Questions to Ask SEO Agency

Hyder Karim

questions to ask seo agency


Here is the million-dollar question: do you wish to propel your website to the pinnacle of search engine rankings or risk leaving it adrift in the vast digital landscape? The answer is straightforward, as most aspire to attain a coveted top position on Google.

Nevertheless, it’s essential to acknowledge that question since SEO can be a game changer; finding the perfect agency to work with is like searching for a needle in a haystack. There are some experts, and then there are the black hat trickers. (You surely don’t want to get stuck with the shady operators.)

So, here’s where we step in. This blog post is your trusted guide on your SEO journey. We’ve put together a list of essential questions to ask when you’re looking for an SEO agency. These questions will be your best companions, helping you figure out the expertise, track record, and transparency of potential SEO partners.

Before we kick up the questions, let’s brush over some critical factors.

High Sign that You Need to Hire an SEO Agency

Determining whether your company needs to hire an SEO agency is an essential and mindful choice. Even if you have been managing your SEO internally, there comes a point at which the benefits start to wane. If any of the following situations apply to your company, now is the time to consider hiring a specialist.

1 — If you are an SEO newbie

SEO is tricky. It keeps changing because Google keeps changing its rules. Trying to do it yourself might backfire. Hence, to make your website rank better on Google, you must follow the rules (white hat SEO). And if you are new and need more time or experience to keep up, it’s time to get help from SEO experts. They know the latest tricks and can make a plan that fits your business goals.

2 — Your website gets little organic traffic

Getting very few visitors to your website is not a good sign. It means something might be off, and you’re missing out on potential customers.

To gauge your website’s organic traffic, use Google Analytics. First, set up your Google Analytics account and log in. Then, go to the “Acquisition” tab, click “Overview” to see your top-performing traffic sources, and select “Organic Search” to view the percentage of organic traffic.

If organic searches are a small part of your traffic, it might be worthwhile to engage a trusted SEO agency to boost your organic search rankings. They will work on increasing the organic rankings and address issues like configuration errors, Google penalties, improper keyword usage, and questionable link-building strategies that might hinder your website’s performance.

Backlinks are super important in SEO, but not all links are equal. The quality of your links is just as important as the number of them, and search engines are pretty picky. To do well in SEO, you need good, natural links from relevant sources. Thus, if backlinks leave you puzzled, that’s where the need for SEO experts comes in. They will develop a strategy and road map to get your website mentioned on respected online sites.

4 — Sudden drop in your ranking

Suppose you continuously witness a sudden and perplexing decline in your website’s search engine rankings. In that case, it indicates that your SEO efforts need expert attention. The world of search engine algorithms is dynamic and ever-shifting, with Google making updates often. These modifications may significantly impact the way that search results display your website. So, hiring an SEO agency is the wise decision to stay afloat in the choppy waters and improve your online visibility.

5 — Rising work pressure

If you’re overwhelmed by the ever-expanding workload of managing your SEO strategy, it might be time to bring in the pros. SEO tasks can quickly pile up as your business grows. It takes both on-page and off-page, and relying solely on internal resources may lead to a decline in your website’s positioning. Therefore, by enlisting the expertise of an SEO agency, you can not only achieve better results but also regain the freedom to focus on what truly matters.

6 — Lack of Content Strategy

Content and SEO go hand in hand online. Search engines look at the stuff on your website to decide where it appears in search results. Therefore, attempting SEO without a robust content strategy is akin to building a house without a solid foundation.

Moreover, creating a successful content strategy takes experience and knowledge. SEO experts have the skills and tools to do it right. So, if you need a structured content strategy, it’s a compelling sign that enlisting the services of an SEO agency may be a wise move.

7 — Unsure about the tech side of SEO

You must consider employing an SEO service if you need more certainty about the technical parts of SEO. Effective SEO goes beyond simply creating excellent content, even if it is essential for content marketing. It includes technical components like optimizing SEO meta descriptions, preventing content duplication, providing alt text to photos, and improving site load times. Consulting with an SEO agency can be beneficial if these technical factors appear complicated. They possess the know-how to manage these responsibilities and guarantee that readers and search engine crawlers are impressed by your material.

8 — Lack of keyword knowledge

Selecting SEO keywords might appear straightforward, but the real challenge lies in pinpointing the most effective ones. Tools like Google AdWords’ Keyword Planner offer insights into search term popularity, yet assessing their impact on your SEO strategy can be perplexing. So, if you see yourself grappling with keyword selection, an SEO agency can be a lifesaver. With their valuable expertise, they will identify a concise set of targeted keywords (individual and long-term keyword phrases) to build your site, boosting its search visibility.

what to look for when hiring an seo company

What to Do Before Hiring an SEO Company

Before engaging an SEO agency, it is necessary to conduct some preliminary research to figure out whether you require their services. To make your search easier, here are some factors to consider.

