Search engine optimization is a never-ending process. Therefore, before hiring an SEO agency one needs to go through its various aspects thoroughly and ask some important questions. Asking these simple yet vital questions will reveal a lot about your potential digital marketing partner. Furthermore, gathering extra information about a probable SEO partner will allow you to make a well-informed decision. Below are the top 10 questions to ask when hiring an SEO consultant. Make sure you don’t forget to ask these questions to your SEO agency.
1. May I know your former and current clients?
Experienced SEO companies usually have a wide range of clients. Normally, these companies encourage you to contact their former and current clients. Actually, this is one of the best practices that search engine optimization agencies follow. If you are not encouraged to contact former clients, you can ask your potential SEO partner to give a list of their clients. If the agency agrees, then that is a good sign.
Go through the list and select the businesses that are relevant to you. Try to contact at least two clients and know their experience. Yes, reading reviews is also a good method. However, a client tends to write a short review. He might miss some important points. So, it is good to talk to former clients to know the pros and cons of a search engine optimization company in detail.
2. How will you improve my visibility?
This is the most important question to ask an SEO consultant before hiring. It is fundamental to know how your potential digital marketing partner is going to improve your search engine ranking. Knowing the work process will make it easy to judge the cost of the service. You can do the same thing for a couple of SEO agencies and judge them on the basis of both cost and SEO service.
Make sure the proposal includes an initial technical review of your site. This can avoid the issues that lower your search engine ranking. Furthermore, ask the details of both on-page optimization and off-page optimization. Go through the process carefully. Search engine optimization is huge. Each and every company follows its own process. Therefore, it makes sense to know the SEO process before joining the hands.
3. Read online reviews.
In the first point, we have discussed that asking questions to the former clients will help you know the subtle details of a company. However, it is not a good idea to depend solely on a couple of ex-clients. Furthermore, it is not viable to contact all the former clients. So it is good to read several reviews, along with contacting a couple of former clients.
Reading online reviews is one of the best and most favorite methods of people to do research on a company. You can know both positive and negative points of an SEO company in one place. Do not form an opinion just by a reading couple of reviews. Make sure you read enough reviews before making an opinion.
Furthermore, read the response of the SEO company to the online reviews. Rude, duplicate or no reply shows the unprofessional side of a company. In addition to that, do not expect an SEO company to have a clean online image. No matter how good a company is, it tends to have a couple of negative reviews at least. So, read both positive and bad reviews and make a well-informed decision.
4. Do you follow search engine guidelines?
There are two types of search engine optimization. They are black hat SEO and White hat SEO. Blackhat SEO involves aggressive SEO strategies, that usually violate search engine guidelines. Such techniques normally give quick results initially, but later become a cause for Google penalty. So it is a good idea to ask whether an SEO company follows search engine guidelines.
Never opt an SEO agency that does a black hat SEO. Normally, online reviews will let you know whether a company follows Google guidelines or not. Furthermore, a company which promises guaranteed results within a short period of time is more likely to use black hat tactics. Search engine optimization takes time. Do not expect a company to deliver the result in a week.
5. How will you improve local search results?
Having a top place in the local search engine results page is critical for small-business owners. So, if you own a small or local business, you should not forget to ask this question. Contact your SEO consultant and try to know who holds the expertise in the local search engine optimization, and how he or she is going to enhance local search results.
If you are going for local search engine optimization, you should expect your business to appear when someone nearby is searching for the products and services you sell. This is done by adding your town, and state to your site’s meta description and title tags. This is just one among several steps that an SEO firm takes to place you in the top position for a specific geographical area.
6. How does pricing work?
Normally, SEO is not a low-cost digital marketing method. The amount you spend on SEO will get multiplied and come back to you in form of sales. In order to get good results, you have to spend some money. However, it does not make sense to pay the amount for the SEO service without knowing its pricing structure.
Since the pricing of SEO is unpredictable, you may end up with a surprise bill. To avoid this ask the below questions regarding pricing:
- How much do you charge?
- Do you charge hourly, monthly, or do you have a package?
- When should we have to pay?
- Can you provide the details of work done and its cost?
- Do I need to pay the amount in advance?
- Can I pay at the end of every month?
7. How will you optimize content?
You might already know content is the most important ranking factor. It has two important jobs to do. Those are engaging visitors and impressing search engines. Rightfully, optimizing the content is the top-most aspect of the search engine optimization process. Below are the five important questions you need to ask.
- Will you create new content?
- How will you optimize our content?
- Why content optimization is important?
- Is it possible to use the existing content?
- Will you create new landing pages and add content to it?
The above-mentioned five questions will give all the details that you need to know about content optimization.
8. Can I meet the SEO, team?
Before choosing an SEO agency, one must make sure that his or her online presence is going in the safe hands. Usually, SEO companies send their top team to win new clients. This is done to make a good impression.
Ask if you can talk to the SEO team that is going to handle your project. You can establish a relationship with them so that you know what work is being done, and who is doing it. The other advantage of knowing the team is that you will not be in the dark. In some cases, projects are handled by not so good SEO team of an excellent SEO agency. So, make sure you are getting the best team. You can judge the team by the previous projects and work experience of the team members.
9. Are you working for our competitors?
It is not unusual for an SEO company to handle the project of the two competitors. This can be good news or bad news based on the orientation of the SEO agency. If the agency is inclined towards you, then you are going to beat your competitors. And if the agency is inclined towards your competitor, then you are going to lose the battle at the beginning itself.
This is because an SEO agency knows what works for you and your competitors? In most of the cases, the SEO firm will take the side of the party which pays more. So, it is better to not to opt an SEO agency which is already running an SEO campaign for your competitors.
10. How do you measure the success of an SEO campaign?
In the end, you want to know how successful a search engine optimization campaign was. However, it is not good to expect quick results. White hat SEO does not violate search engine rules. Hence it takes time to give fruitful results.
There are multiple ways to measure the success of a campaign. In most of the cases, an SEO firm uses search engine optimization metrics to measure the progress of an SEO campaign. Do not aim only for organic traffic. Aim for more conversions and sales too.