Many companies have had a negative experience with a SEO agency or have heard bad stories about it. Here are a few questions to ask during your search for a SEO agency.
What Is Their Reputation?
Learning about a company’s true reputation is important. It involves digging deeper than just their positive customer reviews, as these are usually cherry-picked and unreliable. Instead, contact their clients directly.
You will learn more about whether the testimonials are true, and you may gain helpful tips and insight from the client.
Are They a SEO Agency or Digital Agency?
It is better to work with a SEO specialist or an independent SEO consultant. While most digital agencies offer a host of digital services they do not specialize in SEO.
A SEO agency was likely founded by a successful SEO consultant and expanded to take on more corporate clients. Unlike digital agencies, a SEO agency does not have other skills to fall back on. The survival of their company depends on their SEO skills.
[Related: Holliday SEO Tips]
What Results Have They Achieved?
An effective SEO agency should consistently get page one rankings for keywords. Research the websites of their clients, look at their testimonials, and find the website of a person who left a review. Visit their website and find the keywords in the meta title of their site. Do a Google search for those keywords and see what the rankings are.
Google’s algorithm changes which causes rankings to fluctuate, so just because an agency was able to rank a website a few years ago doesn’t mean they are still effective today.
One of the best indicators of an agency’s ability to obtain ranking is the ranking of their own website. Not all SEO agencies try to rank their own websites for terms related to SEO.
How Is Their Quoting Process?
Beware pricing tiers; they are difficult to make work and often imply a “conveyor belt” approach as opposed to technical SEO.
Know who will be doing the work you are paying for don’t pay for things that you don’t need. Often, large SEO agencies use cunning sales staff, working on commission bonuses, to sell you as much as they can as quickly as they can.
The best scenario is when you can get a quote directly from the person who will be doing the SEO work. This is usually only possible with smaller agencies where the head of SEO is the owner of the company.
What KPIs Are They Selling?
Don’t fall for the ‘guaranteed SEO” pitch that tries to convince clients that they will rank for their own brand or irrelevant search terms. Never pay to rank your own brand name, as Google normally does this anyways.
Be sure that the keywords you are quoted for have enough monthly searches to make an ROI possible. However, it is important to remember that after you are ranked page one for a search term you will not get all of the monthly search volume, only a percentage of it.
Do They Want Control of Everything?
Some agencies want to control all your digital properties. They may ask you to set up your Google properties in their own account, move your website to their hosting, move your domain to their account, or try to convince you to let them manage your Google Ads.
They will tell you that it is more convenient for everything to be managed by one company. While, they may be right about that, it also makes it extremely difficult to leave the company.
So, it is much simpler to use a specialist SEO agency for your SEO, a web design company to develop your website, a domain registrar for your domain name registration and a reputable hosting company to host your website.
Are They Transparent?
Understandably, many SEO agencies want to protect their methods. However, there should be a certain amount of transparency to what they are doing. Sometimes the agency may be using methods that they don’t want to admit to, like reselling services from another company.
It is important to understand what methods they are using and how it will support your campaign. Stay away from SEO specialists that don’t offer you any transparency and refuse to answer your questions regarding their methods.
Choosing to hire an SEO specialist is much better than trying to do it by yourself. There is a ton of information out there and most of it is contradictory, but a genuine technical SEO specialist will have an understanding of the methods and techniques that are currently working.
You should always use caution and do your own research before you hire anyone. However, hiring a reputable SEO specialist will greatly benefit your company.
Contact Us for Help With an Seo Agency!
Capital Practice Consulting is a Digital Marketing Agency and Website Design firm located in Falls Church, Virginia in the greater Washington DC metro area including Maryland and Northern Virginia.
We specialize in search engine optimization (SEO), content marketing and social media management for businesses in the Mid-Atlantic.
We work with medical practices, dermatologists, plastic surgeons, medical spas, dispensaries, ecommerce websites, lawyers, accountants, financial planners, real estate and any field that needs help marketing a highly technical field.