Choosing a seo expert is difficult and yet crucial to the success of your site. If you choose the right one, your turnover should increase significantly. If you choose the wrong one, you risk wasting time, money and may jeopardise your business .
So in this article are 10 questions to ask before choosing your seo consultant or SEO agency .
Before I begin I would like to recall an essential point.
The low cost SEO does not exist! SEO takes time and needs to be done by experts .
There are of course tools to save time, but they are mainly as services that will generate the reports. All the tools that create links, content, etc. automatically are to flee like the plague (under penalty of suffering a penalty on the part of Google).
Therefore, if a service provider makes a very low-priced offer, always ask how much time it will spend on your site with such a budget, given that, according to a study of the net newspaper, the tariff Average daily of a seo expert exceeds £400
That being said, let’s move on to the 10 questions you need to ask before choosing your seo agency:
Can you tell me how you will position my site?
The idea here is not to discover the techniques of the agency but to see if the answer you will get contains the following key elements:
- Defining your goals.
- Audit your site.
- Keyword study.
- Study of existing backlinks.
Depending on the outcome of these 4 studies, the agency will be able to define a strategy that will position your site on the most relevant keywords for you.
The definition of objectives is very important. Because you must not forget that you do not want to be first on Google , what you want is to sell your products, get more contacts, make your brand known, and so on. Your provider should always keep your objective in mind .
Here is the type of answer you should expect:
“We will first see together what your goals and keywords are interesting about where it is possible to position your site. Then we will do a seo audit of your site to identify the blocking points and the optimizations to bring . Finally, we will put in place a strategy to create links accordingly “.
Attention, some agencies include the study of backlink directly in “audit site” and others not. Please do not hesitate to ask briefly what the audit site contains.
How will you create links to my site?
A site that gets no link will never be properly positioned. Therefore, unless you already have enough (which is possible), creating links pointing to your site will be part of the agency’s work.
However, not all links are valid and it is important to know how your future provider intends to create them.
The best links are those from sites of high quality and most often placed inside articles. They are difficult to obtain, unlike links of poor quality such as those that can be added in comments, directories and other platforms often subject to spam.
The quantity of links is not a relevant criterion in SEO, it is the quality that matters the most. If the agency replies that it will create you thousands of links, thank her and go see elsewhere!
Who will do the optimizations / modifications on my site?
Unless your site is already fully optimized, chances are that changes will be required. This involves intervening on site code, editorial content, structure, etc.
It is therefore necessary to determine who will deal with these changes.
The agency SEO can do it or simply give you a list of recommendations to apply yourself (so probably with the help of a developer that you will have to hire extra!).
If the agency is in charge of implementing the changes, it is very good because the intervention times will be shorter (we remove an intermediary) and it will know perfectly well what each optimization is used for.
However, in this case, it is essential that an update log be maintained for two reasons:
- If you want to make changes yourself on your site you will need to know what the agency has done to not “destroy” its work.
- If one of the agency changes “plants” your site or your SEO, you must be able to remedy it quickly by going back.
If it is an external developer to the seo agency that will implement the recommendations, you will need to ensure that communication between the three parties (the SEO agency, you and the developer) is effective.
Minor optimization can sometimes require dozens of hours of work for the developer and it is then worth discussing to determine if this optimization will have a real impact on the positioning of the site.
Be careful, if the seo consultant tells you that optimization is important, do it! You will not be able to hope for good results if you do not apply all the optimizations considered as priority!
Can you give me examples of keywords and clients you worked for?
Ideally the agency must have worked with important companies because most of the time this type of companies wants to position themselves on competitive keywords.
When you get the keyword examples, type them in Google to see if the sites for which the agency is working are properly positioned.
Also ask her if her clients have been working with her for a long time. Indeed, if the agency does its job properly there is no reason for its clients to change provider.
There are agencies using aggressive referencing techniques which, at first, will yield interesting results, but which will then penalize the site. In general, customers of this type of agency do not remain faithful for very long .
Do you follow the practices recommended by Google?
If you follow a little SEO you should know that Google is quite fussy ! He does not like too much when playing with his algorithm to try to position a site in an unnatural way (Understand: natural in the eyes of Google).
For a site to be referenced in the long term it is important to respect the instructions imposed by Google (often referred to as Google best practice). If the agency does not do so, your site may receive a penalty one day or another and your traffic will suffer the consequences.
