When we talk about SEO, we are reffering to an extremely complex and lengthy process, and choosing a profile company or a SEO specialist to match your requirements and handle as many aspects (from statistical analysis to marketing strategies and optimization solutions), it is not easy. Not to be overlooked is the fact that this is a field where wrong decisions and unsuitable tactics may harm or damage the reputation of a brand.
What are the things that must be considered in choosing a SEO company?
Among recommendations and dozens of e-mails with offers, how do we choose the best? The people from Search Engine Journal make our search easier and draw patterns in the form of 20 questions that help us select the best option in terms of the SEO agency with which we should work. Let us discuss them in the following lines:
1. What do you know about the latest updates of Google algorithms?
Any SEO agency should have thorough knowledge of Panda and Penguin updates and other updates of Google algorithms, Exact Match Domain, Link Warnings, DMCA Penalties, 7 Result SERPs, Knowledge Graph and more. Find out if the SEO agencies that you follow know what these updates mean.
2. How do you identify the causes of a penalty?
There are SEO agencies that often confuse Panda with Penguin penalties or vice versa. How important is it to make a clear distinction between them? Very important. If you have been penalized, it is essential to understand what led to the penalty in order to solve the problem.Identifying a wrong cause and subsequent actions to resolve this false issue can definitely cause more harm than good, meaning a waste of time and energy.
3. What is your experience in the technical area?
SEO is, as claimed in past articles, a highly complex process which includes various components, combining marketing with technical scope, the vision of the specialist and strategy. It is best to choose a SEO agency that has technical knowledge, preferable advanced technical knowledge, a talented web designer, so that the SEO specialist will act as a bridge between people with technical expertise, developers and web designers. As we take care of all the elements of the process, the chances of success increase considerably.
4. What experience do the copywriters have?
The main purpose of the SEO process is to highlight as an authority on a particular subject. For this goal to be tangible a professional team is needed, of quality content producers to work efficiently at:
- Viral Marketing
- Guest posting
- Relationship building
- Social media marketing
- Content marketing
You can achieve success in these areas just by having quality content.
5. Do you deal with optimization of social networks? How do you do this?
Social media is, as we all know, a crucial aspect in SEO process, directly influencing positioning and being the best tool to strengthen social relationships. Once these relationships are built and developed, it creates a good environment for link building. Current SEO is based on:
- Building influential relationships using social media
- Producing content that is social media friendly (easy share and like)
- Exposing content through social networks
- Encouraging the process of sharewithout being too pushy
- Converting subscribers on social networks in e-mail subscribers and potential customers
6. What link building strategy are you using?
One of the most important questions you can ask SEO agencies running for the job you’re offering reffers to the link building strategy they approach. In a completely changed SEO world, after the Panda and Penguin algorithms, the process of link building is more difficult and it is based on the original strategies, on creative ideas to ensure long-term success. Avoid agencies that are dealing with old tactics of link building, such as:
- Submitting your site to directories that nobody heard about
- Enrolling articles in article directories
- Using automated link building programs
- Buying links
Instead of these outdated tactics, a SEO agency should focus its efforts and change its link building strategy based on:
- Guest posts on popular blogs to bring qualified traffic
- Working with influential people from the field for projects that bring mutual benefits
- Exposure through social networks, forums, ads to get natural links
- Creative and original methods of link building, that bring traffic
7. Which are the methods of constructing relationships specific skills?
A good SEO strategy should be completed by building lasting relationships, obtained by using a set of outstanding qualities and exceptional vision of the specialists. These will help obtain valuable links, the most difficult to obtain, in order to overcome your competitors. Thus, you have the possibility to build a quality link profile that will pass the test of time.
8. How does the team adapt to the different requirements of the customers?
This is another very important question. As mentioned above, the purpose of the SEO process is to become a recognized authority. SEO agencies are obviously experts in the process of SEO but not necessarily in your niche. What actions do they undertake for you to become a recognized expert in your field?
Seing as the answer may vary, from hiring experts and working with actual data, make sure that you have a good answer to this question and as many details about their plans and strategies that they will put into practice for you to reach your final goal.
