If you own a big or small business that’s been around for more than 5 minutes, the likelihood is that calls about your SEO are rivalling the number you get about reclaiming your PPI. While you appreciate that optimising your site to increase your traffic is probably a good idea, you’ve heard so many horror stories about different digital marketing companies, that you’re not overly sure where to go for it. It’s dangerous to go alone, here take these questions.
- Do you guarantee results?
Believe it or not, the answer you really want is no. As soon as you hear the words: “We can guarantee you ___ many ranking keywords in the first 6 months.” You should give up on them immediately. SEO, by its nature, can be very unpredictable and any digital marketing company worth its salt should happily admit that.Using Google as an example, the only way to guarantee results would be to know the algorithm that they use. Seeing as only a select few senior staff at Google actually know it (and understand it!), it’s very unlikely that the digital marketing company you’re talking to, has access to that sort of information.
On top of this, if they are still insisting that it will be very easy to get you ranking on keywords that they’ve given you, this probably means that these are very low competition keywords that will have little or no affect on your traffic numbers.
Overall, a good SEO agency will have a solid short, mid, and long term strategy that can be implemented for your website. Make sure that you establish this before signing on the dotted line.
- What are you charging?
While this seems like a pretty basic question to ask, it’s actually quite important. Finding out what and how a SEO company charges actually says a lot about the company. The key aim here is to find a company that is the best value for money. In the most cases, this will be going for a company at the top or just above your budget.
Why? It all comes down to the industry itself. Being such a vast and changing industry, there will always be someone who can do it cheaper for you. In his blog, Digital marketer Andrew Doyle pointed to this Australian forum which shows what can happen to people who go for cut rate agencies. You want a company that knows what they’re doing the first time round. Usually this may mean spending a little more, but ultimately, if stops you from being sent to SEO hell when Google rolls out a new update, it’ll be money well spent.
Another part of choosing your digital marketing agency is how they charge you. Some companies do an hourly rate, some charge you monthly/yearly, some even charge by results, what you chose will depend on your financial situation and the sort of work that you want to company to be undertaking. An example of this is that, if you’re only looking for the odd thing every now and again, an hourly rate may be cheaper for you in the long run, whereas, if you’re looking for more regular maintenance on your site, a monthly/yearly payment might be more suited.
- How will you show me results?
While results are never guaranteed in the digital marketing, tracking progress is something that all reputable firms should be able to do for you. Ask them for reports on a regular basis and you should be able to see the work they are putting in and the results it is getting. It’s important to remember that results may not happen straight away and it may take a while for things to fully kick in, but, in the meantime, a digital marketing agency should be able to give you reports on at least some of the following:
- Changes in your keyword rankings
- Changes in your search visibility
- Any improvement or otherwise on your domain rank.
- How much you’re being charged per click
- Your bounce rates
- Your click through rates
Overall, be savvy. Do your research around the company. Don’t be afraid to ask their sales team questions, it’s their job! It’s always worth getting it right the first time rather than having a cheap company ruin your chances of not ranking. Whether you’re just after advice on PPC or a full blown SEO campaign, asking these questions will assist you in choosing the right agency for you.