Critical Questions To Ask A SEO Company Before Hiring Them

How do you weed out the good from the bad when it comes to selecting a SEO agency to work with? Here's our list of the most critical questions to ask when searching for the ideal SEO partner for your business.
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If you are a business owner looking to hire an SEO company or agency, you should create a shortlist of questions to ask the SEO agency before you hire them. By asking the right questions, you can create a great shortlist to choose the best SEO partner for your business.

As a business owner, you have to make hundreds (if not thousands) of decisions per day. We understand how overwhelming it can be to make every decision, and to make the right ones for your business.

When you start to dive down the endless options of SEO companies and start thinking about hiring an SEO company, it can be hard to know where to start. We always recommend doing comprehensive research when hiring an SEO company.

So, if you are looking for the right questions to ask before hiring, this guide is perfect for you. Here’s exactly what you need to ask prospective SEO companies.

Question 1: Do You Offer A Guarantee?

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When selecting a SEO company, it is important to ask whether that SEO agency offers a guarantee. A SEO guarantee can come in a variety of different forms.

While we always discourage business owners to avoid SEO agencies or digital marketing experts who claim they can guarantee first page results (since no one but Google could do this), there are a variety of different SEO guarantees that agencies can offer to provide you with peace of mind.

Some SEO agencies, like Australian Web Experts, offer a 90 day “don’t rank, don’t pay” SEO guarantee. In essence, as we have over a decade of SEO experience we know exactly what it takes to rank.

This provides our clients with the peace of mind that they are covered in the event that something goes wrong with their SEO campaign, however this is quite different to an SEO agency guaranteeing you with first page results for all of your keywords within 5 business days. That simply isn’t possible, and you should avoid these SEO agencies at all costs.

We dive deeper into all things SEO guarantees if you would like to explore this further on our blog. In essence, some guarantees are acceptable, while others are typically used by scammy SEO agencies. It is important to understand the difference.

Question 2: How Much Experience Do You Have As A SEO Agency?

Like any professional, it is important to know how much experience the SEO agency you are looking to work with has. SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) is an incredibly complex field and you need to ensure you are working with a SEO company that can formulate a comprehensive SEO strategy for your business.

In recent years, a large number of SEO agencies have entered the field that have very little experience in the industry. These SEO agencies typically don’t follow best practices or understand that it takes to rank a website in the long term.

A great way to judge a businesses experience in the industry is to ask to see results that they have achieved for other Australian businesses, or to view their case studies. Any SEO company worth their salt will be more than happy to share case studies of previous clients. These SEO case studies will allow you to see results they have achieved for other clients.

In short, when hiring an SEO company, it is extremely important to look into their past projects and ensure they have achieved SEO results for other businesses.

Question 3: How Many Hours Are Included In My SEO Package Each Month?

This is a very important one. When comparing SEO companies, you might receive a number of different SEO pricing options and pricing structures. While one SEO package or campaign might look incredibly cheap compared to a more expensive SEO option, you need to consider the level of hours going into your site each month.

For instance, one SEO company might be charging $300 per month for your SEO campaign, but only putting in one hour of SEO work each month into your website. Whereas a SEO company charging $750 per month might be putting in 10 hours of SEO work into your site each month.

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This means that the more “affordable” SEO package is actually costing you $300 per hour, while the more “expensive” SEO package is only costing you $75 per hour.

It is critical to ask your prospective SEO company how much work will be going into your site each month. This will give you a clearer understanding of what SEO is costing you each month and where the better value for money option is.

There are a large variety of factors that go into the total cost of your SEO campaign. Our SEO pricing guide explains exactly how much SEO costs in Australia and extends on this further.

Question 4: Do You Complete On-Page And Off-Page SEO Services?

When looking for a SEO partner for your business, it is important to ensure you understand what type of SEO package you are receiving. Some SEO companies only offer on-page SEO services, while others only offer off-page SEO and link building services.

