You have a number of SEO agencies to choose from but you’re not sure about certain things and don’t know what to ask about? What to do if one offer doesn’t list the elements the second one includes and the third one has them simply bulleted? As the saying goes – better to ask the way than to go astray. So don’t be afraid to ask SEO agencies about their services.
A detailed comparison of offers may be difficult. In this article, you’ll find out what elements a professional SEO offer should include.
Below, you can also learn what questions should be asked when you don’t have full information or when you have difficulties to make a decision. Even if an agency doesn’t answer our questions directly, we are still able to assess the way it communicates and responds. We can also get a picture of how our cooperation with a specific agency could look like.
This is one of the toughest questions in the SEO industry. The answer to this question will determine with whom you’re going to cooperate. Why is this question difficult? First of all, the estimation of the expected results depends on many factors, such as:
A professional business partner will explain to the client how the whole process looks like, how it can be accelerated, or what can slow down achieving the desired SEO results. Before the cooperation is established, the agency doesn’t have full knowledge of your website. It doesn’t know how the IT department cooperates, and isn’t aware of the processes or legal regulations at your work. It also often doesn’t have any data or insight into the position of your website. Although such issues can always be discussed during briefing.
If the agency tries to convince you that the first results will be visible in a month or two, it’s most likely that it’s reading tea leaves… And hoping to sign the contract as quickly as possible.
The first 3 months of work include the basics: performing and implementing a technical audit, website improvement, building a strong linking and content background. Only after this stage can you expect that the agency accurately estimates the amount of time required to achieve the established results.
If the SEO proposal doesn’t include an answer to this question, then you should ask about it. The agency should inform the client how it builds links. And it should be able to justify the choice of link sources in the context of the established SEO goals. If the agency doesn’t answer directly to your question, saying that it must protect its know-how and business secrets, you can be sure that the links don’t come from high-quality sources.
Real experts aren’t afraid to share their knowledge with clients. They’re aware of the fact that the more we know, the greater is the trust, not to mention the fact that the cooperation is then much more effective.
This may seem to be a strange question at this stage, but it can actually tell a lot about the agency. If the agency’s answer is vague, it can mean that when the contract expires, it will delete all those links.
A professional SEO agency, when the client pays for link building, makes sure that the links are durable. Of course, it may happen that the website from which the links come from will stop working, obviously together with the links. You’ll know when an SEO agency deletes the links it gained from its own sources, e.g. its own websites, because after the contract expires, you’ll notice a sudden decrease in the number of lost links in ahrefs.
As long as there are no clear terms in the contract that define client confidentiality, the agency should give information about their existing clients and the scope of the performed work. If it doesn’t want to do that, it may mean that it wants to hide the techniques it used during the cooperation with the client (e.g. unethical black hat seo). So keep this in mind when you compare SEO agency offers.
The answer to this question can largely influence your decision. An agency that had successful cooperations with clients will gladly direct you to a contact person, who will give positive opinions about the agency. However, if the agency’s clients aren’t satisfied with its services, the clients definitely won’t talk about it in glowing terms, and the agency itself will be reluctant to give you contacts to its former clients.
Nowadays, it’s not difficult to find a contact to a company. So if you have any doubts, it’s also worth asking for opinions about the agency on forums (e.g. http://forums.seochat.com/ or Reddit), Facebook groups dedicated to SEO, and you can even ask your friends on LinkedIn.
It seems to be quite obvious that an SEO agency should regularly answer to your mails and provide information about the currently performed activities, for which we pay. So, it should guarantee responsiveness and provide the client with the support of an SEO specialist, who will patiently guide the client through difficult SEO terms or the presently performed tasks. Given this, the agency shouldn’t be afraid to include a provision in the contract, in which the agency would oblige itself to respond to the client’s mails within 24 working hours. If this seems to be a problem, take this into account when you compare SEO offers.
Contract = sealing the deal. Usually, the contract duration is one year but it can be different, depending on the company’s budget. One month’s notice is a standard, however, as my experience has shown, it’s rarely necessary. After a cooperation is established, most professional agencies point out that only after the first 3 months of work, an accurate assessment of the performed activities (which form the basis for further work) can be done. Only after this period of time, we can establish specific goals for the upcoming months or years.
The requirements of search engines are constantly increasing when it comes to website visibility and positioning in organic results. Regular algorithm updates show how much Google places emphasis on the quality of content, user-friendliness, and the website’s availability on different devices. That’s why you should remember about it when you choose an SEO agency. Pay attention to those agencies, which clearly state their services.
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When comparing the agency’s links or publications, don’t look at the proportion of their number to the costs but to the quality because it can significantly differ. Remember this and don’t be afraid to ask questions. Clarify the things you’re not sure about.
A professional SEO agency not only clearly states its services but also informs the client about the techniques it uses to achieve the established results. It also clearly estimates the costs, pointing out the differences between its own salary and external costs.
The agency is also able to explain how it works, present its current achievements, and it doesn’t hide its know-how. When choosing an SEO agency, remember you’re doing it for yourself. You’re the person who will keep in contact with theM for several months or years, depending on the contract you have signed. Remember that communication and responsiveness are also important factors in business cooperation.