Five Questions You Should Ask SEO Companies Before You Hire

May 22, 2015

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You want your company’s website to rank high in Internet searches for the products or services you provide, right? To do that, you need to do what is called search engine optimization (SEO). These days, SEO is a complicated process. Many companies, therefore, hire professional SEO companies to take care of increasing their web traffic and ratings. To hire a reputable SEO company, though, you need to know some of the most important questions you can ask potential candidates. Here are some key questions to ask professional SEO companies before you hire.

1. What are your most effective SEO techniques?

Any SEO company you hire should be able to disclose what techniques it will use to help your company show up higher in Internet searches. In years past, some companies tried to take a shortcut around Google’s best practices with dishonest tricks, a practice called “black hat SEO.” Because their practices were dishonest, they kept their techniques cloaked with secrecy. Reputable companies these days should have no trouble explaining what they plan to do to help your site gain more visibility in Internet searches. They should also be able to give you a good estimate of what it will cost you to achieve your desired results, as well as a time frame in which you can expect your goals to have been achieved.

2. Which sections on my website most need to be changed?

Any SEO company you consider hiring should have taken a good look at each page of your site before they meet with you. Each website is unique, and has its own demands. Some of the factors are specific to each industry, and others are specific to your company’s goals. The content management system that you use also impacts how a SEO company will transform your site to better fit your company’s needs. Just because a given technique worked on another company’s website does not mean that it would be a good fit for yours. Ask SEO companies for specific answers that are tailored to your own website.

3. Will all your work be done on my own website, or do you plan to create links with other sites?

To improve your own site’s ranking in search engines, a company needs to create connections between your company and others. This process, called offsite search engine optimization, helps you form organic relationships with other companies through building links with other sites, as well as creating opportunities for you or your copywriters to serve as guest bloggers on other sites related to your company’s interests. The days of simply listing your site in random link directories are over. Such short-sighted solutions can actually hurt your site’s ranking, since these link directories have little authority or prestige. Furthermore, a good SEO company will also actively seek to increase your presence in local listings, which can help you boost traffic to your site, particularly in your local area.

4. What part of your work will I be able to keep if I decide to change SEO companies?

Although this may be an uncomfortable question to ask when you begin your relationship with a SEO company, it is nevertheless an important consideration. Business relationships sometimes end. Since the work done for you is mostly intangible property—not like a building that a construction company builds for you—you have every right to ask what information you will be able to keep should you find another SEO provider. Your SEO company should allow you to keep what you have paid them to create, including the following:

  • Your company’s profiles and logins on social media
  • Email accounts created for marketing your company
  • Data collected about your site’s visitors
  • Any blog posts they have created for you

Make sure that any SEO company you hire is willing to let you keep all of this important information. This information is a key component of your SEO efforts over time. If you should lose access to it, it will take a longer time for you to rebuild your web presence.

5. How Often Will You Provide Me Reports?

Your SEO company should be accessible to its clients. Whether you prefer to meet with them every month, receive a weekly phone call, or simply want to communicate by email about your company’s progress in its web presence, any company you hire should be able to communicate with you with the frequency and method of communication you prefer. Make sure that the company you hire will make it easy for you to communicate with them.

With all of the SEO companies available for you to choose from, you will need to narrow down your choices so your company’s website will be seen by more potential customers. If you have a good set of questions to ask potential hires, you will have a better chance of finding a reputable SEO company that will do the best job promoting your business.

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