Questions to Ask an SEO Firm before Signing a Contract

Written by Nick Stamoulis

 

Before signing on the dotted line and committing to pay an SEO firm for a specified period of time it’s necessary to have an understanding of the type of work that the firm does and what exactly is included in the proposed rate. An SEO program involves many moving parts and you don’t want to find out when it’s too late that certain items that are necessary to be successful with SEO today aren’t included either because the firm simply doesn’t offer them or because they charge an extra fee for those services.

Here are 5 questions to ask an SEO firm before hiring them:

What is your process?

If you ask 5 SEO firms what their process is, it’s likely that you will get 5 different answers. What the client needs to understand about the SEO process is that it is built for the long term, which is why hiring an SEO firm for a short period of time is typically unproductive. The client needs to accept the timeline going in in order to form a successful partnership.

Do you follow the search engine Webmaster Guidelines?

The search engines have created a set of rules and regulations for webmasters to follow in order to be deemed “white hat”. This is an important question to ask, since some firms are “black hat” or even may dabble in the gray area. This is something you want to avoid at all costs. Black hat firms may be able to get you quick results, but they won’t last for long and the search engine penalty that you get slapped with certainly isn’t worth it in the end.

Can you make website changes?

The initial phase of an SEO campaign involves a thorough review of the existing website content and making recommendations for each page of the site, specifically incorporating keywords naturally into the content. Once all of the recommendations are made and approved the changes will need to be made to the site. Depending on how the site was built, it may be necessary for a web developer to make these changes. If you have a web developer they can obviously take care of it, but what if you don’t? Does your SEO firm have one? Or does the work need to be outsourced to a third party at an additional cost?

Do you offer content creation?

An essential component of an SEO campaign today is ongoing content creation. Ideally, an SEO client should be posting to their company blog on a weekly basis in addition to looking for guest posting opportunities. If you don’t have an in house writer to take care of this for you, does the SEO firm have a good writing team that can write quality content for you?

Do you offer social media management?

To go hand in hand with SEO content generation is social media marketing. Published content needs to be shared and promoted through social media to help boost social signals for SEO purposes. Will your SEO firm share the posts on your behalf? Of course, this means that you must be comfortable providing the firm with your social log in passwords.

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