There are many SEO companies to choose from, so how do you choose the right one?
The simple answer is asking a lot of questions. But what if you don’t know exactly what to ask? Well, don’t worry, we put a list of questions you can ask when comparing SEO agencies.
Before You Start Searching for an SEO Company
Let’s say your car is having problems and you believe they are electrical; you will not want to take it to a muffler shop to get repaired. They could have someone with a general understanding of fixing cars, but they will not have the experience needed to fix your exact problem.
SEO is the same. With multiple SEO tactics, certain agencies focus heavily on one area, for example, a technical SEO agency, a link building agency, or a content marketing agency. That is why before you start looking for an agency, you should consider what some of your companies goals are.
You might already have a content team that can write quality content, but for some reason, you are having issues with Google indexing all of your content. In that scenario, you will need an agency that understands technical SEO.
Or you have a development team that has done an incredible job in developing your website to meet SEO technical guidelines, but you can’t seem to write content that your readers are searching for. Then you will need to look for a content marketing firm instead.
Take some time, meet with your team, and discuss your goals. Once you have them down, you can start searching for SEO agencies. Now let’s get to the questions you should ask once you find a few agencies.
Questions to Ask When Choosing an SEO Company
Now that we know what your company goals are, you will want to ask a few questions from each company. Also, make sure that you stay consistent in asking each company the same questions. This will be easier for you to rate them at the end.
1. Have You Worked Within My Industry?
The first thing to ask is if they have worked within your industry. This question isn’t something that will gauge an agency’s experience in SEO but can lead to an easier understanding of your business. If they have worked with clients in the same industry, then they have a good understanding of your company. As a result, you will spend less time explaining exactly what you do, and they will also spend less time researching your business.
This shouldn’t be the primary decision-maker, as many great agencies can do wonders for any industry. Also, some companies might not provide you with names of companies they worked with because of NDA’s, so you should ask industry-related questions.
2. Do you follow Search Webmaster Guidelines?
The last thing you want is someone who doesn’t follow the proper guidelines and is unethical. Unfortunately, there are individuals out there who use unethical tactics, Black Hat SEO. While they might give you a boost in traffic in some instances, they are temporary almost all the time.
Search engines like Google will find unethical processes that manipulate their search index. This will cause your rankings to drop, leading to a manual action. A manual action is when a human reviewer from Google determines that your website pages do not meet their guidelines. Once you have been penalized by Google, it will be very difficult for you to recover.
3. Ask for a Timeline
Implementing changes and seeing results will take a lot of effort and some time. On average, the SEO community asks clients to give them around 6 months to start seeing actual results. In some instances, you can see faster results than 6 months. But be aware of an agency that promises quick results and guarantees to get you to the top of search results. They could be using unethical tactics or just trying to get you to move forward with them.
4. Get a Technical and Search Audit
Many agencies offer a technical and search audit for free, while some charge. In an audit, an SEO agency will determine what needs to be done, why, and what the expected outcome should be. The audit should provide you with a scope of work that you can measure with your original goals and should have a timeline explaining when each task will begin and be completed. But don’t forget, if they promise you to position 1 in Google without any hesitation, run.
What to Expect After Choosing an SEO Company
After choosing an SEO company, there will be a few things you will need to prepare for. Here is a list in no particular order.
You are most likely going to get into an agreement with an SEO agency. There will probably be a minimum term you will need to sign up for, and on average, it is 6 months. It might sound long, but remember the earlier point that it could take up to 6 months to see results.
This is also where the timeline and scope of work from the audit can come in helpful, showing that they will constantly be working during that period. There might be some smaller tasks that might not require such a long term, that could be technical changes to your site, or you might have taken them on as a consultant.
2. Your In-House Team
There should be open communication between your company and the SEO agency. Making sure that someone from your team is a point contact will help bridge any gaps in communication and make sure someone internally is overseeing the work being done. This can be someone from your in-house marketing team, an individual who understands your marketing goals, or a consultant.
Earlier, we mentioned that one of the questions you should ask is if the SEO agency has any experience within your industry. If they did, then the research phase they would need to conduct can be fairly simple. And the reason we said it should not be a deciding factor is because even if they have an understanding of your industry, you might be running your business differently than a competitor.
Make sure you allocate plenty of time to provide any company information that would be useful for your SEO agency to ensure they can achieve their goals.
4. Access to Internal Tools
An SEO company is going to want access to your digital tools. Your analytics console, your search console, your website, and possibly other tools depending on the scope of work. Access to tools will typically be discussed during the onboarding process by an SEO agency.
Ensure full admin access is not provided for your Google Analytics or Google Search Console. You could give read-only unless you had never set one up and require the SEO agency to do it instead. If the agency is going to make changes to your website, admin or root access will most likely be needed.
Why You Should Choose Brandhouse as Your SEO Agency
We have been offering SEO services for businesses for years. As a result, we have a great understanding of what it takes to help grow your business using SEO tactics. While being well versed in all areas of SEO, our team’s specialties are in Content Marketing and Technical SEO.
Contact us today for a discovery session where we can learn what you are looking for and provide you with answers to your questions. We can then provide you with a free analysis and recommendations on improving your company’s SEO.