3 Vital Questions to Ask Before Hiring an SEO Agency
That’s how many search queries Google processes every single day.
Search represents a major opportunity to grow revenue. Your target audience is using search right now for products and services that your business offers. Ranking on the first page can practically guarantee a steady stream of targeted traffic to your landing pages. Which ultimately translates to more sales for your business.
But the digital landscape is more competitive than ever.
And will be even more so with each passing year.
This is why SEO is so important as a marketing strategy. It takes your existing site and optimises numerous aspects to improve its rankings in the search results. Following are some of the tasks involved with optimising a site:
- Technical audit: Anything from crawling errors to mobile issues could be hurting your rankings. A technical audit is a comprehensive analysis that examines all aspects of your site and corrects any issues.
- On-page optimisation: This involves optimising aspects of your site including title tags, meta descriptions, and content to improve their visibility. This step can be rather intensive depending on how many pages there are.
- Content development: Google strives to deliver the most relevant content for each search query. But it also looks at the quality of the content. To rank in the top results, your content needs to be well written and properly optimised.
- ink building: Links from other sources carry a great deal of weight in the ranking algorithm. This part of any SEO campaign is easily one of the most important. But the focus needs to be on attaining links from relevant sources.
Each of these steps is absolutely essential to rank your site.
But with a business to run, you simply do not have the time to implement them. Not to mention that constant algorithm updates means having to keep up to date on the latest changes. Hiring an SEO agency offers the best solution then so you can focus on more important matters.
Ask the following three vital questions before you decide to work with an SEO company.
1. What strategies do you use to rank a site?
This is the first question you should ask right away.
You simply cannot get any results without a serious SEO strategy.
Building low quality links or targeting irrelevant keywords are strategies that do not work. And they could even get your site penalised in the search results. Good SEO agencies understand this of course so they will have a process that they follow for ranking a site and a realistic timeline for achieving goals agreed upon.
Any agency that dodges your question or is unable to in-depth should generally be avoided.
So what should you look for?
Basically you want to know that the agency has the experience to rank your site. The proposal should include a technical audit of the site, a content development plan, and a link building campaign. These aspects all come together to increase rankings.
The more details you can get the better.
But ultimately what you want to look for is quality and relevance throughout each step of your campaign.
2. Do you adhere to the Quality Guidelines from Google?
Long term growth depends on adhering to the Quality Guidelines. Deliberate attempts to manipulate rankings will more than likely result in a penalty or worse complete removal from the search results.
Examples of questionable tactics include:
- Scraping or automatically generating content
- Participating in link schemes
- Using sneaky redirects
- Stuffing content with keywords
- Sending automated queries
Violating the Quality Guidelines in any way will result in manual action against your site.
Google strives to deliver quality results so it cannot have sites ranking for competitive terms that did so using questionable tactics. The search giant continues to frequently update its ranking algorithm, hundreds of times a year in fact. So you want an SEO agency that not only adheres to the Quality Guidelines but also keeps up to date on the latest algorithm changes.
This is also why you need to find out the strategies that the agency will use before hiring them. Because a ranking penalty can take months or even years to recover from. And your business would miss out on a great deal of revenue as a result.
3. What are the fees for your SEO services?
SEO isn’t cheap.
There are numerous facets that make up an entire strategy.
An SEO agency can manage all those aspects but you also need to understand the costs involved so you can better budget for your business. Project-based payments are the most common in the industry as well as monthly retainers that range depending on the services you agree to. Prices typically range from $500 a month on the lower end to $5,000 a month for more premium packages.
Then you also need to consider the cost for other services. SEO isn’t the only marketing strategy that can drive more traffic to your landing pages. There is also pay per click advertising with Google AdWords and social media marketing with the various networks such as Facebook. These services will cost extra but you may be able to get a discount price if you get them all together.
SEO requires a long term approach as you cannot expect to get overnight results.
Working with an agency can push your site higher up in the search results for your target keywords. But it is important that you hire an agency that has the experience and follows all quality guidelines from Google. Be sure to ask these questions to find the right SEO company.