13 Questions to Ask Every SEO Agency Before Starting Cooperation
If you need to find the right SEO agency but actually you’ve no idea how to do it and what to pay attention to, you’re in the right place. We’ve prepared a list of 13 questions to ask when selecting a potential SEO agency to cooperate with. Keep reading!
Perhaps, thanks to our tips you’ll impress your boss and your choice will help you acquire new potential customers from Google. So, what questions to ask a potential SEO company?
Table of contents
- 13 questions to ask every SEO agency
- What’s the experience of the company?
- What is its settlement method?
- How long is the contract concluded?
- Will I be receiving reports every month and if so, what information will they contain?
- How does the company measure the effectiveness of its activities?
- How committed will I need to be during this cooperation?
- How is the link profile created?
- Do I have any impact on the selection of keywords?
- What does the agency promise?
- Whom can I contact?
- What are the costs of the service?
- Does the agency have any experience in my industry?
- Is it possible to do SEO for a selected phrase?
- Questions to SEO agencies – the takeaway
13 questions to ask every SEO agency
1. What’s the experience of the company?
Take into consideration only those agencies that have reviews you’re able to verify. You can easily find them on Facebook, Clutch, or Google. Word of mouth is powerful – ask your friends or entrepreneurs for recommendations and check whether the selected agency managed to achieve promised effects. Why don’t you ask about case studies? Avoid unknown companies that offer incredibly low prices. SEO can bring truly amazing results, however, it requires appropriate investments.
2. What is its settlement method?
It’s one of the most important questions you need to ask. You have to know what you’ll be paying for. If an agency offers performance-based SEO, you should take even a closer look at the proposed conditions. Although this solution may seem tempting, it usually turns out to be completely unprofitable. To learn more, go to our entry: Why is it better to stay away from performance-based SEO?
If you select a dishonest agency, it can offer to do SEO for keywords that aren’t popular among Google users. Then, reaching the finest positions won’t bring you any benefits. Although your website visibility on such phrases may improve rapidly, even without significant page modifications, you will still be paying for something that doesn’t actually affect your customers.
3. How long is the contract concluded for?
Find out what are the conditions for concluding and terminating the contract with the agency. If the agency is clear about these issues, it’s a good sign. You may be offered a long-term contract without the possibility to terminate it – beware of such solutions. Otherwise, the agency may not perform its duties and you’ll still have to pay.
4. Will I be receiving reports every month and if so, what information will they contain?
SEO reports are an absolute basis, however, it’s also worth focusing on their content. A PDF file analyzing positions isn’t enough. Every month, the agency should present what activities it performed and provide you with visibility charts from specific tools such as Google Search Console. It’s a good idea to ask the SEO agency about an exemplary report before starting the cooperation.
See: SEO report – what should it include?
5. How does the company measure the effectiveness of its activities?
Asking this question may prevent you from selecting an SEO agency that doesn’t focus on acquiring new customers from Google but instead pays attention solely to reaching TOP10. The agency should determine the objectives together with you and then, with the use of suitable tools like Google Analytics show you how these objectives can be achieved. Obviously, it needs to be borne in mind that the effectiveness of SEO activities isn’t determined only by the selection of appropriate keywords. If the agency helps you to reach the finest position but your market rivals offer the same product at a significantly lower price, you shouldn’t be surprised that customers aren’t willing to choose your business.
6. How committed will I need to be during this cooperation?
Another question concerns the principles of cooperation. This issue usually needs to be agreed upon between the parties to the contract, but it’s important to ensure that both the agency and the client know what to do. Most frequently, the SEO agency is responsible for content creation, whereas the ordering company needs to verify it and implement it on the site. The SEO agency can also publish new content on the website if it gets the necessary access. As a rule of thumb, technical modifications are implemented by the agency, nevertheless, clients can also sometimes get a list of changes that need to be deployed. It’s always best to commission such tasks to professionals as inexperienced persons can make a lot of mistakes that may even make the page unavailable.
