Without a doubt, SEO is the most important aspect of getting your business seen. The best marketing strategy in the world is useless if your SEO doesn’t give you visibility. Outsourcing your SEO work to a company that specialises in this task helps maximise your results, but it’s important that you don’t get complacent when searching for the right company.
Remember that your first consultation call with any company should essentially be an interview, in which the company is learning about your business, but you’re also learning about why they’re the right choice. Be sure to go into any consultation prepared, with questions such as:
1. What’s Your Search Ranking Strategy?
A good SEO company should have a three-tiered approach to any new project. The ideal company should offer a combination of technical SEO, off-page SEO, and user experience SEO to make sure all of your bases are covered. This means that website structure, link building, and content are all audited and improved, ensuring that no one aspect is left behind.
2. Is Your Work In-House?
You might prefer to work with a company that keeps all of their different tasks in-house, rather than one that outsources some of their tasks overseas or to freelancers. When a team is spread out over multiple locations, it can cause communication issues and delays. If this matters to you, make sure it comes up in the interview.
3. How Do You Optimise Content?
Content is king. It’s vital that your chosen SEO firm handles content with care because bad content optimisation can hurt your rankings more than it helps them. Google tends to prefer content that’s natural rather than keyword-stuffed, so any SEO expert should approach content from a readability-focused, user-friendly standpoint.
4. What About Mobile?
Everyone uses the internet on smartphones these days, so any business looking to succeed at SEO needs to have a mobile-optimised website in order to rank highly. If you’re an e-commerce business, this is especially important, because having either a mobile-optimised website or a mobile app tends to close sales.
5. What Are Your Tools, and Why?
Ask your team what their preferred SEO tools are, from auditing to measuring performance to updating content. In addition to telling you what those tools are, a team that knows what they’re doing should be able to tell you why they use the tools that they do. Does SEOptimer work better for audits than OnPage does with their particular strategy?
6. Have You Worked in My Industry?
To some extent, SEO strategies are universal between and across industries, meaning that a food blog and a travel booking website often share a lot more in common than you’d think. Despite that, it’s important to work with an SEO company that has some amount of experience in your niche. If you’re a travel company, then it’s much easier for your SEO team to update your content and target your audience when they’ve worked with other travel companies, for instance.
7. How Do You Keep Me in the Loop?
You should always have a good idea of what’s going on with your website in terms of SEO performance and progress. From the initial audit to monthly check-ins, there should be multiple options to inform yourself. You may prefer weekly or monthly summary emails, a video call with the SEO team, or regular updates on a chat service such as Slack or Google Hangouts. Many companies already have a preferred way of updating you, but they should be happy to accommodate you regardless.
8. What’s Your Definition of Success?
If you’re familiar with SEO at all, then you know that there’s really no such thing as being “done” with your SEO. It’s an ongoing process because Google and other search engines are constantly changing their algorithms, which means that search ranking strategies become obsolete and require updating on a regular basis.
Despite that, there is such a thing as SEO success. If your chosen SEO company is able to monitor SEO progress closely, demonstrate tangible results on a regular basis, and change their strategy at the drop of a hat when it becomes clear that change is needed, then you can count it as a success. A successful SEO project is one that takes into account the changing tide of search algorithms and embraces it to ride the waves to the top of the search results.