As a business owner you cannot be totally ignorant about the SEO affairs. Before you outsource your SEO project you should have a fair understanding of the process, activities involved, scope of work, duration and most important “what to expect” from your SEO consultant/agency. There is a plethora of information about SEO on the internet. Go through a few of these.
List of Questions to ask your SEO Agency/Consultant
It is very critical that you know what to expect from your SEO agency/consultant. Every SEO activity should deliver time-bound results. Try to make your SEO project result oriented.
What is SEO?
What’s the Budget for the SEO project?
What are the Payment Terms?
What are the Terms and Conditions of the SEO Contract?
Is there a money back guarantee?
Where Do YOU Rank in Google?
Do you understand my business?
What is your SEO plan?
Revamp or New Website?
What would be the Quantum of SEO work?
What about CONTENT?
How about Social Media?
Can you Synchronize SEO affairs with my Business?
Can you get me to No.1 Position in Google?
SEO Question 1: What is SEO?
Ask your SEO agency/consultant all the questions pertaining to SEO, before hiring them
This is the first question you should ask your SEO agency/consultant. Get to know what SEO is all about, hear it from the guys who are going to do it for your business. SEO is a combination of so many things, it incorporates business strategy, marketing techniques, technical aspects of internet publishing, content management, content writing, etc. Get a fair idea of what SEO is all about, what role “SEARCH” and “KEYWORDS” play in getting traffic and how capitalizing on them can boost your business. You being the key person for your business, your suggestions in creating marketing policies especially the business strategy part, will only help the SEO venture.
SEO Question 2: What’s the Budget for the SEO project?
Get a clear idea of how much you are going to spend on the SEO project. Normally the SEO budget is directly proportional to the number of keywords to optimize for.
Ask your SEO agency what is the budget of the entire SEO project. SEO is a complex process and involves a lot of activities, the goal of the SEO is to make your website/webpage appear in the top position in Google SERPs. Normally SEO agencies charge on the basis of keywords to be targeted, that is the industry practice. So if your SEO agency tries to bill you on the basis of the “scope of SEO work” – be WARNED, do not offer such a proposal. Get it mentioned in the SEO contract payment terms that the payment will be done only against the number of “keywords” optimized, irrespective of the SEO work involved.
SEO Question 3: What are the Payment Terms?
Most SEO companies have a fixed payment schedule based upon the activities like link building , content creation, conversion optimization etc. Insist on retaining substantial amount of money until the results are delivered.
SEO Question 4: What are the Terms and Conditions of the SEO Contract?
SEO Contract Terms and Conditions are tailored to favor the SEO agency.
Scrutinize the SEO Contract thoroughly, often the SEO agency is more eager to sign contract than the client. And the contract is usually drafted in favor of the SEO agency/consultant. So it is imperative to check the contract terms and include clauses that safe-guard your interests as a client. Adopt an aggressive stance and make sure the SEO contract is favorable to both the parties.
SEO Question 5: Is there a money back guarantee?
This may sound frivolous but ask your SEO agency or consultant what if they fail to deliver the promised results. Consider the worst case scenario. Bargain hard and ask your SEO agency/consultant to include the clause in the contract that will make them refund you ALL the money that you paid for the SEO project. Usually the SEO contract is always in the favor of the SEO agency. Bargain with your consultant and include clauses that are favorable to you also.
SEO Question 6: Where Do YOU Rank in Google?
The first thing you have to check is how does your SEO Agency rank in Google for variety of keywords. If they don’t rank well they/he/she probably won’t be able to deliver the results you are expecting.
As a client you should ask your SEO consultant – “Where do you rank in google for the keyword”. If he is in the first five listings – he has definitely touched the rock-bottom and is the right person who can help you with your website’s SEO.
SEO Question 7: Do you understand my business?
