Bring your ammos when interviewing a possible search engine optimization company to sign up with. Have all the questions you need to ask to get the valuable information you need. Here are 10 questions that you should remember.
1. Do you have a client portfolio?
Every SEO firm has a client portfolio because their services are 100% results-driven. They market their services based on the success of their past and current clients. Telling you that they don’t have a portfolio is just like saying they can’t show it to you because the records are so terrible. Don’t fall for the confidentiality clause excuse because that’ll be a ridiculous rule in a marketing field where exposure is the game.
2. Can you present traffic graphs of your clients?
The top SEO companies can show their clients’ traffic graphs because they are all constantly going up. Declining to present is a sign that they are embarrassed of the traffic trends that their clients have.
They should be able to impress you by reaching your targets and delivering their promises. It doesn’t really matter if their graphs show slow and unsteady growth because what’s important is that they reach the target within the agreed timeframe. Sometimes, it takes months before you can see good results. The most important thing though, is that you see the results you want.
3. Can you commit to presenting a proposal before contract signing?
A proposal is always essential in any B2B transaction. You can’t enter an agreement that is not clear to you. You actually sign up for their tailored-fit proposal when you sign up with an SEO firm.Their portfolio and track record will all be useless to you if they cannot present a proposal to help you achieve your goals through their services. All the proposed plans should be in black and white for formality and assurance. Think again if they can’t offer a plan with no strings attached.
4. Do you have on-page and off-page optimization services?
SEO is categorized into two: on-page and off-page optimization. On-page optimization refers to the services directly made on your website, such as content creation and site mapping. They are done to improve your online relevance, improve the navigation experience, and increase conversion rate. On the other hand, off-page optimization refers to the services made outside of your website to improve popularity, such as link building and forum posting.
On-page and off-page optimization always go hand and hand because using only one may not be enough to reach your target, especially when your competitors use all the strategies they can have to thrive in the cutthroat world of online marketing.
5. Do you have major issues that affect the quality of your services?
This is where you can test their honesty. The top SEO companies are likely to be honest about their issues because they are confident that no hiccups can stop them from becoming the best in the industry. Besides, nothing is a secret nowadays. The reputations of SEO agencies are discussed online, so they can’t really hide anything, provided that you did your assignment before talking to them. Also, you can always contact their past clients since you’ll know who they are anyway.
Some issues that you may want to be wary about are server problems, conflict of interest (e.g. servicing directly competing websites), and lack of in-house staff (since everything is outsourced nowadays).
6. Do you offer local, national, and international search engine optimization services?
The thing now is more of going local than going international. Even Google acknowledges that. Businesses nowadays want to reach out more to their immediate target markets, mostly those living in nearby communities up to living in the same country. There is really no point in opting to go international if your website does not cater to international markets. It’s important that the search engine optimization company you are going to hire knows a lot about local marketing, especially if yours is just a local business.
7. Can you work with an existing marketing plan?
Maybe you already have an existing marketing plan, or you have a plan in mind at least. The firm you prefer should be able to incorporate your own idea of marketing with their own. You know what direction to take because it is your vision that should be followed. The firm should only be able to bring you to your goals, not dictate them.
8. How many membership accounts with directories and indexing sites do you have?
Having multiple connections with the top article, website, and PR directories is one of the biggest advantages of hiring them. Hence, they should be able to provide the best directories that ordinary people cannot easily afford. They need to give you an idea of how large their network is.
9. How large is your network and how many leads can you provide?
A firm’s network is another aspect that convinces clients to avail of their services. This network includes companies that they can tie up with, such as directories, indexing sites, tools and widgets providers, etc. Leads should also be discussed if you will be availing of off-page optimization services.
10. Do you have your own SEO writers?
The biggest part of content creation and keyword optimizing a website belongs to a team of SEO writers. You can be guaranteed with faster turn-around time and higher quality if they are all in-house. Freelancers may be tapped, but they shouldn’t be given the most important jobs like the priorities and the urgent ones.