Ask about how long it should take for an agency to get in touch with you if you have questions.
16. How Will You Make Sure Our Site Is Not Penalized?
Paying an agency only to find search engine rankings tumble (or disappear altogether) is a nightmare for your business. Ask about an agency’s experience in helping sites recover from penalties, and what actions the agency takes to protect a business.
17. What Differentiates Your Agency?
Even when all the services offered are identical among agencies, you want to work with one that you can count on as a partner, not just an entity you hire. The agency should fit your business culture. Enquire about what, besides the work that is done, that differentiates the agency, and see if the answer fits your business vision.
18. What Expertise Does Your Team Have?
In addition to the technical side of SEO, content creation, social media management and influencer outreach may all play a part in contributing to higher rankings. Ask the agency about the strengths of the team members who will be working on your account. Content creators with journalism experience, for example, are more valuable than run-of-the-mill blog writers.
19. What Are the Contract Terms?
Avoid working with an SEO agency that locks you into a lengthy contract. If you’re not getting the results you want, you should be able to move on within a certain amount of time. The agency you work with should have your best interests in mind, which helps them, too.
20. May I Contact a Reference Client?
Because hiring an SEO agency is such a significant decision, you should ask if the agency is willing to put you in touch with a current or past client. This allows you to investigate further to see if the agency is a good fit for your business.
At AlphaMind Studios, we’re here to answer all of these questions and any others you have if you’re in need of SEO work. Get in touch online, or call us at (303) 832-8193 for more information.