How to Choose an SEO Company: Six Questions to Ask

Person looking a website’s key performance metrics on laptop

Having a great website means nothing if no one gets to see it. That’s why you work tirelessly to get people onto your site, and SEO is among the best ways to do so. 61% of marketers prioritize growing their website’s SEO and organic presence. This means that the competition to please search engines is stiff, and only businesses that embrace the best strategies will be successful.

Sadly, SEO can seem overwhelming to the untrained eye. You need to understand so many things, from on-site optimizations to link building strategies. The good thing is that you don’t have to be the one to figure it all out if you know how to choose SEO companies

The kind of SEO agency you choose to work with could mean the difference between generating quality leads and losing customers to competition. You need to know the right SEO questions to ask during your vetting process to find a great company to optimize your site. 

Here are a few questions to help you pick an ideal agency:

How Will You Improve My Rankings?

Want to know how to choose a great SEO company? The first point to keep in mind is to avoid companies that are secretive with their strategies for improving your rankings. The ideal company will be willing to walk you through its strategies in an easy-to-understand manner. Most companies will discuss strategies like:

  • SEO/website audit — most agencies will start with assessing your site to identify common issues that are reducing your rankings. Some common issues can include pages that load slowly, unoptimized content, and poor mobile-friendliness. Feel free to ask questions about how a potential agency could address specific site problems.
  • Keyword research — you’ll want to have your business rank for the right keywords. This ensures that people can find your business based on the most popular keywords in your industry. The agency will most likely do some keyword research while following search intent insights.
  • On-page optimization — Without fixing non-optimized pages on your site, it could be tough to rank high on search engines. The best agencies will suggest possible on-site optimizations to improve your SEO rankings. Don’t be afraid to ask SEO questions on the typical strategies the company uses to improve site rankings for its clients.
  • Link building — links are one of the top two ranking factors on Google. A great company will have a strategy in place for building high-quality content and backlinks. 

Most importantly, look for an agency that follows the latest SEO trends. SEO is ever-changing, and keeping up will give you a competitive advantage.

Can You Provide Case Studies, Testimonials, and Certification?

Don’t fly blind when vetting companies. Every business that knows how to choose SEO companies realizes how important it is to trust any company you work with. Ask SEO questions related to their experience in the industry.

First, inquire about the certifications the agency has. This demonstrates that the company is committed to sharpening its skills. Some of the most popular certifications include Google Analytics, Google Ads, and being a Google Partner. 

Since data doesn’t lie, focus on the agency’s case studies and reviews. Case studies will paint a picture of how they have helped past clients. Feel free to ask questions concerning the case studies these agencies provide you. 

Companies will mainly choose their success stories for their case studies, so this doesn’t paint the entire picture of their experience. That’s why you should also look at testimonials and speak to references. Talk to the past clients about what they liked about the company and any red flags they noticed. Remember, you are trusting the agency with your business’ revenue-generation potential, which is why you need as much information as possible when considering how to choose an SEO company.

How Much Will Your Services Cost?

Most SEO companies will have preset pricing packages, but you should only use them to give you an idea of how much their services will cost you. Your SEO needs will differ from those of other businesses, so you should always discuss a custom pricing package. For instance, you might need content marketing and PPC services alongside SEO services, but the company might not have preset packages that have both. 

Have the company conduct an SEO audit and ask the right SEO questions to come up with a custom price point. Price shouldn’t be the main determinant when choosing an agency. Focusing on the value an agency offers is an essential part of how to choose SEO companies. Choosing the lowest-priced services could result in poor results. On the other hand, expensive services don’t always mean you are getting the most bang for your buck.

Will You Need to Make Changes to My Website?

All the effort you put into getting people on your site will mean nothing if your site’s user experience is poor. 88% of users won’t return to a site after a bad user experience. From poor website design to an unwelcoming checkout process, there are a lot of mistakes that can push users away from your site. In most cases, this results in high bounce rates, which could reduce your rank on Google. 

That’s why this question is an essential addition to your list of SEO questions. Ideally, the agency might need to perform a UX audit to identify key areas that should be changed to improve user experience. The goal is to offer customers a seamless experience from the first site visit to checkout — only sign the marketing contract if you are satisfied with the answer to this question.

How Does Local SEO Factor in Your Strategy for My Business?

Person looking at a website’s SEO analytics

Local SEO can be a great part of your business’ success. In fact, 72% of consumers who search for local businesses online end up visiting physical stores that are within five miles. Local SEO ensures that local customers can find your business with ease. That’s why you need to ask potential agencies questions on their local SEO approach when learning how to choose an SEO company.

Ideally, local SEO involves setting up Google My Business (GMB) profiles, geotagging site images, and optimizing business NAP information (Name, Address, Phone number). You will also need to gather reviews and consistently update local review sites. When done right, you could enjoy great search visibility from local customers.

How Do You Measure Success, and Do You Provide Any Guarantees?

Good SEO companies use quantitative, research-based metrics to determine success, and they should be willing to share the results with you. An important factor of knowing how to choose an SEO company includes establishing measures to hold them accountable to deliver for your business. If it’s a great company, it will regularly produce reports analyzing the success of its SEO efforts, and it will be happy to share those reports with you. If an agency is unclear about how it measures success or is reluctant to share those processes with you, that is a major red flag.

Truly great SEO companies have a proven track record of success, but they’re also wise enough to know not to make promises they can’t keep. While guarantees may sound enticing, be wary of companies that promise too much too quickly. A reliable SEO agency will set realistic expectations regarding timelines for achieving ROI. They’ll let you know what they need from you to get optimal results, and they’ll be aware of the impact that algorithm changes and updates can have on your results. Don’t just go for the company that makes the most promises; only trust your site to a company that demonstrates a comprehensive understanding of SEO and all the components that need to come together in order to get the results you’re looking for.

Find a Reliable SEO Partner

SEO can be time-consuming and costly, but as long as you know how to choose SEO companies, everything can run smoothly. Be vigilant when vetting the different SEO agencies to find the right partner for your business. Assess a potential agency’s experience and ask the right SEO questions. When you find the right partner, you’ll enjoy great search visibility for a long time.