20 Ways on How to Hire the Best SEO Agency without Getting Ripped Off

I really miss those times when I didn’t have to do too much SEO strategising and other stuff just to make my previous window covering website show up on Google’s first page results.

And you know what? I was able to make my website show up on Google’s first page results all by myself (though my SEO techniques were not that good during that time).

It was that easy.

Well, that was before.

Today, if you want your window covering website stay competitive online, a third-party help may be necessary such as an SEO agency.

Managing a window covering website (or any other website) is not really that simple. Though you may think that everything will be over once your website is up and running, there are more things that you have to do – consistently.

And among the things that you have to consistently do as a web owner is to ensure that your website is properly optimised for it to improve its ranking on the search engines in order to gather leads and land sales.

So now, optimising your website involves a lot of work. It can be too overwhelming especially if you are a beginner on SEO. Nevertheless, you can always ask the help of an SEO agency to work for you.

If you would like to hire an SEO agency but doesn’t know how to pick the right one for the job, then these 20 questions might help.

1. What will you do to improve the ranking of my website?

Answers you want to hear:

As a business owner, you want to hear what methods your SEO agency will be using to improve the ranking of your site. If they lay out an overview of their plans to your business website and present a technical review, then that only means they know what they are doing. Based on their answer, ask follow-up questions to deepen your understanding about their methods and strategies.

Answers you don’t want to hear:

Even if you yourself do not know much about SEO, you can pretty tell from a person if they are knowledgeable or not. If your SEO agency is reluctant to tell you what their methods are, or is somewhat vague on what to do with your website, or tell you that you should just leave everything to them assuring you with an unreliable promise, then they’re not the right one.

2. What SEO strategies will you specifically do?

Answers you want to hear:

A good SEO agency will be able to tell to his client his specific SEO strategies. As much as possible, you would want to hear from them their strategies on technical SEO, on-page and off-page optimisation, link analysis, competitor analysis, and site and content promotion.

Answers you don’t want to hear:

If their strategies include keyword stuffing, link farming, auto-blog commenting, placing hidden links, social network spamming, or other seemingly suspicious tactics, steer away from them. These SEO activities I have mentioned are a part of black hat SEO, a type of SEO strategy that every search engine hates.

3. Will my website become number one in Google and other search engines?

Answers you want to hear:

The only best answer you could hear from your SEO agency is that they will guarantee you that your current low ranking will be improved up to a particular point within an approximate period of time. Say, you’re currently ranked as #535 for the search term “window blinds in Australia.” Then your SEO agency told you that they can improve your ranking to #200 within a few months.

Answers you don’t want to hear:

If they promised you that you could be number one, then they’re just offering you false hopes. You might be shocked but no one can guarantee a number one spot in Google, Yahoo, or Bing because every search engine algorithm is unpredictable.

4. What kind of SEO strategy will you use for my website? Is it white, black or grey?

Answers you want to hear:

There are 3 hats of SEO: white, black and grey. Typically, you want to hear white hat. Then ask them their favourite white hat methods. Among the most common white hat methods are the implementation of a strong content marketing plan, building links through quality guest posting, blog commenting, online directory submission, making your site easier to navigate, etc.

Answers you don’t want to hear:

Some SEO agencies will confess to you that they’d be using black or grey hat SEO tactics, but they would assure you that you won’t be penalised. If they’d be telling you that they’d generate content using article spinners, stuffing keywords, link farming, then they’re obviously black hat.

5. Who are the clients you have already worked with?

Answers you want to hear:

Your SEO agency should be able to tell you a brief list of their clients. Through knowing who and how many they have worked for, then it also reflects on how efficient your agency is on doing their job. If they have cited known brands or big-sized companies, then they’re worth giving a shot.

Answers you don’t want to hear:

If your SEO agency has only given a few number of clients (like 3 or 4), or if they have only worked with lesser known brands, then they might have credibility issues, or are just starting out. Well there’s nothing wrong with trying new agencies since everyone has been there. But if you don’t want to put your budget at risk, then only pick SEO agencies who have worked with many clients in the past.

6. Can you tell me what you did for your past clients? What are the results?

Answers you want to hear:

The students in my community never fail to ask this question when they’re out hiring an SEO agency. The best answer for this question is that the SEO agency should be able to show you proofs or results for their past clients. Ask them figures or percentage on how much did they contribute to the growth of their past clients. Or better yet, ask them to see their previous client testimonials since the results today may not be the same as before. Sometimes, I encounter websites that are ranked high when they have an SEO agency working for them, but then they have decreased in rank when they have ended their contract.

Answers you don’t want to hear:

They’ve got nothing to show and are unable to state a list of their happy clients. This may mean that they haven’t met their previous clients’ expectations.

7. How long are you running the business?

Answers you want to hear:

Though years of experience isn’t really the entire basis for hiring an SEO agency, if you don’t want to entrust your blinds business to a total newbie SEO agency, then hire an SEO agency that’s been running the business for more than at least 3 years.

Answers you don’t want to hear:

They are only a startup and you are their first SEO client. This is something scary if you are their first client because you don’t have a basis on how things will turn out. Will it be for the better or for worse?

8. Have you worked with a client who is also in the blinds industry before?

Answers you want to hear:

Most SEO agencies are all-rounders with no specialisation industries. If they tell you that they have worked for a website that’s related to home improvement, wholesale or retail, or ecommerce, then you should give them a chance. More or less, these industries are relevant to the blinds industry or the activities you are doing.

Answers you don’t want to hear:

They have only worked for not-so related industries, or they don’t have any experience working for an ecommerce store.

9. Do you currently have a client in the blinds industry?

Answers you want to hear:

Expect a no answer. If they are also currently working for another client in the blinds industry, then I strongly advise not to hire them, since you don’t want your SEO agency to be working for another competing business. You might not know if they’d be playing favourites.

Answers you don’t want to hear:

They have told you that they are also optimising another client website that’s in a competing industry. But if their current client is not in direct competition with your business, then you may consider hiring them.

10. When will I see results?

Answers you want to hear:

Your SEO agency will present you a timetable for realistic expectations. But most often, you can see an improvement in your website’s ranking within 6 months. But for the earlier months, no matter how small the results are, you will already see positive changes backed with statistics and facts.

Answers you don’t want to hear:

If they promise you that you’d be on top of Google’s first page result within just 1 month or 2 months. This is just unbelievable. Even the best SEO agencies in the world can’t do this sorcery.

 

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