Despite the insider blogs that proclaim that SEO is Dead, the reality is that as long as Google exists and dominates the market, SEO (Search Engine Optimization) will be a huge part of the success of your business. Most people cannot perform SEO elements themselves and the key decision is which SEO firm they should hire. Here Retaliate1st list the questions you should ask any SEO form you are considering hiring.
6 Key Questions to Ask an SEO Firm Before Hiring Them
Even those who scream that paid traffic is superior miss the fact that unless your site is optimized, you’ll pay more for clicks and lose visitors, leads, and sales because your site is confusing to use, doesn’t have good content, or is poorly written. At its base SEO is taking great copywriting and optimizing it slightly for the search engines.
It is an art and a science, and should be done by a professional. But, the SEO field is rich with scammers, fly-by-night companies, and fraudulent freelancers.
Before you make the wise decision to invest in professional services, ask the SEO firm these questions:
- What’s Your Method?
How an SEO firm plans to get your business to the top of the rankings heap can tell you a lot about how successful they are.
Everyone has their own methods, and some are better suited for your business than others, but some are just plain terrible.
The SEO Firm Should Have a Method
For example, link building is still a key to getting your site ranked. It’s old-school, time-consuming, and requires an investment of cash. But, it works.
However, if you do a quick search and find that most links in your industry cost between 20 and 50-dollars, and the firm is pitching you on getting 10,000 links for $19.99, you can be sure they’re involved with spam tactics.
2. How Good is Your Content?
Not all SEO firms will provide content, but they should. Content is the future of digital marketing. Without relevant, useful, well-written content, your site (and yoru sales) will suffer.
The easiest way tot get a handle on their skills is to ask for samples. Even if they’re new, they can mock up an article or two for you.
If the text reads like it was written by a foreigner, or by a computer program, they’re trying to scam you. Google hates garbage content and will penalize your business.
- Who Have Your Worked With?
It doesn’t matter if they’ve worked with Fortune 500 companies, or a mom-and-pop shoe store, everyone outside of a complete newbie will have reviews. If not, don’t be shy about asking for references from past clients.
Don’t neglect this step! It can tell you a lot about the service you’re about to invest in. Even if they’re inexperienced, every SEO expert has done some free work to build their portfolio, so they should absolutely have a handful of references and reviews.
Is Your SEO Firm Producing Results
- How Will I Know It’s Working?
If your business site is new, it can take a while to show up on Page 1. Sometimes you’ll see your site climb slowly, going from page 25 to 20 to 16 to 15 to 8, and so on until it reaches number one. Sometimes, it will be lost in space then suddenly pop up on the top of page 2 before climbing to the first page.
In between, there are several ways to measure progress. Ask them what analytics they’ll share with you so that you can track progress together. If they’re unwilling to share data, or give you vague answers rife with meaningless buzzwords, don’t do business with them.
- Which Type of SEO Do Your Perform?
SEO can be broken down into:
- On-page – optimizing text, photos, video, landing pages, and all content for your search terms. If they provide content, this should be done along with content creation as well as helping you optimize any self-generated content.
- Off-Page – Link building either through paid links or building links by creating articles, guest postings, and blogs. Both should be used for best results.
- Internal – Working on coding so that Google’s bots can “Crawl” your site.
Your best bet is to hire a firm that does all three.
- Do You Guarantee Your Work
Few SEO firms guarantee their work. IF they don’t, they’re probably not very good. Yes, SEO is mercurial, but the best firms keep in step with Google’s temeprmental changes, and keep pushing yoru site to the top no matter what updates hit.