There are over 35,000 SEO agencies in the world. You have many options to choose from when selecting an SEO agency, so the big question is how should you vet them. As an SEO agency, we have some inside scoop on the answer.
To help you, we sorted through all of the questions we’re asked by prospective clients during the discovery process, and seven specific areas stood out.
Here Are The Top 7 Questions To Ask An SEO Agency Before Saying Yes
1. How Will You Improve SEO Rankings?
To avoid making costly mistakes, ask your SEO agency directly what their strategy is to improve your site rankings before you hire them. Are the experts in digital marketing? Do they offer an SEO audit to explore your domain authority, google ranking, internal linking, meta descriptions, page speed and other technical SEO as a part of their SEO strategy?
Ideally, you want to explore the company’s reputation. Do they have case studies or other client testimonials to demonstrate their expertise? Do they have any specific skill sets that will amplify your SEO goals. And most importantly, do they have the team you need to meet the specific needs of your website?
2. How Does the Billing Work?
There are many different types of SEO agencies out there, and not all of them charge clients for services in the same way. Some agencies will charge by the hour while others will charge a flat fee.
When it comes to fees, some SEO agencies are more expensive than others. This is because their rates tend to vary depending on their experience, expertise, and location. When looking for an agency, it is important to find one that fits your budget and has a track record of success in the industry.
It’s also important to explore how they charge you and if there’s room for payments, monthly retainers or if services are paid up front. Depending on your comfort level, ask questions to determine if their billing is a good fit for your business or not.
3. How Many Website Pages Will Be Optimized?
When you are hiring an SEO agency, it is important to ask them how many website pages will be optimized. This will help you figure out the cost of the service and also what type of results you can expect from the work.
In general, SEO agencies offer a variety of services. Some of those services include keyword research, on-page optimization, backlink building, link building, and content creation.
Optimizing webpages or landing pages is often very different from creating quality content in the form of articles or blogs. Blogs are the backbone of most SEO strategies unless Google ads or other social media advertising is driving traffic to the website.
It’s important as you explore questions to ask your SEO agency that you get clear on how you plan to grow the traffic to your website. If blogging is a part of the SEO plan, then you need an SEO agency that specializes in creating content or minimally advising you on what articles to write.
4. How is Success Measured?
Getting to the bottom line, it’s important to ask an SEO agency what success metrics they use before hiring them. If you don’t know what your business goals are, then it is difficult to measure the success of the work done by an SEO agency.
One of the most effective ways to measure the success of a search engine optimization campaign is by measuring how many people visit your website. Another way is to determine how many people click on your ads. Google Analytics and Google Search Console are tools you want to use to understand how traffic is being driven to your website. This KPI is critical to knowing if your dollars spent are working for you or being wasted.
An understanding of the success metrics will help you decide whether or not you are getting value for your money.
5. Does the SEO Agency or Assigned SEO Consultant Have Experience in Your Specific Industry?
It is important to ask an SEO agency if they have experience in your industry or with your target audience before hiring them. This will help you to make sure that the company is competent enough to handle your niche and deliver the results you want. It will also help you avoid expensive mistakes and potentially losing money.
That said, SEO agencies often have skills that can be easily translated across various websites and industries. In this area, you want to think about higher-level specifics.
Consider something like e-commerce. If you’re selling products or services on your website, someone with e-commerce experience understands the world of internet payments, recurring billing, and reporting so you can track sales.
If you want a robust blog, someone with SEO content creation experience will be able to help if you’re building brand reputation on your website or creating a library of published work. That is often helpful for services businesses that want to create courses, write books or find speaking engagements.
Your niche is important, and the question to ask your SEO agency is what experience do they have with the results you want to achieve? Have they ever worked with someone like you? What is the closest client match that aligns with your work or what you want to do/achieve? The answers to these questions will get you closer to choosing a specific agency or deciding to pass on them.
6. Within the SEO Strategy WHO is Doing the Work?
This is where the rubber meets the road. As you explore the SEO strategy, you have to explore how the work will be completed. Will the give you a plan or roadmap to work from? Is it “done for you” or is it “do it yourself”? How are you coached, supported or led through the SEO process? What role do you have to play and what will they do?
And what is the cost for all of it?
Understanding the roles and who is doing the work is critical to ensure that your SEO strategy gets executed. I am often asked by clients to write blog titles and sometimes even write copy for them. I’m very happy to do this and it’s a faster process for busy clients or people who simply hate writing. In the bucket of SEO questions, exploring who is actually doing the work is one of the more critical questions to clarify for your sake and your agency.
7. What Tools Do You Use?
All SEO agencies use tools. And, not all SEO tools are created equal. The truth is, we can’t reach our goals without them. Asking what tools your agency uses will help you understand what kind of strategies they use and how they work.
Free tools like Google Analytics are readily available and classes on how to master GA are all over online. More specialized tools like Semrush or Ahrefs imply a higher level of training and sophistication on the part of the SEO consultant.
Although, the proof is always in the pudding.
The other piece of the “tools” puzzle is about cost. Most tools are paid for by the SEO company and you, as the client, won’t have direct access to them unless it’s part of your arrangement. When we take on SEO clients, we often ask how much they want to learn how to do SEO on their own vs. having us do it for them. When a client wants to learn how to manage their own website, learning the tools is a part of the job.
The Importance of Having Questions to Ask an SEO Consultant
The reality is to save on your costs, you really should do your research before hiring any SEO consultant. The importance of asking these questions before you hire an SEO consultant is that by doing so, you will be more likely to find the right person for the job. If they are not able to answer your questions or give you honest answers, then it’s best to look elsewhere.
Get Started With Crownsville Media Today
This article covered the importance of having 7 key questions to ask an SEO consultant. We hope you have a better understanding of how vital it is that you vet potential agencies before hiring one. If you are ready to get started, Crownsville Media can help!
Our team of SEO consultants is available to help businesses just like yours achieve their SEO goals. In fact, here are the top 3 reasons to hire an SEO Consultant. We’re prepared to help answer any SEO questions you may have while guiding you throughout the campaign.