SEO Question: I’m going to see an SEO agency about working with them, what should I ask?

This week’s SEO question is…

I’m going to see an SEO agency shortly about working with them, what they’ve presented me in a report looks really good but what should I be asking them about there SEO and digital marketing services?

Brilliant, first and foremost, you need to make them work, challenge everything! As an SEO, there is nothing better than explaining the process, talking about the latest developments in SEO and working with someone that’s understands digital marketing.

Below I’ve listed my top 5 questions you need to ask every SEO agency:

1. What are you doing to combat the recent Google updates (Panda & Penguin)?

This needs to be your number one question above anything else, the Google Panda and Penguin updates have really sorted the men from the boys this year, so you need to make sure the agency that you choose are using best practices to protect your site from updates and all activities adhere to Google’s search quality guidelines.

2. Can you explain your SEO best practices in detail?

You really need to be asking this, similar to the above, see how confident they are when talking, listen for buzz words like, content, social activity and quality. If they start talking about directory link building, mass article syndication and anything else that sounds dodgy – run a mile!

3. Can you show me some recent digital marketing projects, achievements and keyword results?

I think this is really important and you need to be looking for the following examples:

  • Singular keywords (example: cars)
  • Broad keywords (example: upvc windows)
  • Local keywords (example: lawyers in glasgow)
  • Branded keywords (example: vauxhall corsa)
  • Product / Service keywords (example: web design services)

These show a good range of keyword scope and success, don’t forget to ask how these performed from an ROI point-of-view, how they achieved the results and what time-scales.

4. What other services do you have in place to work in conjunction with search engine optimisation?

SEO should be just one part of your digital marketing strategy, you may/will also need:

  • Copywriting
  • Social media
  • PPC / Google Adwords
  • Conversion rate optimisation
  • Web development
  • User experience
  • Web design

SEO is about driving traffic to your site, you need other areas to convert these visitors into sales and the agency you choose should be offering these as an overall digital marketing strategy.

5. Do you guarantee SEO positions and/or results?

Still to this day, agencies, freelancers and the like guarantee results – let’s be clear, this can’t be done as SEOs don’t have control over the search engines, what SEOs do is influence the results using best practice guidelines.

So what would Matt Cutts do?

Whilst this is an old video, there are some really good points:

Do you have any thoughts or questions?

Credit: Notebook image from SXC.hu

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