1 — Be clear on your goals and objectives

Before you hire an SEO agency, it’s essential to know what you want to achieve. Different businesses have different goals, like getting more website visitors, getting better search results, or making more sales. You need to figure out what matters most to you.

Moreover, keep your goals in mind when you talk to SEO agencies because not all of them are good at the same things. Some are better at technical stuff, others at creating content, and some can put your plans into action.

Reason: To audit and choose between the companies whose offerings line up or match precisely with your needs.

2 — Research and understand basic SEO concepts

The next most important move is to arm yourself with a firm grasp of SEO principles. (You won’t be able to carefully consider the ideal SEO partner if you know nothing about SEO basics). Learn the basics first of all, including the significance of high-quality content, on- and off-page optimization, and keywords. Study about on-site components such as header tags, meta descriptions, and title tags. Recognize the importance of backlinks and how they affect search engine rankings.

Reason: To better assess possible agencies, choose the best partner, formulate educated inquiries, and make more informed decisions.

3 — Cost Structuring

When considering the cost of hiring an SEO agency, it’s essential to understand that seeking the cheapest option is not advisable. A reputable SEO firm offering quality services will come at a price that reflects the expertise and resources required. While costs vary, typical rates range from $50 to $150 per hour. Be cautious of promises that seem too good to be true, such as a $500 monthly retainer for 40 hours of work, as this may indicate subpar services.

Reason: To meet the specific requirements of your brand at a price that fits inside your budget.

4 — SEO agency knowledge and understanding

It’s essential to consider an SEO agency’s familiarity with your target market and sector before choosing them. A respectable agency should have an extensive understanding of your industry, clientele, and rivals, which enables them to develop strategies that are specifically suited to you. To guarantee successful campaigns that connect with your audience and maintain your competitiveness in your market, look for agencies with a track record of success in your sector.

5 — Technical SEO Background

In the world of SEO, there’s more to it than meets the eye. It’s about more than just optimizing keywords and content. There’s a whole realm of technical SEO that many agencies may need to grasp fully.

Technical SEO is a comprehensive domain covering site speed, responsiveness, and efficient code. It involves the integration of data science, modeling, forecasting, and automation techniques aimed at enhancing organic search results. Thus, to maximize your SEO investment, choose an agency that can proficiently address these technical SEO concerns.

Reason: To ensure a well-rounded approach to improving your website’s visibility and ranking.

6 — Reviews and testimonials

Before you employ an SEO agency, get referrals from friends or other entrepreneurs. Look for reviews of the agency on the internet. Verify that the organization has a steady stream of positive evaluations. If they receive a lot of positive feedback immediately, proceed with caution. While a few negative reviews are expected, most should be favorable. Moreover, search for companies that have received at least 4.5 stars.

Reason: Doing so will help you in making an informed selection.

7 — In-depth agency evaluation

This factor is imperative when choosing one of the best SEO experts. Start by identifying three or more providers, having in-person conversations with them, and asking for case studies and references. You can even ask for a site audit; most agencies do these at no cost. This audit will allow you to assess the quality and depth of their proposed plan and strategy for your business. Examine the site audits of each supplier to evaluate the level of detail and quality of their suggested plans.

Reason: Find the SEO company whose strategy best suits your unique requirements.

8 — Communication style and collaboration

Good communication is essential to a partnership’s success. Test the agency’s capacity to listen to your ideas, responsiveness, and willingness to comprehend your business objectives. Check if they actively seek your input, provide regular updates, and collaborate effectively.

Reason: To ensure a smooth and seamless SEO campaign.

look for when hiring an seo company

9 Key Questions to Ask SEO Agency

Ensure the SEO agency’s authenticity by posing these nine critical questions during your discovery call.

1 — What is your definition of SEO success?

The definition of success in SEO varies throughout agencies. While some prioritize generating leads and reviews, others concentrate on rankings and website traffic. Thus, asking an SEO agency how they define success is of the utmost importance when selecting one. Ideally, you’d want an agency that questions your definition of SEO success and shares a similar view.  This alignment guarantees a more profitable engagement because a partnership is more likely to succeed when you and the agency understand what constitutes an effective SEO plan.

2 — What SEO processes do you follow?

Another important question to ask an SEO agency is about their particular SEO procedures. While every agency may have a different strategy, their staff must be able to explain how they operate clearly. For every step of their procedure, ask for a detailed explanation of their SEO strategies and the deliverables that go along with it.

