Finding the right SEO agency is a job in itself. Choosing the right and successful one is the best thing you can do for your company. Choosing the wrong one may be your biggest mistake in your business life.

Why? Because, bad and poor SEO can cause unidentified permanent damage to all your resources.

There are too many SEO options to consider. First of all, if you haven’t been in the market for a few years, you may not know your chance to run into a good SEO agency or an inexperienced freelancer.

“If you think working with a professional is too expensive, wait until you agree with an amateur.”

Here are some questions and answers you should ask potential SEO agencies:

Gathering this information will help you separate the wheat from the chaff when it comes to finding high-quality search engine optimization services.

Can you itemize the services you intend to provide as part of the strategy?

The SEO agency you accept, should agree has any question marks in the mind of the business it is willing to run.

If your potential SEO agency is reluctant to list the work they plan to run, be careful. Bad SEO companies / freelancers tend to hide the truth about what they do for the money you pay them.

A good agency will be completely transparent with you and will not be afraid to list the services they intend to provide as part of the strategy. The services offered may and should be developed throughout your contract. Keep this in mind when asking these questions. For example, I do not expect the services provided for a month to be the same as the services provided within six months.

Don’t be afraid to ask for hours or the number of assets they will provide each month, based on the strategy they offer you.

Service questions you should ask:

  • What are the exact services you plan to provide monthly as part of the strategy and the amount of each?
  • How many hours per month can we wait for each service?
  • What technical aspects of the website will you be auditing and fixing?
  • How many pages of the website will you optimize initially?
  • How many pages of the website will you optimize on an ongoing basis each month?
  • How many new landing pages will you create per month?
  • How many internal and external articles will you provide per month?
  • How many backlinks can we expect per month?
  • How much time is dedicated to campaign analysis and reporting?

Don’t be surprised if the agency comes back to you and says something like this: “this is what we will provide for up to three months, but from the fourth month on, the services we offer may change based on what we discover.”

This would be a good answer and will show that the agency is about finding the right strategy for your business and adapting it as the proposal evolves. The services they provide should be based on research and data, not on instinct.

How will you optimize our content?

It’s the buzziest buzz phrase of the last few years: “Content is king.”

As much as I’m sick of hearing it (and saying it), content really is important. When choosing an SEO agency, make sure they are going to enhance your content and find out how.

Content questions you should ask:

  • Will you create new copy or work with our existing content?
  • How do you optimize content and why is it important?
  • Will you be creating new landing pages as part of the contract?

How do you go about link building?

External inbound backlinks are one of the most important parts of any online marketing effort. Without good links pointing to your website you’ll find it hard to rank higher than your competitors.

However, not every link is a good backlink. If you choose the wrong SEO agency, and they build spammy links which don’t adhere to Google’s guidelines, you risk the website being penalized and you may never achieve your goals.

Link building questions you should ask:

  • What kind of links will you be building and how?
  • How many new links can we expect per month? Bear it mind it’s impossible to give an exact answer for this. Expect an estimate.
  • Do you have a database of relevant placement opportunities?
  • What do you know about Google Penguin and what makes a quality backlink?

Will you be implementing technical changes?

Before starting an SEO contract, make sure you know who is responsible for each task. Some agencies / freelancers are uncertain about their offer, which can shock you even more when you need to hire a developer to implement the changes they propose. Find out who’s doing what and if they’ll require external help.

Can I meet the team assigned to my project?

Most SEO agencies will send in their best team to win new clients. After all, they want to make a good impression. There’s nothing wrong with that, but chances are you’re not going to have the agency CEO and technical SEO specialist handling all of the work.

Ask if you can meet with the person responsible for your project and, ideally, any other team members involved. You want to know you’re in safe hands and that your contract won’t be handed to an intern.

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