Questions to Ask an SEO Agency
Any honest and well-established agency
will happily answer your questions and address the concerns or reservations you have about SEO. Pay attention to how receptive they are to providing answers. Most importantly, don’t sign a contract with an SEO agency without asking these questions first:
- Can you guarantee that my site will have a top ranking position?
- Start with this question, because it’s a quick way to weed out shady SEO agencies. Legitimate SEOs will never guarantee a client a top ranking position because they know there are no guarantees with SEO.
- How do you handle penalized sites?
- Does your agency ever deviate from Google’s best practices?
- Has your agency ever bought links?
- How do you build links and what kind of links do you build?
- How many links can I expect to have built per month or over the duration of my contract?
- How much on-page, off page, and technical work can I expect to be done and what specific practices do you do for each?
- Which tools do you use to achieve results and carry out SEO services?
- Do you edit and/or optimize existing content on my site?
- Is any of the work or content outsourced? If so, who does it?
- How does your team handle content strategy and development?
- What will specific content pieces be done for my site?
- How do you plan to optimize that content?
- Do you have any examples of work you’ve done for a similar business?
- Successful SEOs are quick to provide case studies or examples of other businesses they’ve helped, so if you hear “that’s classified” or “we don’t share the results of other clients” in response, be wary.
- On average, when do your clients start to see results?
- How many active client accounts do you have?
- How many people on your team are working on them?
- If an agency has 500 active client accounts and only 30 people on their team, chances are they’re either stretched thin at the expense of quality or outsourcing some of the work.
- Do you work with businesses that would be considered competitors to mine?
- This isn’t always a bad thing, but if a direct competitor hires the same SEO company and has a bigger budget, you could be in trouble.
- How often do you run site audits?
- What specific metrics do you track and report on?
- How do you handle reporting and tracking of my account?
- How often can I expect to receive reports and updates, and how will you communicate them to me?
- Ideal answers to these questions will include information on conversions, rankings, traffic, campaign and outreach updates, etc. Most agencies provide clients with access to reporting software so they can view a dashboard with trackable metrics.
- How many people will have access to our website?
- What steps do you take to ensure the security of our website?
- Will you be making changes to the structure, web design, or coding of our website? If so, is that handled in-house or outsourced?
- Who would be my point of contact, and how can I contact them if I have questions or concerns?
- Can I meet the people who work on my account?
- What will you need from my end?
- How much time per month is needed from our end?
- Can you itemize the pricing package by specific services and hours spent working on each?
- What separates you from other SEO agencies?
- Overall, what results can I expect from my website?
A lack of preparation makes you susceptible to being taken advantage of dishonest and shady SEOs. Do your research and prepare beforehand so you can easily identify the right SEO agency when you find them, and from there they’ll help you determine the best strategies to address the needs of your business.
Alan Zibluk Markethive Founding Member