Can you guarantee me that I will be first on my keywords?
Warning this is a trick question !
If the SEO replies to you that “yes it guarantees that you will be first on Google” you lie!
No one knows the exact algorithm used by Google. Therefore, it is impossible to know in advance that it will be the position of a site on a given keyword.
Warning, if you are talking about a very simple keyword (ie without competition), the agency can tell you that in fact it will position your site in first position. But in this case, it builds on the experience accumulated during its previous missions and therefore makes a “prediction”.
You have to make the difference between “guarantee” and “prediction” . It is not possible to guarantee but one can possibly predict that one will be able to position a site because there is little competition on the chosen key word.
It should be noted that there is a form of positioning guarantee , which is similar to performance pay. The principle is to charge you a certain amount only if your site is positioned in the top 10 on the targeted keywords.
The amount due will increase depending on the position of your site (the first place is of course the most expensive).
This type of Benefit may be interesting but pay attention to the following points before you commit:
- Calculate the amount you will have to pay if your keywords are positioned correctly (it may not be profitable).
- Study the key words on which your site should be positioned. Paying to be first on a keyword that does not trigger any sale will not help you.
- This type of business proposal is often accompanied by a commitment period. This is normal insofar as the referrer works initially for very little money and is only paid when he has done a good job. However, it should not ask you to commit yourself for 10 years!
Do you send reports of results and actions?
To check if you have intelligently spent your money , you must be able to know if the agency seo gets results and what it does for.
A report (ideal monthly) should therefore be provided in which you will find at least the following information:
- Summary of the actions carried out : creation of links, addition of content, intervention log on the site, etc.
- Evolution of search traffic : Attention, one speaks well of the traffic contributed by the search engines. Do not rely solely on the overall traffic of your site. If you do business, you may increase your traffic, but it does not necessarily mean that the agency does its job.
- Positioning your site : Typically it is a table with a keyword and current position, the evolution over 1 month, 3 months, 6 months, 1 year.
- Evolution of Conversions : As I said earlier, your goal is not to be well referenced but to get your visitors to buy your products, services, etc. Therefore, the conversion rate must be part of the report you receive in order to see if the traffic that is brought to the site is qualified or not.
Do not hesitate to ask the agency a sample report (anonymous) to see if it seems complete and understandable!
Is there a commitment period?
It is important to know how long you will be “stuck” with the SEO expert you will choose. If it works properly it will not be a problem but if you make a mistake in choosing it you will be glad you do not have to pay it for 2 years because you are contractually committed.
It is normal for a referencer to ask you to commit to a minimum period because the seo is a long-term job whose results can only be seen after several weeks (often months).
So it is important for him that you can not leave until you can see that his work is effective. However, once it has shown you that it is able to position your site in the first results of Google, there is no longer any reason why it requires you to stay.
A commitment period of 3 to 6 months seems reasonable.
Can I contact you to ask you questions?
If you choose the right agency, you should work together for many years. It is therefore important to be able to discuss regularly in order to work hand in hand .
For example, if you decide to add new articles to your blog or to new products on your shop, you should be able to discuss them upstream with your seo consultant to advise you. By helping you to create new content of quality and optimized it renders you service but also facilitates the task.
What happens if I do not work with you in 2 years?
Some agencies can sometimes charge you a supplement when you do not renew your contract. It is important to know, but that is not the purpose of this question.
What you need to determine is “will the links pointing to my site always be present even if I no longer work with you? ”
Seo agencies and independent referrers often have many sites on which they work regularly so that they are appreciated by Google.
These sites then serve as a source for creating quality links to their clients’ sites.
If you do not work together anymore what will happen to these links? If the SEQ removes them then your site will lose many high quality links and its positioning in the search engines is likely to drop sharply.
I am aware that these questions will not make you an expert in seo and this is not the purpose of the article.
It must be understood that SEO is an obscure discipline for site owners and that, consequently (and unfortunately), many “providers” benefit.
Be careful, I’m not saying that all SEOs are scammers (I know many who are excellent! such as Radawebs). But for a neophyte it is often difficult to differentiate true experts from true charlatans.
I hope these questions will help you.
If you have had good or bad experiences with a seo agency or an SEO expert feel free to talk about it in the comments . Attention, no denunciation , the objective is to help those who wish to hire an expert to make referencing their site. or also you can get in touch with our company.