Over the years, I’ve heard many friends and business owners ask the same repeating question, ‘how do I choose the right SEO company, and how do I know if they’re going to get results?’

So how do you go about in choosing the right SEO company?

How do you know you will be receiving the maximum ROI for your every dollar?

In this post, we’ll explore nine crucial questions that will ultimately help you make better, more informed decisions when choosing an SEO company. Without further ado, let’s get into it.

1. What is the SEO company’s core philosophy?

Every SEO company has their SEO philosophy. It is important that you find the right SEO company who’s philosophy perfectly aligns with your business’s online goals.

Whether you’re trying to capture more organic traffic or aiming to achieve a higher conversion rate, it is vital you know as much as possible about the company’s core vision and expertise before signing up.

Do they specialise in primarily technical SEO? Perhaps content marketing? Or maybe PPC, Google AdWords? My key message would be, understand what makes them tick and what they’re most passionate about.

2. Does the SEO company outsource SEO work?

Many modern SEO companies outsource manual intensive tasks to reduce costs and increase profits.

To understand the quality of service, you will first need to know who is directly responsible for getting results.

Key questions you should be asking is:

  • Does the SEO company have an in-house SEO team?
  • Will an SEO account manager be available to answer technical questions?
  • Will the in-house SEO team be able to make fast website changes relating to SEO?

Get asking and get to know who are the brains behind the results. Remember, you don’t need to ask these questions at point-blank necessarily, but you do want to ask just enough to understand full well of the service you’re paying for.

3. How many technical SEO specialists are in the company?

An SEO company specialising in SEO should primarily consist of SEOs. After all, it’s a company specialising in SEO right?

Get to know exactly how many SEO specialists form part of the company. By knowing the amount of SEO specialists working in a company, this understanding will provide you with insights on the amount of knowledge passed around the core team.

A tight-knit team of specialists will support room for individual and team growth. This means that your website will consistently receive the latest and most effective optimisation techniques.

4. How are SEO projects are handled internally?

It is important that as a business owner, you know how your campaign is internally managed by the SEO company. It might be a good idea to chat with your account manager and get a basic idea of how many campaigns he/she is maintaining at a time.

Account managers who are in-charge of managing excessive accounts will inevitably neglect some and prioritise others. Try to get a good idea of how you fit in without blatantly accusing your specialist of handling too many accounts.

Questions to think about include:

  • How many hours will be dedicated to my SEO campaign?
  • How many other SEO accounts are you managing?
  • Do my hours include phone and email support?

5. Are there risks of my website getting penalised by Google?

While this may be hard to determine in the very early stages of choosing an SEO company, however, there are many small hints you can look out for.

One of the most obvious signs is whether the SEO company is making outrageous ranking guarantees or overpromising results, simply to win over your business.

The SEO companies to look out for, typically guarantee 3 months or 6 months ranking guarantees. What this may potentially lead to, is over-optimisation, and inevitably, penalisation by Google.

No one can guarantee a #1 ranking on Google. Beware of SEOs that claim to guarantee rankings, allege a “special relationship” with Google.” – Google

6. Is the SEO company working with any direct competitors?

If you’re going to be working with a large and reputable company, then you might want to know whether or not they’re also working with any of your close competitors.

The importance of this question may vary greatly depending on your industry. For some businesses who operate in small markets, it may be an absolute deal-breaker. However, for others who operate in larger markets, it might not be such a big deal. In fact, it may be a good thing as the SEO company will already have extensive experience working in that particular vertical.

Use your best judgement on this one. Each business is affected differently.

7. How are SEO campaigns priced?

Most SEO companies will calculate the estimated amount of hours dedicated to a campaign and work off a retainer, while smaller SEO companies may offer set SEO packages.

Question the SEO company about how pricing is going to be structured out. Understand the pros and cons of each SEO pricing structure and how it will impact your business.

Pricing related questions to think about include:

  • Are you going to be paying them at an hourly rate?
  • How many hours is going to be included in my retainer?
  • Are you paying for an SEO package? If so, what’s included?

Depending on how your business operates and how much time you have to work with the SEO company, you may want to think about this one carefully.

8. Is phone and email support readily available?

Much like any professional service, your specialist or account manager should be replying to emails and phone calls within a reasonable time-frame.

If you’re finding that they’re slow to respond, always putting you off or hard to get in contact with, then surely enough, they may not be the right SEO company for you.

9. How does the SEO company stay on top of industry changes and algorithmic updates?

To conclude, here’s a bonus, more advanced question to think about when choosing your next SEO company.

A common phrase you’ll most likely have heard is, “SEO changes every day due to the search engine algorithm updates by Google”. This statement holds a good amount of truth because of the inevitable evolution of SEO and organic search.

Important questions to ask yourself when choosing an SEO company for a large marketing project may include:

  • Are there enough resources been dedicated to testing?
  • Are staff meetings actively held to discuss new algorithmic changes?
  • Do staff members actively receive training to adopt new practices?
  • Is the company actively involved with industry conferences and events?
  • Is the company or staff members properly certified with reputable qualifications?

With the constant rise of SEO companies, it’s increasingly important to understand the fundamentals when choosing the right SEO company. Don’t be afraid to get to know who you’ll be working with. The trick is to achieve total transparency between you and the company you’re going to be working with.

In fact, you’ll quickly find that by choosing the right SEO company, you’ll achieve ground-breaking results that will take your online business to the next level.

For more information about whether we’d make a good fit for your business, you can reach us on hello@bigvisionmarketing.com.au. We respond to all emails within one business day. Email us today and let’s chat!

Daniel Law

Daniel Law is a SEO Sydney Consultant who runs Big Vision Marketing. He is passionate about helping his clients thrive and achieve their online goals in this digital age. Follow Daniel on social media at @daniellawsydney, +DanielLaw and Facebook.

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