Search engine optimisation is probably the best long-term marketing strategies out there. Google is constantly changing its algorithms, so it’s essential you find an agency you can trust to steer you through the mine field of SEO because one wrong move can see your website disappear.

When shopping around, a lot of agencies will try to blind you with science, promising the earth, but delivering little. That’s why it’s important to know what to ask.

Oh, before I go any further, don’t ever respond to the unsolicited emails you get from SEO companies. Any agency worth its salt will NOT be dabbling in blanket email marketing like that.

As promised, here are the questions you should be asking.

1. Algorithm updates

What do you know about the latest updates?

If the agency you’re talking to is genuine, they’ll be able to tell you all about the latest Google algorithm updates and how it will affect your website, but in a language you can understand.

Don’t be fooled by hyperbole – if you don’t understand what they are saying, ask them to explain.

2. Penalties

Why have I been hit by a Google penalty?

If you’ve fallen foul of a Google penalty, you can’t put it right until you’ve worked out what caused it. A legitimate agency will investigate your situation rather than guess. After all, you want to pay for results not guess work.

3. Expertise

It’s not just the technical experience and expertise of the agency SEO bods you need to worry about, but also that of the writers they use.

Sadly, there are still companies out there who generate loads of sub-standard content that can seriously damage your business’s reputation. It may be cheap, but in this case cheap isn’t good.

On top of that, social media should be a big part of your SEO strategy so you should also expect them to come up with advice for that too.

4. Links

How do you go about building links?

Today SEO is more about link earning than building and that means publishing high quality content that will attract links.

What you don’t want is an agency that submits your website to directories, article directories, buys links, dabbles in automated link building or uses link farms.

Google is really hot on this at the moment and any slip ups will result in a penalty.

5. Tools

Do you automate?

You don’t want to work with agencies that use tools for link building, content generation or social media. The only ones they should be using will be for measuring their effectiveness, tracking your social shares, traffic, conversions and ROI.

6. Results

Do you guarantee results?

If they say yes, run away as fast as you can. No one can guarantee results when it comes to SEO.

On top of those questions, you should also ask:

  • How they measure success?
  • Who they have worked for?
  • Are you able to speak with any of their clients?
  • What happens if you’re unhappy with the service and results?
  • What type of reports will you receive and how often?

Finding the right agency is vital. Don’t be afraid to change if you’re not happy with the service you’re getting. It’s your business at stake.

Source by Sally Ormond

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