Hiring the right SEO agency can be a frustrating and confusing task for business owners, marketing managers, and marketing coordinators.
A few months ago, I was at a kid’s birthday party, speaking with a mate who’s a personal trainer. He knew I’d quit high school English teaching (that’s a story for another day!) and wanted to know what I was doing now.
When I said I’d moved back into SEO, the PT’s first question was, ‘You don’t send out all those emails do you?’
I answered instinctively, ‘No, because we’re not muppets.’
The PT then said, ‘Mate, I must get at least 100 emails from SEO companies every week.’
I could only nod in agreement.
You see, our inbox gets flooded with these emails, too. And we’re an SEO agency!
We understand you get spammed almost on a daily basis by people pitching their SEO services, identifying “problems” on your site, and promising to rank you at the top of Google within 30 days or you pay nothing.
So, we thought we’d offer you some advice on how to choose an SEO, and the right questions you should be asking when evaluating agencies.
What questions should I ask an SEO agency?
Luckily, Google has issued a list of questions that can make your life easier when trying to find the best SEO company for your business or industry niche.
We thought we’d answer them in this blog post to help anyone thinking about hiring us to provide SEO services.
1. Can you show me examples of your previous work and share some success stories?
We sure can! We have delivered some fantastic results and consistent growth for clients in a range of industries (some big national brands, too).
Have a look at our digital marketing case studies, and see for yourself.
2. Do you follow the Google Webmaster Guidelines?
Yes, we do. We have been managing SEO campaigns for over 20 years and in that time, we’ve created our own whitehat SEO checklist based on our extensive research and internal site testing. Simply put, there are no shortcuts to really good SEO and we do not believe in black hat SEO techniques that violate the Google Webmaster Guidelines and increase the chances of getting a Google penalty.
This can lead to a manual exclusion where your entire site (or a certain page) is taken out of the search index.
It can take months to get your site back in the Google search results.
3. Do you offer any online marketing services or advice to complement your organic search business?
Yes, we do.
Eurisko is a full service digital agency. We can help with SEO, pay-per-click (Google Ads and Bing Ads), Facebook Ads, LinkedIn Ads, and web design and development. Our customers find it’s much easier to have their digital marketing needs managed by one agency that specialises in all aspects of digital strategy. Think of us as your digital marketing support team, ready to help you make better online decisions and grow your online presence.
4. What kind of results do you expect to see, and in what timeframe? How do you measure your success?
In our experience, it can take at least six months for clients to start seeing tangible results from our SEO efforts.
Here’s what Google says about timeframes for SEO results:
“Remember that it will take time for you to see results: typically from four months to a year from the time you begin making changes until you start to see the benefits.”
Be very cautious of cheap SEO companies promising high search engine rankings in one to three months or agencies who guarantee results. There’s a strong chance they are doing one of two things:
- Using manipulative tactics that violate Google’s Webmaster Guidelines and risk your site getting being penalised; or
- Ranking you for obscure long-tail search phrases that provide little commercial value to your business. These are called vanity metrics – they look good, and can boost your ego, but they do little to drive any revenue.
There are no SEO guarantees.
In Google’s own words:
“If they [SEO experts] guarantee you that their changes will give you first place in search results, find someone else.“
Low-cost SEO agencies operate on a high volume, high churn business model. They offshore all work to maintain their margins.
In my experience, unscrupulous agencies offer rock-bottom SEO pricing because they forego hiring:
- An experienced SEO strategist with a track record of success;
- A project manager to keep your SEO campaign on track; and
- An account manager to liaise with you day-to-day and uncover more opportunities.
One of my favourite quotes, attributed to Benjamin Franklin, is:
“The bitterness of poor quality remains long after the sweetness of a cheap price.”
And it’s worth keeping in mind when dealing with SEO service providers.
Good SEO is not cheap SEO. You want to work with a reputable agency.
Don’t get me wrong. While most SEO agencies in Perth do the right thing for their clients, it’s very important you understand that bad SEO can set you back months or years.
For more information on SEO costs, see How Much Does SEO Cost in Australia?
5. What’s your experience in my industry?
This is a great question and it’s one reason hiring an SEO agency is a competitive advantage because we get to work with such an array of different industries – every day.
We’ve got over 20 years of experience in SEO, working with B2C and B2B clients across just about every industry including:
- Automotive repairs and servicing
- Building and Construction
- Consumer beverages (coffee) eCommerce
- Electronics eCommerce
- Fast-moving consumer goods
- Heating and air conditioning
- Real estate and property management
- Solar and renewable energy
- Sporting associations
The list goes on and there’s a very strong chance we’ve implemented a successful search engine optimisation strategy on a website in your niche.
What’s more, we take the time to learn about your business at the start of our engagement, and we never stop asking questions.
6. What’s your experience in my country/city?
While our primary customer base is in Perth, our flagship client, Auto Masters is an Australia-wide automotive repair and servicing franchise. We’ve been delivering outstanding results for them over the past seven years.
Be sure to read the Auto Masters case study here and read the kind words from their Marketing Manager, Carl Meyers:
“It has been an absolute pleasure working with Mike. He is always bringing fresh advice and recommendations on how to deliver Auto Masters online strategy. And is always looking at new ways to generate strong results. Mike’s also very easy to work with and never loses sight of the bigger picture. We look forward to seeing what the future brings in the digital space.”
