3 Questions You Shouldn’t Ask Your SEO Company

Written by Nick Stamoulis

In my 13 year career as an SEO professional I’ve gotten some pretty crazy questions from clients. Not that I mind answering questions—I think a well-educated client makes for a better client so I’m happy to answer any and all questions my clients have about SEO, no matter how basic it may seem because I know that the more they “get it” the better their SEO campaign will be in the end. But there are a few questions that I’ve gotten over the years that I wish clients and prospects would just stop asking! So here they are:

So how long will it take you guys to get me ranking #1 for “[insert keyword here]?”

Answer—how much time have you got? Google uses over 200 ranking factors in their algorithm to help generate the search results and we can only control a small portion of those. There are so many external factors that need to be taken into account; how old is your site, how competitive is your niche, how well-written is your content, have you done any link building before now (and was it the right kind), do you have a strong social presence, what’s the status of the company blog and so much more. All of these factors and then some contribute to your SEO success timeline.

And, let’s not forget that your SEO company cannot work magic overnight. If you wanted to rank #1 for “sky blue organic nail polish for women over 50” they might be able to make something happen fairly quickly. But if you want to dominate for just “nail polish” it’s a long road to the top.

Fair warning—any SEO company that guarantees rank should NOT be trusted! No one can guarantee anything when it comes to SEO results and no SEO company has a direct line to Google that will get your site ranking first.

How much am I paying you for each link?

If you are a full service SEO client it’s important to remember that you’re not just paying per link (that’s what a cheap link building service is for). When you hire a full service SEO company to manage your SEO you are hiring them to optimize your website, create and implement a 6-12 month link building strategy, write content for your blog, look for content marketing opportunities, educate your internal team, monitor your online brand and more. If you really wanted to break it down in a cost per link acquired each month you’re undervaluing all your SEO company. Chances are, a good SEO company will go above and beyond your original contract when needed to make sure your SEO is on the right track! Don’t try to nickel and dime their every move and they won’t do the same to you J

When will my sales pick up?

I understand that part of the reason you decided to invest in SEO was to help propel your business forward and you want to make sure your investment is paying out. And most of the time, a good SEO campaign will help your bottom line because it drives more targeted traffic to your site and those visitors tend to have a higher conversion rate. But there are lots of things outside of SEO that impact your sales rates and an SEO company cannot fix fundamental flaws in your business. I worked with a client for a while who just couldn’t figure out exactly what he wanted his business and website to be, so even though the SEO was in good shape his website wasn’t converting because it didn’t resonate with his target audience.

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