15 Questions To Ask About Every SEO Company
Search engine optimisation can be great if it is a good fit for your business and is carried out by skilled professionals. SEO company credibility varies greatly, however. How do you know which SEO Company to hire? It sometimes seems that everyone is proclaiming to be an SEO expert nowadays, but only a small percentage of people have the expertise to successfully optimise your website. By asking the following questions, you will be better equipped to decide which SEO company is worth your investment.
1. Are They A Registered Company?
You are parting with your money in exchange for a service, so buy that service from someone who has a brand to protect. A full-time, professional SEO expert will work under a registered company name and will carry out their services with contracts, a company bank account and opening hours.
2. Do They Rank On Page One For Competitive Industry Keywords?
Make sure the SEO company is on page one for their keywords. If your SEO company isn’t on page one for their chosen keywords then how can you trust them to get your website to page one?
3. Do They Have A Social Media Presence?
Don’t just check Facebook and Twitter, a good SEO company will be making use of other social media channels by having a Google+ Company Page, a LinkedIn Company Page and even a few YouTube videos.
4. Do They Know About Sales?
Make sure there is someone in the SEO company that specialises in sales. The end result of a successful SEO campaign is not about getting to page one, it is about increasing your website traffic and converting it into sales.
5. Do They Cheat?
Black Hat SEO is the process of using bad practice SEO techniques to cheat your way to the top. Some of these methods include using an excessive amount of keywords (key word stuffing) or generating links from link farms (spam websites that host hundreds of URLs). Using Black Hat techniques will cause a website to be penalised, sometimes irrecoverably. Many victims have had to purchase an entirely new domain name and start their SEO campaign from scratch.
6. Is Their Quote Too Good To Be True?
When you start to shop around for SEO services, you will notice a huge variation in quotes. Learn the lesson now that cheap SEO is bad SEO. Some self-proclaimed SEO ‘experts’ are offering cheap SEO for one or more of the following reasons:
- They don’t know enough about SEO to run a complete campaign
- They are engaging in Black Hat techniques
- They won’t spend the time necessary to generate meaningful results
7. Do They Have A Good Website?
The bare minimum expectation you should place on your SEO company is that they have a good website themselves. Check out their website for the following basics: ease of navigation; no typos; a contact page; no poor quality graphics; no broken links; and a blog or news section containing recently uploaded content. These features show you that a company has bothered to put time and effort into their own brand.
8. Do They Promise Position One Ranking?
If the answer is yes to this question then run in the opposite direction. Absolutely no one can guarantee that you will get to position one, unless they are engaging in black hat techniques.
9. Do They Have References?
References are really important. SEO companies should be able to provide you with references from previous clients and show you examples of clients that are ranking highly. You can also look online for reviews and testimonials e.g. on the company’s website or on their Google my business listing.
10. Do They Send Campaign Updates?
Your SEO company should be in a position to send you monthly reports with statistics regarding the status of your campaign; these reports should be included in your package.
11. Do They Offer Other Services?
A great way to gain perspective on the expertise of your potential SEO company is to look at the other services they offer. This is useful to know in case you want to avail of these services in the future. The company should at least offer keyword research ( surprisingly, an often overlooked part of successful SEO ) and content writing. They should also be able to provide social media management.
12. Where Do They Get Their Backlinks?
Back links are links that point to your website from other websites. These are really important for boosting your rankings in the search engine results page. The answer you want to hear is: ‘from reputable websites containing relevant, high-quality content’. The answer you do not want to hear is ‘link farms’. Link farms are meaningless websites that exist to host hundreds of URLs. They are black-listed by Google and anyone caught using them will also be black-listed. Some SEO companies use link farms to get quick results for their clients, but authentic SEO takes time.
13. Can You Meet The SEO Programmer?
Ask the SEO company if you can meet the programmer who will be working on your campaign. Some companies outsource their programming to other countries, which might work out great for them financially, but is of little benefit to you if you can’t get in touch with them (or if getting in touch means running up huge phone bills). Meet your SEO programmer face to face before you sign any dotted lines.
14. Do They Offer Different Packages?
With SEO, what you get out of it is directly related to what you put into it. Your SEO company should be able to tell you this and subsequently offer a range of different packages to you. The size of your package should determine variables such as: how many keywords you are being optimised for and how many articles are being written for you to generate back links.
15. Will They Optimise Your Website For Organic Rankings?
This is a ridiculous question, because SEO is only about optimising for organic rankings. However the reason why it is important to ask this question is because you should show your SEO company that you know the difference between organic results and paid ads. Organic results are the regular search engine results, whereas paid ads (also known as PPC) are the results that appear in the yellow boxes at the top of the Google results page. Some SEO ‘experts’ are tricking people into believing that they have made them rank for position one when in reality they have just made them feature in a paid ad. There is nothing wrong with paid ads, but if you are paying for SEO, you are paying to appear in the organic results.