Both of these SEO elements are integral to ensure your website ranks higher in the search engines, but the SEO company you are speaking to may only offer one of these SEO services.

This is why it is important to ensure you are working with an agency that offers both on-page and off-site services, as quality SEO requires both of these integral elements for the SEO strategy to increase your rankings and organic traffic.

Some agencies will charge per link placement, or have extra fees for link building services, so it is important to establish what you can expect when it comes to links and overall link building across your website. Conversely, some agencies will not produce content for your website or write new pieces of content for free.

Both link building and content production are critical to success but sometimes these aren’t included as part of your marketing package for free with different companies.

In essence, ensure you ask your prospective SEO company exactly what is included in your SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) campaign. Both of these elements are critical to your overall SEO strategy.

Question 5: Do You Work With Our Competitors?

If you are working with a large SEO company that has hundreds of different clients in your geographical location, it is important to ask if they are working with your direct competitors. This is something you need to know particularly if you are a local business.

As an example, if you run a local plumbing business in the northern suburbs of Sydney, you do not want your SEO agency to be working with other plumbers in your local area. Quite simply, your business will not have a competitive advantage over the competition if you are both using the same SEO agency.

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When you are going through the sales process of signing up for a SEO campaign, ask the company about their other clients who may be in similar industries in the same area as you.

To push the needle forward on your Google rankings and overall search results, you will want to ensure you are the only business of your kind in your new SEO companies client portfolio.

Question 6: Does Your SEO Agency Perform Keyword Research?

If you are looking to increase your search engine rankings in the long term, you will need a strong keyword research strategy. As reported in a recent Ahrefs article, keyword research is one of the most critical elements of any SEO strategy and success in the Google algorithm.

A proper keyword research strategy will involve competitor analysis and will take into consideration your websites current SEO and position within the organic rankings. From here, a quality SEO company will utilise industry tools and strategies to identify the best keywords to target.

By identifying the best keywords to include in your SEO campaign with industry tools, you are much better placed for success in the organic search results. Keyword research typically won’t be included in low quality packages, so this can be a great way to weed out companies you don’t want to work with.

This is a critical component in all quality SEO strategies, and before you hire an SEO company, you need to ask if they will perform keyword research as part of your search marketing strategy.

Question 7: Is SEO Reporting Included In My SEO Package?

It is important to ask an SEO company if they will include SEO reporting as part of your overall digital marketing strategy. At Australian Web Experts, we include detailed monthly reporting that gives all of our clients insights into important metrics across their digital marketing campaign.

In-depth monthly reporting will typically outline a number of different metrics that are integral to the overall health of your companies website. A quality report will also usually outline your keyword rankings in the organic search results, Google Analytics metrics, newly acquired backlinks and page one rankings.

We love putting together monthly reports as they clearly show the progress of your strategy and show how your website’s Google traffic is increasing over the long term.

Over the course of your campaign, you are able to refer back to older reports to view your progress and see how your companies website is growing.

Integral Questions To Ask Before Hiring An SEO Company

These are just some of the many questions you should ask an SEO company before you engage them for any digital marketing services. It can be an overwhelming process choosing the right company and knowing exactly who to contact.

A quality digital marketing agency will be more than happy to answer any questions you have about best practices, digital marketing, links and backlinks in general, and will usually provide an upfront consultation for free so that you know what to expect from their team.

Hire An SEO Company With A Proven Track Record

If you are looking to work with an agency that follows best Google practices and process, look no further than the digital marketing team at Australian Web Experts. Our digital marketing team knows exactly what it takes to grow your website traffic and increase your digital marketing footprint.

With a team dedicated to ensuring you receive industry success, you can expect a large increase in organic traffic and a huge spike in website traffic by working with our digital marketing experts. Our team knows the exact marketing process to follow to ensure you achieve success online.

Contact our team of digital marketing experts today to start growing your business online! We always love to hear from new clients looking to grow their business online.

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