In a field brimming with promises of quick traffic increases and immediate results, it’s essential to understand what’s achievable. Before you commit to an SEO agency, there are some critical questions you need to ask.
This approach ensures you’re not just buying into attractive promises but partnering with a team that delivers tangible, long-term benefits.
This article shares five questions that are essential to ask when choosing an SEO agency. These questions will help you cut through sales pitches and understand what the agency can truly offer.
5 Important Questions To Ask Before Hiring An SEO Agency
What Is Your Approach To SEO?
When you ask about an agency’s approach to SEO, you’re looking for a clear, well-defined strategy.
They should be able to articulate how they plan to analyze your current website, identify areas for improvement, and address both on-page and off-page SEO elements.
They should also focus on critical aspects like technical SEO (site speed, mobile optimization), content strategy (targeting the right keywords, creating quality content), and building a healthy backlink profile.
A competent SEO agency like Spacebar Collective will discuss how they personalize strategies to match your business niche, audience, and goals.
Be cautious of agencies that promise quick results or use black-hat SEO tactics like keyword stuffing or buying links. These practices lead to short-term gains but potentially harmful long-term consequences, including penalties from search engines.
How Often Can I Expect Reports?
The frequency and detail of reporting from an SEO agency are critical for monitoring the success of your SEO activities.
A clear reporting schedule allows you to see the direct impact of the agency’s work on your website’s performance.
A standard approach you’ll encounter is monthly reporting. This regularity is generally a good balance, giving you insights into key metrics like search engine rankings, website traffic, and conversion rates without overwhelming you with data.
The monthly report should break down the tasks completed, any increase in rankings for specific keywords, and an analysis of traffic trends.
It should also explain what the numbers mean for your business and what steps will be taken next.
For those who prefer a closer look at their campaign’s progress, bi-weekly reports might be available.
While this provides a more immediate view of certain activities, such as the implementation of on-page SEO changes or content publication, it may not always capture the full effect of those activities on your search engine performance, which often takes time to materialize.
It’s one thing to claim expertise in SEO, but it’s another to prove it with tangible results. Ask for case studies or success stories, specifically in your industry.
These case studies should showcase the strategies they implemented, the challenges they faced, and the results achieved.
Pay attention to the timeframe of these successes; SEO is a long-term game, and overnight results are often unsustainable.
How Long Will It Take To See Results From The Campaign?
Typically, you might start seeing initial changes in three to six months, but this can vary. Factors like the age of your website, current online presence, and the competitiveness of your industry play a role.
A reliable agency will set realistic expectations, explaining that substantial and sustainable results take time.
Be wary of those promising immediate top rankings – SEO is a gradual process that requires ongoing effort.
What Pricing Model Do You Use?
The pricing model of an SEO agency is a direct indicator of how they align their services with client expectations.
It’s important to choose a model that matches your business goals and provides transparency on what you are paying for.
One common approach is the fixed monthly retainer. With this model, you’ll pay a monthly fee for a specified set of SEO services.
This makes budgeting predictable and ensures ongoing work on your SEO. The potential downside is that it may lack flexibility.
If your business is seasonal or you need to pivot your strategy, this model may not adapt quickly to those changes.
Another option is project-based pricing, where you pay a single fee for a specific SEO project.
This is straightforward and cost-effective for one-time tasks. But be wary, as it might not cover ongoing SEO needs, which are vital for maintaining and improving your rankings over time.
Lastly, some agencies offer hourly consulting rates. This provides flexibility and a clear accounting of time spent on your project.
However, this can add up quickly, and without a cap, you might end up with a larger bill than anticipated.
Choosing the right SEO agency is a pivotal decision for your online presence and significantly influences the growth of your business.
It’s not just about hiring expertise; it’s about forming a partnership with a team that understands your vision, communicates clearly, and aligns its strategies with your unique objectives.
Here are the five essential questions to ask an SEO agency before hiring them:
- Ask the SEO agency to explain their SEO strategy to ensure they cover all the critical aspects of SEO.
- Inquire how often you’ll receive reports to keep track of improvements.
- Request evidence of previous work to gauge their experience.
- Clarify the expected timeline for seeing results to set realistic expectations for your SEO campaign.
- Confirm the realistic timeframe for seeing positive changes in your website’s search engine ranking to ensure their promises are achievable.
- Discuss their pricing model to ensure it fits your budget and reflects the value they provide.