5 questions you should ask any SEO firm

The price depends on a variety of factors, including who you choose to execute your SEO strategy, your website positioning compared to your competitors, and how aggressively you want to pursue results.

If you want to get on the web, rank high in Google (or other search engines), and stay there for good, it is going to require a significant amount of time and expertise. To have an optimal site, you need a well-thought strategy. Unfortunately, most people don’t have all of the answers they need to create a winning SEO formula.

As such, they turn to SEO agencies and consultants for answers. Unfortunately, many of these firms are going to want to charge exorbitant amounts of money in order to get the job done right. There is a lot of misinformation out there about how much you should pay for SEO, but thanks to the evolution of the industry, it is getting easier to separate legitimate companies from those who are simply out to swindle you.

Let’s look at some of the top questions that you should ask an SEO agency before you actually entrust them with your website’s success:

Question #1 – How much does SEO cost?

This question cannot be answered because there are so many factors that go into the price. In fact, it’s akin to asking how much a car costs – you can give a “ballpark” estimate, but until you know what kind of vehicle we’re talking about and how powerful/fuel-efficient it needs to be, there is no way to accurately determine the price range.

Similarly, any SEO firm that provides you with a quote should be able to back it up by showing you what their strategy is and how they plan to go about executing it.

The final price could also depend on the length of your contract, which brings us to question #2:

Question #2 – How long does SEO take?

Given that you have a business to run, it’s hard enough just to try to take care of your daily responsibilities. This means that the thought of paying for an SEO service and then taking on all of the work yourself might seem overwhelming.

That being said, you should never sign up for a contract with an unreasonable length (1-3 months). You want to make sure that the company has enough time to do its job and that you’ll actually see results before your agreement is up.

Question #3 – What SEO services will you provide?  

You should be looking for a comprehensive list of services, not just a few keywords or a short description of what they offer.

Ideally, you want to look for a company that will:

  • Generate and improve your rankings, including local listings (if appropriate).
  • Do what it takes to make you stand out from the competition.
  • Make sure your content is fully optimized.
  • Offer full reporting to give you up-to-date information on how well things are going.

Question #4 – Do you have references I can check?  

This should be a no-brainer, yet so many people skip this step.

One of the easiest ways to make sure that an SEO firm is legit is to ask if you can speak with some of their former (and current) clients. If they are hesitant or refuse, then this could be a sign that something might be wrong.

Alternatively, you should look for more than just positive reviews on third-party websites. While you can’t believe everything, at least this gives you a way to get in touch with people who have had some experience with the company that is pitching itself to you.

Question #5 – Do I have to sign a contract?

You definitely want an SEO firm that cares about your needs and will be around to help you meet your goals.

But, taking a look at their contract and seeing what is involved can also be beneficial to you as it will give you an idea of how long they plan on being in business and how much they charge for each service.

Ideally, as we mentioned above, you want someone who offers a comprehensive list of SEO services for an affordable price. This is not typical, though, so you should settle for nothing less than someone who will provide you with the best possible results at all times.

An experienced company that provides great results might charge more than a rookie firm that has low rates but doesn’t know what they are doing. It’s also important to look for a company that will not charge you extra if they need to perform additional services, such as link removal or reputation management.

Finally, it can’t be stressed enough: do your research and ask questions before hiring anyone. The more information you have the better – after all, this is the business we are talking about! 

But, once you know what you’re looking for and understand the SEO process a bit better, it will be easier to go from company to company until you find someone who can deliver on its promises.

What other questions should readers ask when choosing an SEO firm?

I would ask how they rank their own website. It is very common for SEO companies to have a poor-quality site that ranks poorly in the search engines. If you do your homework, you will quickly discover which sites are high-quality and which ones are not.

If my company was in the process of hiring an SEO firm, here’s how I would advise them to go about it:

Do your research and learn as much as you can about SEO so that you understand the process and what needs to be done. Consider taking a course or reading a book, such as Search Engine Optimization All-in-One For Dummies (or any other reputable source), which will provide you with all the information you need.

Identify your needs and requirements. Are you looking for local SEO, international SEO, or both? What types of sites are your competitors in this space? What type of content do they have on their site(s)? How would you describe their look? What makes them stand out compared to you? What type of social media presence do they have?

Once you know the kind of company you are looking for, start your search. Look online to see if any companies meet your needs and requirements. If not, try calling some SEO firms in your area. Since nice sales reps will tell you whatever you want to hear, be sure to ask specific questions.

Make sure you are clear about your budget before getting any proposals. If possible, only get one proposal even if the company offers different packages. Most likely they will change their tune once they know how much money you have to spend on SEO.

I’m going to add a sixth question: have you been in business for a while? I’d recommend going with an SEO company that has at least five years of experience under its belt. This will ensure you are dealing with experts who know what they are doing since most newbies don’t last very long in this competitive industry.

I hope this information is helpful to you.

If you need more information, please contact me at your convenience so I can help you. Thanks for reading!