The Top 5 Must Ask Questions When Hiring Your SEO Company

By Practice Growth July 16, 2020

Every major update of Google core will affect search engine result pages (SERPs), and so will any change to their search algorithm. Businesses that fail to keep up stand to lose up to 70% of their traffic.

Staying current with algorithm changes and finding the time to do essential SEO work really bolsters the argument to hire a SEO specialist. Our suggestion is to hire slow and get multiple conversations going with different SEOs.  You or your staff will be working with this individual or team quite often, so you really want to litmus test for good communication and rapport.  

Start by asking, at the very least, the following questions.

1. What Is Your Methodology?

As a rule, reputable SEO companies have their own methodology for analyzing and improving site traffic and ranking. It’s aimed at developing:

  • A more efficient SEO workflow
  • Better reporting for the teams and stakeholders
  • High-converting short and long-term strategies
  • Improved ROI (Return on Investment)
  • Gain a competitive edge

In addition, this allows an SEO company to identify your company’s pain points in an efficient manner. They should be able to uncover any content gaps you might have and recommend strategies and tactics to improve your site’s ranking on Google.

As they go about it, you should stay in the loop. Insist on getting briefed on what’s happening, ongoing campaigns, and other efforts. Most SEO companies nowadays will be using “white hat” techniques.  These are SEO tactics that are on the up and up, but you’ll want to ask that question and make sure that language is in your contract.  It can take a long time to undo the damage from Google and others, if you’re flagged for questionable SEO tactics.

2. How Fast Can We Expect to See Results?

You need to understand that SEO is a continual enterprise. While you may be able to expect quantifiable results in a matter of months, you’ll have to be in it for the long-haul.

This means you should steer clear of companies that promise to get you top-five results in a month or any language that guarantees top rankings in the near future.

That said, it may be possible to jump from, for example, page three to page one, in a few months. But this is only possible if high-converting content gaps or if products and services exist, and you’re more likely to achieve that for just a page or two than every page of your website.

3. What Will You Do to Improve the Site’s User Experience (UX)?

Among other things, Google updates its algorithm and web design best practices to improve user UX when conducting Google searches. And as you might expect, Google has a pretty good understanding of user preferences, too.

Your site is going to have to keep pace with what’s happening at Google in this respect. For example, Google displays search results in certain ways and you’ll want to best take advantage of that.

The idea is to match people’s search intentions and keep them on your pages for as long as possible. From an SEO perspective, this often means adjustments in page design, content, backlink profile, on-page media, site performance, etc.  A good SEO company will provide a full audit of your site and social media.

4. Do you have any Case Studies?

An SEO company that gets results has a track record and happy clients. More often than not, you’ll be able to find a list of clients on its website. And you may want to ask about the SEO services performed and how they benefited these businesses.

The information you get will be invaluable to determine the company’s approach and what can you expect in terms of your working relationship. First, you get a better understanding of the company’s approach to specific SEO challenges. For instance, what can be done to prevent Google penalties and improve a site’s schema markups?

Knowing this, you’ll be able to judge if the company can handle on-going SEO consultancy over the long term. You’re looking for an SEO company that can adapt your website and its pages to anything Google puts in your way.

5. How Much Do We Need to Invest?

The quote will depend on the type and scope of SEO services desired. However, it’s safe to assume that the current state of your website, in terms of ranking and content, will determine the services you’ll need. In the US, this price will range pretty dramatically. This could cost anywhere from a few hundred dollars to a few thousand dollars a month for a start.However the pricing really depends on how deep you want to go with the SEO company. Usually there is an affordable entry package with basic services. Or you can go all in and get a full package with all the bells and whistles. 

That’s assuming that you’re subscribing to a package. The SEO company should be able to fix SEO issues and offer suggestions for future improvements on a continuous basis. The package should also include regular reports and meetings to find out the best course of action.

More importantly, you may want to inquire about the ROI that you can expect. At the end of the day, you’re hiring an SEO company to avoid having to put together an in-house team of SEO experts.

Happy Hiring

When all is said and done, you need to be certain that the SEO company you’re considering understands your needs and how to implement the strategy. On top of that, they should itemize the services rendered and offer you a realistic timeline to tie up all the loose ends.

Furthermore, most SEO companies will want to look into the analytics at the initial meeting or after any brief exploratory calls. Besides fielding your question, they’re going to have questions of their own to gauge how your overall business strategy aligns with the SEO efforts. Most of all, they should never keep you in the dark or present their services as something that requires mystical knowledge.  The beauty of digital marketing is in the ability to uber quantify.  

For you as the client, it’s crucial to have great communication and follow-up with the company. You should always be in the loop, have regular reviews to discuss expectations, analytics, strategy, and the next action steps. 

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