7. What’s your experience developing international sites?
We’ve had some good experience running search engine optimization on international websites. This differentiates such from a lot of local SEO companies.
If you’re operating in overseas markets, where possible, you should get your content written by native-speaking copywriters – don’t rely on automated translation services. Your copy simply won’t convey the nuance needed to speak to your target audience.
8. What are your most important SEO techniques?
That’s an easy one. Our proven SEO methodology revolves around the following three tenants:
Think of this as creating a solid website foundation. A fast-loading site, with a great user experience, free of errors, and crawlable by Google’s search robots. Ensuring you have Google Tag Manager, Google Analytics, Google Search Console, etc. set up which are essential for attributing actual sales and leads)
This is the copy on your main pages that encourage people to take action, and editorial content that exists to answer questions, educate your target audience and establish topical authority (subject matter expertise).
Links from highly relevant and highly authoritative websites that act as votes of confidence in your site. Google, in part, uses links to gauge the popularity, relevance, and trustworthiness of your site.
Any successful SEO campaign involves the following aspects:
- Competitor analysis
- Audience and keyword research
- SEO auditing and recommendations
- Technical SEO
- Tracking and Tagging
- On-page optimisation and internal linking
- Content ideation, creation, publication, and promotion
- Local SEO
- Link building
- Reputation management (online reviews)
- Project management and reporting
9. How long have you been in business?
Eurisko has been in business for over 20 years. Our key staff have worked in agencies and consulted in Perth, Sydney, and Dublin. We’re a team of top performers who do things the right way.
Our goal is to become the best SEO agency in Perth. Click the following link to read our staff profiles.
10. How can I expect to communicate with you?
Whichever method of communication is best for you. We find clients love Zoom and Microsoft Teams video calls, and email.
Phone calls are still popular – clearly, we don’t have enough Gen Z clients!
We guarantee you’ll get proactive and ultra-responsive communication from our team.
Anecdotally, we know this sets us apart from other service providers because our clients tell us directly.
One of our clients recently told us we were ‘a breath of fresh air‘. It was humbling to hear this because we’re simply treating our clients exactly how we like to be treated when we’re purchasing from a service provider.
It’s part of Eurisko’s simple philosophy of ‘it’s the right thing to do.
11. Will you share with me all the changes you make to my site, and provide detailed information about your recommendations and the reasoning behind them?
This is a crucial question you should ask any SEO agency or consultant. Trusting someone enough to give them access to your website should not be taken lightly.
We track all changes in shared Google Sheets and Docs. We work with you to execute changes on your website and we provide transparent monthly reporting.
We always explain the ‘why’ for any recommendation by stating the benefits that each change will bring.
This helps both parties because it forces us to think about the rationale behind every change we make. And, it helps you feel confident that we’ve got your best interests at heart and we’re acting with good intentions.
What questions should an SEO company be asking me?
Google gives you some excellent questions that any credible SEO agency should be asking in your first conversation.
We’ll expand on why these questions are so important.
1. What makes your business or service unique and valuable to customers?
This question is all about how you are creating perceived value. Customers must know why they should buy from you and not your competitors.
If a customer perceives that your product or service is the right fit, then you’re more likely to get the sale.
Sometimes this might be framed as your competitive advantage.
2. Who are your customers?
You more than likely cater to more than one market segment. This means you have different audiences you’re trying to reach.
Understanding your audience segments allows us to tailor content and marketing efforts toward them.
If content resonates with your target audience, it helps make your brand more memorable to them.
3. How does your business make money, and how can search results help?
The better we can understand your business model, the more tailored advice we can provide.
The best SEO agencies provide guidance on how to improve your online reputation, not simply obsess over keyword rankings.
They’ll work with you to set key SEO performance indicators that align with your business goals.
We also want to know from your perspective how you see organic traffic will help your business.
4. What other advertising channels are you using?
We ask this question because we want to know how we know how successful a multi-channel digital marketing strategy can be.
If you’re using Google Ads and you’re tracking conversions (leads and sales etc.), this is invaluable first-party data that can help us prioritise keyword research and targeting in your SEO strategy.
5. Who are your competitors?
Understanding the competitive landscape of your industry helps us learn what they’re doing well and how strong they are.
Also, sometimes who you think are your main competitors and not the ones ranking above you in Google.
When should I hire an SEO agency?
The earlier you engage an SEO specialist, the better.
If you’re building a new site or revamping your current one, a good SEO company will give you the right advice on how to set up the site structure so it’s search engine friendly.
We can also help improve the search performance of your existing site.
Don’t forget to ask for some references
Ask the agency for a list of references. Speak to previous clients and ask them the following questions:
- Was the SEO campaign a success?
- How responsive were they to your requests?
- How easy were they to work with?
- Do you feel you got value for money?
Get your free SEO audit with a difference
We don’t just offer a standard SEO audit. We’ll also give you five free quick wins that you can implement straight away.
Think of these opportunities as low-hanging fruit that will help improve your website’s performance in the search engines.
Click the following link to claim your free SEO audit with a difference today.
We hope this guide helps you choose the right SEO company. We recognise it’s a daunting task and we’re here to help, whether you’re a small business or a multinational operation.
Book a free, no-obligation 30-minute Zoom consultation where we’ll give you friendly, honest, and pragmatic advice.