7. How is the link profile created?
The ability to obtain quality backlinks is one of the cornerstones of effective SEO. Ask about the sources the agency obtains links from. If it uses automatic machines or link schemes, it’s better to stay away from it. Links should be obtained manually from blog posts, the agency’s content base, sponsored articles, and quality websites where it’s possible to place a link in a comment, forum post, or announcement. Avoid agencies that tell you that it’s not allowed to share information about the link sources.
8. Do I have any impact on the selection of keywords?
There’s no one who knows your business more than you. You should have the opportunity to suggest to the SEO agency what phrases are worth considering. Sometimes different words generate traffic and different words generate sales. In many cases, a keyword that attracts a few visitors a month can ensure better sales results than a keyword that attracts thousands of people. Sometimes, it’s also hard or impossible to determine necessary keywords with the use of available tools, therefore, it’s a good idea to share your experience with the agency. Maybe potential customers look for your products but they use some unobvious synonyms? A professional SEO agency should listen to your ideas.
9. What does the agency promise?
If a potential SEO agency offers you reaching TOP3 positions on highly competitive phrases after a month of cooperation, you should think twice. Google algorithms are constantly updated and SEO specialists work to tailor your website to current requirements and provide appropriate link building. A good SEO agency should outline a plan with achievable goals such as gradual visibility or traffic increase and lead generation. If the agency promises you spectacular and unachievable results, it often simply aims at concluding a long-term contract, without the possibility of termination. Such offers are out of the question.
10. Whom can I contact?
Will you be in touch with a specialist reporting on the progress and dispelling any doubts? It’s a good idea to make sure that you can contact people familiar with your case via phone or email. After the initial talks, it’s worth checking what the interaction with the agency looks like in real life. Professionals provide quick and substantive answers so that clients interested in their services don’t need to wait for ages.
11. What are the costs of the service?
Probably it’s one of the first questions that comes to your mind. Every SEO agency should inform you about the settlement method and clearly state what you’ll get at a given price. The more precisely the company outlines what’s the offer, the easier for you it is to monitor whether the tasks are fulfilled. The right agency should describe what is included in the service and what’s the reason behind choosing particular activities.
12. Does the agency have any experience in my industry?
It’s a huge advantage if the agency knows the industry you operate in. Theoretically speaking, it should help as SEO specialists should be familiar with your market rivals, activities, and keywords that are the most effective. However, it doesn’t mean that the lack of experience is a deciding factor and you have to resign from cooperation with a given agency if it hasn’t had anything to do with your industry before.
13. Is it possible to do SEO for a selected phrase?
We bet you’d like to hear that it’s always possible. An SEO agency with a professional approach should clearly explain the situation to you. There are many phrases in case of which reaching TOP 10 Google search results takes months and costs an arm and a leg. So, if the agency tells you that it can effortlessly do SEO for selected, highly competitive phrases like “loans”, “last minute” or “tires” but isn’t able to precisely determine the time it’ll take, it’s a sign that you should stay away from its services.
Questions to SEO agencies – the takeaway
The above-mentioned questions to ask your SEO agency should, hopefully, make the selection of a professional SEO agency much easier. Do you have any other SEO questions that are worth asking a potential SEO company? Share your ideas and experiences in the comments below!
Important content! Unfortunately, when I was hiring the first SEO agency, I didn’t know that, and we end up wasting our money for poor results and almost lack of communication from the SEO firm. It’s worth educating people on what they should pay attention to when searching for specialists!
Agree, I had a rather unpleasant encounter when after the finished cooperation SEO company deleted all backlinks created during cooperation. From that point, I’m extra careful when choosing an agency. Good that you openly talk about such aspects, Delante!
Thanks, John! We believe that transparency is the key to a fruitful cooperation. These questions are the key to avoid situations you and Pam mentioned & if the agency is ok they won’t have any problems with providing such pieces of information.