If SEO isn’t your thing, the terminology can sound like it’s in another language. From backlink acquisition to domain authority, it can be intimidating to anyone who isn’t in the field. And this is never more prevalent than when you are trying to hire a professional to do your company’s SEO. You want to make sure you are choosing the best agency for the job, but where do you even begin? There are many scammers out there claiming to be experts, and some agencies just seem too good to be true.
To get started, here are a few questions you should be sure to ask when interviewing potential SEOs.
1. What results have you achieved?
Most SEO agencies will offer case studies and hand-picked clients to showcase their work. While this can be helpful information when choosing the right SEO company, you will want to do a little research on your own as well. Do a little digging and find some clients who have left reviews of the agency’s services. Find that client’s website and see how they are doing on Google. How is their domain authority? Are they appearing on the first page of Google for numerous search queries? These are great indicators of the SEO agency’s quality of work.
Another strategy people like to use when gaging an agency’s results is to see how the agency itself is ranking on Google. Are they ranked number one or two in your city? They should be if they are a quality SEO company, right? According to Rand Fishkin from Moz, this isn’t necessarily the case. He believes that a successful SEO agency will be too preoccupied with its own clients and will receive regular word-of-mouth referrals, so it will not be investing a lot of time in its own website. Don’t fall into the trap of simply choosing the agency with the best SEO; instead, be sure to look into their clients’ SEO.
2. What services do you offer?
SEO often merges with other parts of digital marketing. For instance, a high-quality email campaign can boost your backlinks exponentially, and a social media specialist can make a serious impact on your SEO. Depending on your needs, you will want to find an agency that offers the services best suited for you. Most SEO agencies do not offer a variety of other services, and many digital marketing agencies don’t specialize in SEO specifically, so be sure to ask what services your agency offers and make your decision accordingly.
3. Do you always follow Google’s best practices?
According to Neil Patel, Google’s best practices are basically the “golden rules” of SEO. Google’s algorithm is set up to reward businesses that follow the rules and create a good user experience for their customers. Additionally, Google will penalize websites that break the rules, which can lead to a big drop in traffic.
That is why it is so important to choose an SEO agency who follows Google’s best practices. If you choose one with questionable tactics, they could do more harm than good for your website. You want an SEO company that is transparent, stays up to date and is willing to put in the work to do things the right way.
4. Do you provide regular reports?
Speaking of transparency, any SEO company you work with should be willing to provide you with a monthly or quarterly report. If this isn’t something offered by the company you are considering, you should think twice. One of the many benefits of having all copywriting, link building and technical onsite work done in-house is it all gets compiled together in one report.
All SEO reports should contain the following things:
Summary of activities – This should include updates on email outreach campaigns, newly acquired backlinks, site traffic data, and new blog posts.
Search traffic – Every report should showcase how your site traffic has grown from last month to this month, as well as how it has grown over the year. Be sure your report compares the long-term and short-term progress on your site traffic.
Search rankings – Your report should include any updates to the keywords you are trying to rank for. Are they improving from month to month, or is no progress being made?
Conversions – Finally, your monthly report should contain the most important information of all: How your SEO is moving customers down the sales funnel. Without conversions, there is no ROI, so make sure this is a part of your monthly report.
5. Are you up to date with the latest algorithm changes?
Google updates its algorithm constantly. In fact, Google releases about 500 to 600 algorithm changes per year. This can sound exhausting, but not all of these updates are significant. Most will hardly affect any one site in a noticeable way. However, there are Google updates that have had a huge impact on websites and the way SEO is done. These are the ones with memorable names, such as the Penguin and Hawk updates. Be sure your SEO agency is familiar with all of the important updates.
6. What is your strategy for backlinks?
Backlinks are a big part of increasing your domain authority. If you don’t have quality backlinks pointing back to your site, you are going to have a tough time earning much credibility from Google.
Even though backlink acquisition is very important, some SEO agencies don’t have a solid backlink strategy. Be sure you choose an agency with a variety of backlink tactics that are successful and effective.
7. What is your local SEO strategy?
If you get a good amount of your business in the local market, you will want to make sure your SEO is optimized locally. Local SEO is huge for brick-and-mortar stores, retail establishments and businesses that depend on customer visits to produce sales. Most home service companies, personal injuries firms and medical offices also rely on good local search results. If your business is in one of these industries, be sure the SEO agency you choose has a local SEO strategy with proven results.
8. What's your blog strategy?
Blogging is a key component in driving traffic to your website and improving your overall SEO. Blogging helps you rank higher for certain keywords, it offers useful information that could lead to better brand awareness and sales, and it keeps your website from seeming stagnate in Google’s eyes. That is, if it is done correctly.
Blogging is most helpful when it is optimized for valuable keywords. It shows you are an authority in your industry and offers valuable information to your customer base. Creating quality content with reputable sources and the right word count each month is something any decent agency should know how to do. Also sharing the blogs on the proper social media channels is important to help increase web traffic. Be sure the SEO agency you choose has a process for developing and producing specialty content for your website.
If you think an experienced SEO agency may be the right fit for your business, don’t hesitate to call us at 678-592-5398 or visit our website today.