June 21, 2019 Last updated June 20th, 2019 85 Reads share

Hire the Right SEO Agency In 2019 With These 5 All-Important Questions

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Search engine optimization SEO. Some people love it, realizing how much search drives sales and conversions for their business. Some hate it, having been burned by a fly-by-night firm or having plowed money into a side of the business that never really paid dividends for them.

But no matter what people’s opinion of it is, search engine optimization is a fundamental part of modern marketing. On average,Treatment center in Arizona goes to the first Google search results page. Fifty-one percent of all website traffic comes from organic search. And over forty percent of revenue comes from organic traffic.

Advertising, social media and word of mouth are all crucial components of an overall marketing plan. But without good SEO, you’re up a creek without a paddle—and most companies are too small to have their own in-house SEO. So what does it take to find the right agency?

There are a few fundamental questions that you can ask to find the agency that fits your needs perfectly. They’ll help you navigate a sea of organizations that can all look and sound good, steering you to the one that will do the work efficiently and well.

1) What Exactly Do I Need?

This seems like an obvious question, but it’s really not. If you’ve not been exposed to SEO, you may not know the answer to this. Do you need a link-building? A one-time audit? Some Google PPC ads? Retargeting? Content marketing?

If you don’t know, ask. And take the time to do a little research on what you need, even if it’s just a couple of hours. There are a ton of guides out there that can give you the basics of SEO and at least help you understand what the company will discuss with you.

Ask each company what you need. Some will try to sell you on everything—others may be willing to do more a la carte work. Just remember that the longer the timeframe, the more effective it’s likely to be—but the price tends to go up accordingly.

2) What Does the Competitive Landscape Look Like?

Don’t just get one quote and call it a day …

Do a little digging and send out a few different requests for proposals. See which companies do their homework. According to Josh Steimle, founder of MWI, “Most SEO firms will gladly offer a free consultation because they know by doing so they have a chance to impress you and win your business…By the end of the consultation, which may take a few days if the SEO firm needs to go and do research on your website and industry, you should [have] received a proposal with the services you need and pricing for them.”

When you get multiple quotes from multiple sources, don’t put it out there that you’re looking at many different companies. This can actually make some companies not want to work with you—they may try less hard on the proposal because they’re used to people coming to them and paying what they want. Some SEO firms have more business than they can handle.

3) What Does Their Prior Work Look Like?

Would you hire someone without checking references?

You shouldn’t do it with an SEO firm either.

Ask for some references and examples of their previous work to look at, including concrete traffic numbers and how they were able to change traffic and conversions. It’s a quick way to get a sense of how well they know their business.

And a bonus is that if you’re checking references, you’ll also have an idea of how well they work with people. Ask specific questions and you’ll have a better idea of who you’re dealing with.

4) Do We Have Measurable, Attainable Goals to Work Toward?

SEO guru Neil Patel notes that you can usually tell who’s a scam firm because they can’t explain what they’re doing. “True SEO involves white hat practices that are accepted as legitimate and are proven to get results,” he explains on his blog. “If your agency is doing those things, they should be able to explain them. If they can’t, you’ve invested in a scam. Tell them to go away.”

Your SEO agency will need access to your data, and with that, they should be able to create some measurable and attainable goals. If they can’t—if they sell you some business about proprietary algorithms and try to snow you under with tech jargon and uncertainty—go a different direction.

5) Can They Tell Me a Good Story?

Steimle mentions in the same piece that creativity is actually a bigger part of SEO than most people think. “A good SEO firm executes tactically. A great SEO firm does that but is highly creative as well, and creative people tell good stories … Ask the SEO firm how they were founded, what their best client experience was, what their worst client experience was and how they handled it, and how they’ve improved over the years.”

When you ask them to tell you stories about their best and worst experiences, how they handle adversity, and what they’ve done to improve, you’ll often get a better sense of what they’re about than you’d get from a thousand case studies. Remember, this is more or less a job interview—they want your job. Find out if they’re the right fit, just as you would with an employee.

It doesn’t have to be an intimidating task to choose an SEO firm …

With these five simple questions, you can find an agency that fits all your needs and your budget and can help you reach the goals that you’ve set for your business. Reach new heights with the SEO provider that’s right for you.

 

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Mudassar Hassan

Mudassar Hassan

These seven simple words - dream big, work hard, make it happen - have been at the forefront of my mind this week. I don't know whether it's because of the sentiment of a brand new year, but I've been feeling super motivated to dream a little bigger, work a little harder, and make things happen this year.

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