Practical Questions to Ask Professional SEO Agency before Hiring, and Answers to Expect

Practical Questions to Ask Professional SEO Agency before Hiring, and Answers to Expect

If you are planning on outsourcing the SEO tasks of your business, you must partner with thorough professionals. A good SEO service can help your company earn significantly better, month after month. SEO activity is consistently evolving as search engine algorithms get updated for better user experience. If you choose wrong service providers, it can even impact your existing traffic.

In the past, companies used to do cheap backlink purchases for high keyword density, but that trick does not work anymore. Search engines have become much more advanced now, and such practices can do more harm than any good.

Not all organizations or businesses have the resources or budget to manage their SEO team in-house. Engaging content creation, influencer marketing, and public relations, are necessary to create effective backlinks.

Modern keyword strategies must focus on user centric research and highly relevant content planning. Most companies are hiring professional SEO services, since it make a lot of sense to outsource the tasks to the experts.

Hiring an SEO agency is tricky

If you partner with reliable service provider like Return on Now SEO services, your site rankings and organic traffic will surely increase. It will help your website generate more leads, and lead to more online sales conversions.

On the other hand, if you hire companies that use black hat techniques, you are taking a big risk of getting de-indexed and penalized by search engines, and your existing traffic will also fade away. Getting back on your foot after the SEO setback can take years.

You will need to ask smart questions, and listen to the answers, while hiring SEO service providers. The agency that you hire must strictly follow the SEO best practices. Only then they can be really instrumental in helping your company achieve the business goals. Below are some savvy questions to ask and what answers to expect.

What’s your SEO approach for delivering results?

SEO has 3 major components. Most of the reliable and reputed SEO agencies include all 3on their services.

  1. Technical SEO – Website speed, layout, coding, and other metrics, which affect search traffic, is taken care of. They ensure that the search crawlers move across your site and contents with ease. They will review 404 errors and do the necessary page redirects.
  2. Off-page SEO – They will create incoming links from high-quality websites, and take advantage of site with high domain authority. They improve your SEO visibility by strengthening brand awareness, earning links, and enhancing off-site content.
  3. User experience – Content, navigation, and keyword optimization for better user experience. All the SEO activities of your site will have to eventually go through on-page optimization.

Ensure that the SEO agency you choose have experts who can work on all 3 components mentioned above, and have a clear strategy.

How will you customize the strategies to suit our business niche/brand?

SEO experts will know that each business will need a custom approach. For example, local businesses are interested in targeting customers around their region. It will need a different approach, than the SEO aimed at the global market.

Generally people consider experience as the primary criteria while hiring professional services, but you could get equally good services from a new provider for more competitive costs. The most important thing to gauge is the quality of services they offer and their professionalism.

What are the metrics you define as success?

There is no guarantee for first-page ranking, and those who claim or make promises like that are possibly employing black-hat techniques. You may get traffic through black hat techniques, but only for a short term. Your site may even get penalized by search engines.

A reliable SEO team builds its strategy around your business goals. For increased traffic, they prioritize quality content creation and keyword optimization. For increasing your local traffic, they recommend optimizing your profiles on review sites and local directories. Your provider’s track record and expertise must be in sync with your business goals.

How will be the timeframe for you to deliver results?

Legitimate SEO techniques will take time to deliver results. It can take 6 months or even more than that after they get started. Good SEO providers will clearly mention the timeframe required for success.

Repairing of technical glitches and oversights can take some time. Nevertheless, if your website is well-structured without technical issues, then you will not need to wait for long to see the measurable improvements. If quick results are being promised, it could be a red flag for you.

What’s your mobile optimization approach?

Google sources have already started talking about the mobile-first index. Therefore it is crucial to have mobile optimization and audit for your site. Your SEO expert will convincingly express why mobile will be crucial for long term SEO success.

How does your team perform keyword research?

Modern keyword research is deeper than what it was in the past. It looks to understand the user’s behavior and intent. What kind of keywords or phrases they use for the intent search?

Try to understand what they plan to do about ‘user experience”. They will also speak about the methodologies and tools they use to do keyword research, content development, publishing, creating backlinks, etc. If they only talk about keyword search and density, then there is a possibility that they are using outdated practices.

What is your approach to link building & influencer marketing?

If the SEO agency promises to get hundreds of links in a few weeks, it is an indication that they will be poor quality links. High-quality links from authoritative sites are effective, than the low quality paid links or robot-created links. Remember, the quality of the link matters, and not the quantity.

The discussion has to be around building quality links. They are got by posting high-quality content on authority sites. It helps to get connected with editors and market influencers. The answer you need to seek should be around quality and relationship building, and not about quantity and unrealistic numbers.

What SEO tools are being used by your company?

It is not important to know the tools they use for their SEO process. Nevertheless, you can get to know about their knowledge on the specific tools they use. A good SEO agency has a plethora of tools they employ to do an audit, keyword research, monitoring, analysis, etc. Make sure that they offer compelling reasons why they use the specific tools, and not just recite a lengthy great tool list.

How is the progress report shared with us?

The SEO agency has a way of sharing the progress report. The progress report will get customized to suit your unique KPIs and goals. If the expert cannot offer detailed information on progress reports, and how the metrics are measured, you will need to move away!

Ask questions and evaluate their answers to find out the policies and practices they employ. Make sure you hire a SEO company that delivers long-term value and results.

About Haider Ali Khan

I'm an Independent Cyber Security Researcher, a geek who loves Cyber Security and Technology.