1. What are some of your current clients?
A reputable SEO agency should be more than willing to share a list of current clients, and even potentially contact information for them. We’ll do it now, VIP Driving School, Art Stems and Freedom Dental. Don’t worry too much if they’re not public with their client list — as we’ve had issues with other SEO’s trying to ‘poach’ clients from us, and i’m sure that other agencies have had issues like that. We still chose to remain very open with our client list as we have happy clients who love our service.
2. Are you personally going to be working on the SEO Campaign?
You need to be talking to the real person who understands your business, not a salesperson who can promise the world but deliver none of it. A real SEO who understands your site can evaluate your site and set expectations of what is deliverable and what is not possible. That way you know what your money will get you.
Many larger SEO companies use sales people, rather than experts, to talk to new clients. It’s likely a good idea to avoid these types of SEO companies as they will promise things that are not deliverable.
3. Are you a Qualified Web Developer?
If they answer this question with anything except for a resounding “yes”, consider ending the meeting there. 90% of the SEO done on your website is done by modifying the code on your page. Allowing a person who doesn’t know how to code, touch the code of your site can result in some huge problems rasing their head, and can even make your site less secure.
I’ve seen posts in forums by SEO’s asking for help fixing clients sites they’ve broken. You need an SEO who has web development experience, without this it suggests that person is in it for a quick buck. I’ve personally never met a good SEO consultant who doesn’t know their way around PHP. You just need to understand it to understand how google works, how search works and how websites work.
4. Will you share with me the changes you’ll be making to the site? And do I have final approval?
A good SEO company will keep you informed of changes made to the site, and will actually give you a say in these changes. You don’t want a company that will be ripping out and putting pages into your sites.
When there was a spelling/grammar error on my website it took upto [sic] two weeks for somebody to get back to me about it, at the point where I had to just Login myself and fix the spelling error as a result of [Redacted] mistake when editing content. (Online Review of Competitors business)
This would not be acceptable, you don’t want them to be damaging your business or brand — you’re paying for them to help you, not harm you.
5. If something happens, how quickly can I get support?
If your sites down, or they break it, or if you need them to make an edit to some work you did to stay compliant with your industry regulatory bodies, you need fast action. So find out how quickly they can make changes as you request. (For Your Business Digital, we make site changes no later than 1 day, and urgent ones are able to be actioned in hours or minutes.)
6. Do you work for my competitors?
There are only 10 spots on page 1, and only 1 first spot. You want a company without a conflict of interest. If you’re one of many businesses of the same type, there is no way that they can be focused on your success.
That’s why at Your Business Digital we do not take on competiting businesses and work on a first-come first serve basis. There’s a financial penalty from doing it, we’ve had countless business owners see that their competitors are getting success with us and then attempt to contact us or even bribe us to bring them on (and in some cases, they wanted us to dump the ‘old’ client). Of course we never do this, as we are in it for the long haul with all our clients.
7. Do you have any contracts?
If an SEO company has contracts, you should avoid them. Contracts for SEO tend to be particularly punative and are often designed to trap business owners into paying for years even if there are no results. Honest SEO providers don’t rely on contracts, but on great service and great results to build their businesses.
There are a load of things you should be asking a potential SEO company. But you could avoid the hassle and get in touch with the experts at Your Business Digital. Give Luke Martinez a ring on 0411 634 278 to start your business on the right foot with SEO.