When you do a Google search for your industry, where does your page show up in the endless list of results? Does it show up on the second page, the third page, or even further back? If so, there are people out there right now looking for a business just like yours, but since your business is buried behind dozens of other search results, your customers never even see what you have to offer, but it doesn’t have to be that way. There’s a sure-fire way to climb the search results page and propel your business into success, and it’s called SEO. SEO is the science of improving your website’s search engine visibility on search engines like Google, Bing, and Ask, and there are many companies that offer SEO services to businesses who are looking for the next step in building a better business.Hiring an SEO team is a must for any business that wants to succeed, but how can you be sure that the team you’re hiring is the best team for the job?
Here are the questions that you should be asking.
1.) How does your company track the success of each campaign?
A good SEO company should be able to accurately measure their progress to give you accurate feedback, and there are many effective tools that a company may use to measure success. Any good team should be well versed in Google Analytics, an industry standard toolset that is essential to a team’s situational awareness. Don’t forget to ask them how much information they are willing to share, and how often they’ll be providing updates. Companies with honest business practices are often more likely to divulge more information.
2.) How closely do you follow webmaster guidelines?
In the early days of SEO, there were a few dishonest ways of artificially boosting a website’s visibility through spam bots and hidden links. All major search engines now actively fight against these practices, and if your SEO team isn’t following the webmaster guidelines laid out by Google, Bing, Yahoo, and any other search engines you’re targeting, your website’s ranking could be ruined. Always make sure your team is following the latest webmaster guidelines for each target search engine.
3.) How experienced is your team with local SEO?
If your business has a front door, it’s extremely important that local SEO, optimization targeting potential customers near your business’s physical location. By adding location-specific tags to content and pages, a good SEO team should be able to make your business appear higher in the search results of customers that are closer – and more likely to stop by.
4.) Who does the generated content belong to post-contract?
When hiring an SEO team, be careful not to put yourself in an unfavorable situation, and make sure that the future of your site’s content is secure. A reputable SEO team will allow their clients to maintain ownership of all content and will not modify or remove any content after the contract is over. Could your contract be terminated prematurely? Ask if there are any associated fees just to be on the safe side.
5.) Will I be informed of all changes made to my site?
Even when an SEO team is working to make your site better, the website still belongs entirely to you. Drastic changes may need to be made, but a good SEO company will keep you up-to-date on these changes. Ask your team how often they’ll update you, how much information on changes made they will provide, and whether or not they’re willing to explain more complicated changes in detail.
6.) When will I pay, and how much?
SEO services aren’t the cheapest, but a good SEO team should be able to bring in enough money to pay for their services and then some. Know what the final costs will be, know when payment is due, and know about any fees associated with late payment. Again, be sure to ask if there are any fees associated with premature contract termination – losing an SEO team stings, so be sure you don’t lose a chunk of your budget too.
7.) What steps will you be taking, and how will you meet your goals?
While many SEO companies may claim to have a “secret formula to success” that they are unwilling to share, in most cases, a more transparent SEO team is a better team. Avoid consultants who are too reluctant to share information on the project, and be sure to ask how the team’s methods will bring your website to a higher search rank.
8.) Who are your current and past clients? You’ve probably noticed a reoccurring theme throughout this list: transparency. A good SEO team has nothing to hide from their clients, and that includes their other current clients and past clients. This is a great way for SEO companies to show off their success stories and their most high-profile clients, and SEO companies that have had success in the past will probably be eager to put that success on display.
9.) Will my website be the number one search result?
Be wary of any company that makes unrealistic promises. If a company guarantees that they can take your business to #1, they’re very likely trying to take advantage of you. It is impossible to guarantee that degree of success, even if the company claims to have “insider connections” – claims like these are another red flag.
10.) How will communication be carried out?
Your SEO digital marketing team should be open to regular correspondence, and it’s a good idea to know how communication will be facilitated ahead of time. Will you and your team communicate solely via telephone, or will you use email, Skype, or even social networks? Of course, it’s always a good idea to ask as many questions as you feel you should, and if you have any concerns, it’s best to voice these early on – once you’ve chosen a team, you’ve made a commitment to that team and they’ve made a commitment to you, so don’t waste your time on a less-than-trustworthy team.
Choose the right team for you. Luckily, the best SEO teams are flexible and open to communication.