Snake oil salesmen. Scam artists. Outdated, ineffective tactics.
When you’re thinking about hiring an SEO agency, you want to avoid any and all of the above. But with so many people claiming to be SEO experts these days, how can you weed out the con men and find a capable SEO partner?
There’s good news. Even if you don’t know much — or anything — about SEO, there are still questions you can ask that will help you determine if an agency is worth hiring or just making promises they can’t keep.
1. Can You Guarantee Specific Results?
The best answer: “No. Nobody can.”
2. How Long Will It Take to See Results?
The best answer: “I’ll need to check how competitive your niche is, but typically it takes about three to six months to start seeing results.”
3. Have You Ever Worked With a Business Like Mine Before?
The best answer: “You bet! Here are a few examples,” or, “No, but we’ve worked with businesses in a similar situation — here’s how we helped them.”
4. How Has SEO Changed in the Past Few Years?
The best answer: “Things have changed an awful lot! From the Penguin update, which changed how people build links, to the Panda update, which influenced how we create content, all the way to Google Hummingbird…”
5. What Parts of the SEO Process Do You Outsource?
The best answer: “While we handle all of our strategy in house, we do outsource X to [credible provider]” or “We handle everything in house — would you like to meet our team?”
6. What’s Your Link-Building Process?
The best answer: “We take a content-first approach to attracting links while also capitalizing on safe, proven outreach and content promotion methods.”
7. How Do You Choose the Keywords We’ll Be Targeting?
The best answer: “It’s a combination of relevance, searcher intent, traffic volumes, and competition level.”
8. What Metrics Do You Think Are Most Important to Measure?
The best answer: “It’s multi-faceted, but the most important thing is that we’re driving leads and sales.”
9. What Will the Process for Implementing Changes Look Like?
The best answer: “Anything that lets you know they have a system in place and that they understand changes will need to be made.”
10. What Do Your Reports Look Like, and Can I See One?
The best answer: “Absolutely! Here’s an example of what we send out clients. Let’s talk through it.”0