You SEO consultant should first understand your business thoroughly before devising a SEO plan
Your SEO consultant/agency should first understand your business. Give him time and resources to go through to get the hang of your business. Its quiet possible that he/she may have served other clients like you in the past and that would only make it easy to minimize the learning curve. Confirm whether he understands your business thoroughly. Discuss with him thoroughly about your business model – your strengths, deficiencies, USPs, opportunities, product life cycle etc. This would also make him conceptualize innovative “Ideas” for Content.
SEO Question 8: What is your SEO plan?
Get involved with your SEO agency right from the planning phase, get a fair idea of what his/her/their plan is.
ASK him this question – Ok now that you understand my business, What’s the plan?. Get to know the complete SEO process and and various stages of the SEO plan. This will give you an idea of when you should expect the results. You can align your business activities accordingly.
SEO Question 9: Revamp or New Website?
Going for a new website has got its own pros and cons but if your earlier website has gained a “bad” reputation, it is advisable to go for a new website.
Depending upon how intense the competition is, he would likely suggest you revamping (partial or complete) the existing website OR going for a new website(s) with “Exact Match Domains” that has the keyword(s) in the domain name. Get an idea of what your competitor has done, do all those things PLUS 1 to stay ahead.
SEO Question 10: What would be the Scope of SEO work?
You should know what is the total amount of work in terms of man-hours. This is directly related to the finance part.
Get an itemized proforma-invoice from your SEO consultant/agency, with detailed particulars of SEO activities he/she would be doing. Quantify all the major SEO activities like word-count for on-page and off-page content, number of articles to be submitted, number of successful link building, number of successful article/link submissions, number of press releases, volume of social media optimization /marketing and maintenance SEO. Get involved with the SEO affairs at every stage, keep a close watch on all activities. Especially the content.
SEO Question 11: What about CONTENT?
Content is the major factor in SEO, so take keen interest in devising the content strategy, you being the key person – you can help your SEO consultant with valuable suggestions.
Ask him about the content for the website (new or old). As a client of a SEO consultant get this “Content is KING”. You should know that UNIQUE Content plays the most important part in SEO and Google rankings. Not only the content on your primary site but also of other sites linking to yours. As a rule of thumb – your SEO consultant should also be your Content provider too. Look at your competitors content, know what content ideas they are using.
Ask him what different content he is going to create that will make you stand out from hundred other competitors. Brainstorm with him about different ideas for content writing. You being the business owner, you are in a better position to suggest innovative IDEAS and TOPICS for unique content. Get a fair idea about the amount or volume of content required for the project.
SEO Question 12: How about Social Media?
Ask your SEO consultant how much would he be involved in the SMO/SMM activities. Social Media is an effective way to get instant traffic and to go viral. If you yourself are a Social Media addict, then lead from the front. Make a strong footing on Social Media and Social bookmarking sites. Build followers, fans, share and tag relevant content. Not just your content.
SEO Question 13 – Can you Synchronize SEO affairs with my Business?
It is important your SEO activities be in sync with your Business, this way you will be able to get the maximum output.
Your SEO activities should be synchronized with your Business activities. This is particularly relevant if you are outsourcing SEO maintenance project. Ask your SEO consultant what would be the “maintenance” SEO activities to carried and freeze the duration for such activities.
SEO Question 14 – Can you get me to No.1 Position in Google
All your SEO efforts should be to gain No.1 position in Google. Don’t ask how.
Everyone dreams and strives for getting at the TOP position in Google Search Engine rankings. The first position in google means maximum realization of your business potential. Once you are thru with the questionnaire put this “mother of all SEO questions” to him. A seasoned and confident SEO expert will give you an affirmative answer. As an expert SEO company we believe it is quite possible to rank at the first position for the right keywords, right content, right volume of content and quality back-links. Getting to number one position in Google calls for “thinking the unthinkable”, but it is surely not impossible. For most markets and segments it is relatively easy to get ranked at the TOP if you (and your SEO Consultant) are patient, determined enough and are ready to expand the envelope of the SEO activities.
The purpose of creating this Questionnaire is to empower SEO clients with the information and knowledge about SEO, what questions to ask your SEO agency and how to “deal” and bargain with them.
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