9. What do you know about the concept of content marketing?
According to QuickSprout, content marketing is the new SEO. This concept requires a lot of work, but by creating a team of talented copywriters, designers, graphic designers, marketing specialists, chances are that final product will attract a wide audience and attention in the online environment. In short, there are some points to check in content marketing strategy:
- Be first company to express online what you want and aim
- Find a slogan for your content in a process similar to that for products
- Try to produce content in real time
- Distribute content using specific tools
- Use the reputation and influence of social networks, press releases, e-mail marketing to expand as much as possible and you to loosen your online horizons.
10. Do you share your strategies with the SEO community?
SEO is an area where sharing information weights much so the presentation of the implemented strategies, the way they work often represents a certainty of success enjoyed by a certain SEO agency.
Think about how much information you can get about an SEO agency just by reading their blog or the different places they promote their content and strategies.
11. How involved are we in the process?
The ideal answer is very much, which is absolutely normal. The SEO team should openly share reports, strategies and the progress they make in your project. They must consider your suggestions and recommendations to be able to process and implement them in order to achieve success.
12. Who are you collaborating with and for how long?
SEO specialists of the agency should provide information about clients they’ve worked with or they still work with, obviously keeping the details confidential. You can ask them to submit cases of collaboration, the results of which were met and maintained over time, satisfactory results for the customers.
13. Do you use tools?
It is important to use various tools for a variety of reports, statistics, to measure efficiency. The lack of these tools makes the work of the team harder and your costs will be high, including this manual work.
Note, however, what kind of automation they use, exclude from the start those of automatic registrations, which we already cataloged in this article as the unwanted SEO tactic.
14. Do you guarantee positioning results?
The honest answer to this question is no. Google says that SEO agencies that guarantee such things violate their policy.
We can guarantee, however broadly, the ROI, for example. The idea is for the agency to win the customer’s trust through efforts, ideas and the specialists’ visions, which will – in time – bring satisfaction and the expected results.
15. Do you make predictions?
Do not expect the SEO specialists to tell you what happens to the process, which segments will develop or how the algorithm changes. There are predictions that can be made; Rand Fishkin from SEOmoz does an excellent job with his predictions.
It is important to make such predictions, to broaden your horizons in this area and to make every effort to learn and test several tactics. Relying only on old tactics keeps SEO specialists in the shadows, because using the same practices does not bring long-term results.
16. How do you measure success?
The purpose of SEO is to bring a steady increase in organic traffic, this being a long term goal. SEO is a constant process, a growth strategy that requires time and resources. Only by blending these elements, the SEO process will show its true efficiency.
17. What do you do if you fail to get the promised results on time?
In this case, which can occur for various reasons, one being the complexity of the process, the SEO agency or team that works for you should be able to provide compensation or refunds, if they fail to deliver certain results or in case you are penalized due to their actions.
18. Why do you think we should hire you?
Although this seems a trivial question, the answer can be complex and appropriate. There is probably where the difference between agencies occurs. Their answer – a concise or elaborate one, must resonate with your wishes and include an agreement that they can be fulfilled.
19. Can we talk to the SEO team coordinator?
It is obvious that a direct interaction with the SEO department is needed; establish a meeting to discuss all the details. This is absolutely necessary for the SEO agency that will develop a strategy for your business, and this requires as many details as possible from you.
20. How will you present the progress of this process?
The presentation reports on the SEO campaign progress should be more complex than ordinary positioning studies or information about the number of links built. You should be able to see exactly where the links come from, how the created content looks like and the correlation between the actions of the SEO agency and the existing progress. Other than the reports on SEO factors, the agency may submit reports to quantify the progress. It is essential that reports are completely transparent, as should the entire SEO process.
In conclusion, SEO in all its aspects requires talented, passionate people, visionaries who understand its mechanisms and who explore the possibilities, people who are always informed and who excel in their field of activity.
The previous points should help you find a SEO company that offers the best service, that has a competent team, able to understand and implement a development strategy at all levels in the online environment.