7 Questions to Ask When Hiring an SEO Agency


Investing in an SEO Agency

Your goal is simple – to improve your website’s online visibility. But knowing how to achieve this isn’t easy. SEO is a tough game, tricky to master and subject to constantly changing algorithms that determine how your site is ranked. So, it makes sense to hire an SEO person, right?

According to The Manifest, 50% of businesses use a digital marketing agency for things like SEO, social media and PPC. Nearly a third of the businesses who don’t, plan to in the next year. If this latter statement applies to you, here are some questions you should ask when appointing an SEO agency:

  1. What case studies do you have?

Ask for a list of previous clients, particularly well-known brands and what KPIs were achieved. An agency should come armed with case studiesand success stories. Also ask about client retention and the agencies own objectives.

  1. How much experience do you have working in my industry?

Knowing the industry gives the agency insight into the level of competition. This gives an advantage when it comes to understanding the expected ROI, the effort-level required and the best online channels to use for each industry.

  1. How will you improve my rankings?

If an agency says they can get you onto the first page of Google, be suspicious. No agency can guarantee a position – their efforts improve rankings, but the conditions are fluid and competition and results fluctuate.

  1. How will you spend my budget?

When you contract an agency, you will agree a fee. This may be from a choice of tiered service packages. Pick the one that fits your budget and understand the deliverables. As for a breakdown of how this budget will be spent across the digital marketing activities that will form part of the strategy and the estimated ROI for each.

  1. Do you follow Google’s Best Practices?

Make sure agency follows white hat or ‘good’ SEO practices. Black hat practices are those that violate Google’s policy. They may give you a quick leg up, but there is no longevity in them and activity is likely to score you a penalty, which hard to recover from.

  1. What reporting do you offer?

All agencies should provide, at the very least, a monthly KPI report, demonstrating what activity has been carried out. You should ensure that monthly performance stats are included, to give an indication of how your site is performing online.Other reporting you can expect include quarterly reviews and annual strategy meetings.

  1. What are your contract terms?

Many agencies will have a 3-month minimum contract, some prefer 6 months. This is to allow enough time for the campaigns to work, so that clients can fully see the results of the SEO strategy and hopefully choose to stay with the agency. Google’s John Mueller recently confirmed that Google can take up to 6 months to crawl some webpages. That said, you should not be locked into long contracts of more than a year.

Need any advice on your SEO strategy? Whitefish Marketing is an established Kent based digital marketing agency, with experience in lead conversion. Give our friendly team a call on 01303 720 288.


 

About Chris Surridge

Chris Surridge is an experienced Digital Marketing Director with a wealth of knowledge on Search Marketing Strategies and Conversion Analysis. His value is in strategic planning for client accounts, and his consultative services.