How to Choose the Right SEO Company & What Questions to Ask Them

Posted by Corey Smith on Feb 10, 2015 12:07:00 PM

Tribute Media Office in Meridian Idaho

Search engine optimization is only the beginning of your company’s overall web marketing strategy and it is not "one size fits all." It needs to be tailored to your specific industry and needs. It is important to understand that just because your site is optimized for search engines, it doesn’t mean it will attract visitors. Once visitors can make it to your site, it doesn’t mean you will get conversions (sales or leads).

common questions about SEO services

Here are some questions you should ask a web marketing company you are engaging for SEO services to make sure you get the best ROI.

How will the SEO expert determine the target of your optimization efforts?

Research is an important element to SEO success. If they don't have a research program, your project likely will not be successful. You need to understand how they plan and if it is reasonable.

Will the optimization Strategy include an analysis of Website design, navigation, coding, content and incoming links?

A good SEO firm will be able to provide you with recommendations on improving other areas of your website that either affect search engine placement or the site visitor's user experience. Site coding, content, and incoming/outgoing links all affect your search engine optimization.

Will they analyze competitors' sites to determine what websites in your industry are performing well and why?

If there is no competitive analysis, then how will they know how to target your competitors online? A website should be part of your overall business strategy. If your SEO company doesn't understand the difference between your online and offline competitors, then they probably won’t understand how to target them.

Will An SEO be writing New content or work with existing content?

If the firm does not have someone who specializes in SEO copywriting, look elsewhere.

Does the SEO firm have a link strategy for your Website?

This should be a given. If they do not have a link strategy, then they won’t be any good. They also need to learn how to employ optimization techniques that won't get you de-indexed by Google.

Ask prospective SEO Companies to scope out how they would optimize your site. What on-page and off-page tactics will they be using?

The reality is they can’t know this until they have done the proper analysis. If they have a detailed plan before they have strategized with you and conducted their research, then there is a reasonable likelihood they won’t target the right things. The most appropriate answer to this question is that this plan is built after the initial strategy session.

Web Marketing Assessment

Things to Ask your SEO Company:

  • How will your site be monitored and maintained over time, and what reports will you receive to measure your progress? Remember, SEO is not a one-time event!
  • What strategies beyond SEO does the firm engage in? What offerings to they have in traffic generation or conversion rate optimization?

Common Mistakes when Choosing an SEO Company:

  • Going with the SEO vendor that promises a No. 1 position or first-page placement.
  • Engaging in questionable linking schemes that generate reciprocal links with sites that have no relation to your business or industry.
  • Buying scads of paid links from sites you know nothing about. There are specific directory sites that provide value from a search engine optimization standpoint. Stick with those.
  • Setting unrealistic expectations. Search engine optimization doesn't deliver results on a deadline.

SEO and PPC whitepaper

Corey Smith

Written by Corey Smith

Corey Smith is the founder of Tribute Media and serves as the Digital Marketing Strategist. He is also the author of "Do It Right: A CEO's Guide to Web Strategy" and "Tweet It Right: A CEO's Guide to Twitter."

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