How To Interview an SEO (Search Enginge Marketing) Company
14 Revealing Question You Better Ask
You probably get calls all the time about it..or worse yet, spammy emails making outrageous promises about putting your business on the first page of the search engines. Well, when it comes to choosing an SEO company to work with, there are some important questions you’ll want to be sure to ask to ensure the person you are considering is both competent and qualified. These 14 questions can reveal a lot about the company you are considering.
1. Have you optimized other cleaning services? If so can you give us an example of feedback/response they have received?
Go Pro Local has completed many cleaning service and home improvement sites, as that is where we have the most experience. We also work with many different businesses and consumers. These have included hot tub wholesalers, photographers, solar electric companies, architects, dentist and many more.
The specialized tools we utilize work for any business and are best suited for local search engine marketing for local business like yours.
There are some great testimonials from our clients on our testimonials page. We took one client from no website to over 1200 page 1 rankings for highly searched geo-modified terms. The results have been a dramatic increase in business and customer interaction.
2. Based upon your professional opinion when should we expect results?
SEO is an on-going process of promoting your business online. With a consistent effort over time, we see the best results. In the most challenging cases, we see measurable results in 6 months. If we are aggressive, it’s normally much less, sometimes in as little as 2 months.
3. Will you/company be doing the work yourselves or will you be outsourcing the job?
We do not outsource core tasks. All work is done by our employees and we do have some employees offshore. All core tasks are performed in house.
4. What is the payment schedule?
We bill by credit card on the 1st of the month.
5. Who owns the rights to the SEO work?
You do. Some companies retain the rights to all the work they do meaning if you quit using their services, you lose a lot of what you had paid for.
6. What is the monthly maintenance after the site is live? What does it include, and why is it due at the same time as the initial investment.
Monthly maintenance involves many different SEO tasks that are independent of a website build. Claiming local listings and directory submissions are just a few of the tasks that begin to happen right away. Other maintenance and promotions tasks include link building, article marketing, video marketing, blog marketing, forum marketing and more. We have several levels of maintenance programs available. The maintenance packages are customized based on your business, online marketing blueprint and how aggressive you want to be.
7. Will you be providing any additional value added services with the setup? Example: blog, ezine, newsletters, PR, etc.
Often times, we’ll use all of the above methods. We also create content and perform SEO copywriting services for clients that are used for off-site content on blogs and other outlets. As an added service we can help with newsletters and email marketing as well.
8. Is there a limited number of keywords that will be used?
We usually select a group of 20 search terms to focus on. These keywords are determined by performing in-depth keyword research and competitive analysis. This way we are able to target buying keywords where there are the best opportunities to rank highly. While these initial keywords are our focus, we track hundreds of keywords and report to you regularly where you rank and where we’re seeing upward movement.
9. What is Google PageRank™ and how does it affect my site? How would you address improving our PageRank™ with Google, and other search engines that calculate the number of quality inbound links to our website?
PageRank is basically Google’s measure of how much authority a site has. All of the search engines do some level of weighted link analysis which helps to sort the sites competing for a given set of searches. If there are two sites that have the same content on them, the one with more back links should rank higher in the search engine rankings.
But, more links aren’t always better. The page rank of the links plays a large role in how well a site will rank. Basically, the more links a site has from other important links, the better. If a site with 10 links has links from Harvard, Emory, NASA, The Pentagon, and other high page ranking sites, and another has 100 links that are nothing more than free directory links, the 10 back links beat the 100. To improve PageRank, it’s important to focus on trusted inbound links that are looked at by the search engines as authority sites.
10. What changes do you make to our site to increase our rankings? Will we see these changes? Will you change the coding on our site?
We normally optimize a number on-page factors; including the title and description which are not easily seen on your site but are important in rankings and how your site appears in the search engine results. We also normally optimize the content of your pages and other page elements like the heading tags, which signals of important text for the search engines. We don’t normally completely rewrite the content or change the structure of your website unless it is blocking the search engines from indexing your site.
12. What kind of reports will we get and how often. Will you explain the reports so we have a clear understanding of the output?
We report both rankings and traffic. We’ll send monthly reports by email interpreting the data we’ve collected and are readily available to go through the data to explain anything that is not clear.
13. How many pages will you be optimizing in our website?
We will optimize all of the pages. The search engines rank pages of sites, not just the main page so every page is important and needs to contain everything the search engines need to rank them highly.
14. Can you assure us that the optimization strategies and methods that you use are safe and won’t get our site penalized or banned? We use strictly white hat techniques that meet the criteria of Best Practices for the SEO/SEM Industry?
We don’t do anything risky. Our techniques create natural looking links that boost rankings over time. We post content in the form of articles, press releases and blog posts.
These questions should give you a good feel and clear picture of whether or not the SEO company you are considering is the company you want handling such an important task. You might be surprised at the answers you’ll get from some of the fly-by-night SEO firms out there that use unscrupulous methods to inflate rankings that don’t stick or could get your site de-index (removed) from the search engines altogether. Beware of guarantees or unsubstantiated claim and most importantly, go with someone you know and trust.