Ask them to elaborate on the stages involved if they talk about doing an SEO audit. In keyword research, ask how they determine and choose the most practical terms to target. Likewise, if they plan to do technical SEO, request a detailed description of its elements. It is their duty to provide you with a transparent and understandable explanation of every approach, so don’t be afraid to ask questions.

3 — What is your SEO pricing structure?

Understanding a local SEO agency’s pricing model is highly important. Different agencies employ various pricing structures, such as flat monthly fees, per-keyword charges, or service-level-based pricing. Seek clarity in their pricing to avoid unanticipated expenses and guarantee a return on your investment.

Moreover, since SEO is an ongoing process, be cautious if an agency suggests a one-time fee. If the pricing models appear unclear, seek clarification or explore other options.

4 — What SEO tools do you use?

It is imperative to ask about the SEO tools that an SEO company uses when evaluating one for your website. Transparency in this regard is crucial for understanding their data sources and processes. Many reputable agencies like Ahrefs, Semrush, and others use paid SEO systems.

If the agency mentions an in-house or exclusive tool, ask whether it’s white-label or proprietary. Moreover, will you have access to it, where does it source its data, and how does it ensure data security? Also, ask for a demo, as this may help you understand the function of the tool. All this information will aid in making an educated choice regarding the SEO agency’s capabilities.

5 — How do you perform keyword research?

Modern keyword research goes beyond traditional methods of plugging terms into keyword research tools. Nowadays, it focuses on comprehending user intent to deliver content that matches what consumers look for when they search for particular keyword phrases.

Since effective keyword research is crucial in SEO, it’s vital to grasp the agency’s approach. They should list relevant keywords and explain their intended use in your campaign. Ensure SEO agencies prioritize user intent and discuss the tools and techniques they use to interpret it when assessing them. If the only discussion topics are search volumes and keyword density, this could indicate out-of-date procedures.

Ask about their link-building strategy when looking for an SEO agency for your business or website. Pay attention to methods, quality over quantity, and moral behavior. Many low-quality links are less beneficial than high-quality connections from reputable websites.

Likewise, building relationships with editors and influencers and producing high-quality content are the two main components of modern link-building. To guarantee a successful link-building strategy that complies with SEO best practices, look for an agency that prioritizes quality over quantity and creates relationships.

7 — How long will it take to rank top on search engines (specifically Google)

Although you may be eager to know the answer, it’s crucial to realize that getting to the top of Google takes time. Due to several factors, nobody can promise a #1 ranking. It usually takes several months to see noticeable results from SEO. Although an SEO agency can offer an approximate schedule for local search ranking gains, Google’s algorithm adjustments are unpredictable.

And following Google’s algorithms isn’t a precise science. Similarly, the tactics used by your rivals are constantly changing. Therefore, if any agency guarantees rank #1, it should be avoided since they are unreliable partners in this fast-paced industry. Always remember: an effective SEO campaign requires persistence and a reasonable timeline.

8 — Can you provide some case studies or references?

A reliable SEO firm is happy to share case studies or contact relations, as this gives a critical understanding of their expertise. They ought to be open about the ineffective strategies they have tried and tested. Therefore, before signing any SEO agreements, verify the agency’s competence by asking for social proof in the form of case studies and client endorsements, preferably from similar companies. Examining such case studies, social media presence, and online reviews will help you affirm their claims.

9 — Who should be the primary contact?

When considering hiring an SEO agency, knowing how you’ll stay in the loop and who you’ll be talking to is vital. Assure they assign someone experienced as your primary contact, not an intern. Good communication is vital for a successful partnership. It means both sides respect each other’s priorities. By discussing your role in the process, you set clear expectations and sustain clarity. Starting with open communication prevents confusion and helps you work together effectively for a successful SEO project. So, don’t be in the dark—be clear on how you’ll stay updated and who you’ll be talking to!

Unlock the SEO Pros – Team up with Hyder and Kabani

Don’t let your SEO efforts fall short. If you have questions about SEO or want to test your queries, we are here to provide answers and support your digital success. Contact us today for top-notch strategies and results-driven solutions.

Hyder Karim

About Hyder Karim

Hyder Karim, co-founder of Hyder and Kabani, is a seasoned content strategist with over five years of experience in the industry. Recognized for his meticulous attention to detail, Hyder has successfully empowered brands with his innovative SEO solutions. His expertise not only lies in ranking websites but also in creating a holistic marketing strategy. A dedicated professional and thought leader, Hyder is passionate about pushing the boundaries of SEO and ensuring the highest standards for Hyder and Kabani clientele.