There’s thousands if not tens of thousands of SEO companies out there. Some of these companies specialize in local SEO, while other specialize in national SEO. Some focus on content based strategies while others focus on social based strategies while others focus on link based strategies. Some are based in the United States while others are based overseas. Some companies have hundreds of employees while others are freelance operations. But in all honesty, none of these things really matter when picking an SEO company, and if these are the questions you’re asking a potential SEO company then just like the majority of business owners you’re asking all the wrong questions! Here are three questions to ask when picking an SEO company (and 3 outlines of the answers you should receive):
What Type Of ROI Do Most Of Your Clients See?
Most businesses focus on the initial costs of SEO. Would you rather go with the company that will charge you $500 a month and you’ll see zero return on your investment or the company that will charge you $5,000 a month and you’ll see a 200% return on your investment?
Don’t focus so much on the initial costs, but focus on the long term benefits and ROI. Now any sort of marketing can be difficult to measure an exact ROI, so don’t be alarmed if the SEO company can’t provide you with an exact figure (in fact that’s probably a good thing if they don’t give you an exact figure because if they do, they’re probably just making it up). But what you should be offered are examples of campaigns they have run, case studies, testimonials, referrals, and other information to show that their services are worth their weight in gold.
Are You Going To Do Anything That Can Hurt My Site?
This is a fantastic question because 99% of SEO companies will flat out say no, we would never hurt your site’s rankings. If that’s what you hear, then you may want to run and run fast.
The reality with SEO is that any sort of SEO work can potentially hurt your website. Search engines like Google change their algorithms every single day, and as years go by what they are looking for to rank your website on page 1 can change. A good SEO company will tell you that no, they won’t explicitly do anything to hurt your website as everything they do is within industry best practices, but they should also explain to you the potential for traffic and ranking fluctuations as search engines change algorithms. Honesty goes a long way with any company, and this is an important question to judge the integrity and honesty of the SEO company.
How Do Your Clients Find You?
This one always amazes me, but why do SEO companies think they can attract new clients when their own website is old, poorly laid out, and doesn’t rank well? I’m not saying they should rank for the highly competitive term “SEO services”, but they certainly should have an updated, clean website and they should be ranking for at least some keywords.
Ask them about their own site, anything that raises a red flag to you, and seek out a meaningful answer. Ask them how they get their new clients, what terms they rank for, and what their overall SEO strategy is. These are all things that a reputable SEO company will spend a few minutes explaining to you to give you the ability to make an educated decision when picking an SEO provider.
My last and final tip is if it sounds too good to be true, well then it is. If a company is offering page 1 rankings for some highly competitive term for a few hundred dollars, it simply isn’t going to happen. Quality SEO firms are in high demand and know their worth, so they aren’t going to be charging $10, $25, or $50 per hour. We wrote an article about the average costs of SEO, and it’s something that should be considered when looking for an SEO firm. Don’t hire strictly because of price, but do keep price in mind when hiring.