24 Questions to Ask Your SEO Agency Before You Hire Them

Selecting the right SEO agency is important for any business that is available on the web and looking to improve its online visibility and achieve organic growth. But this thing sometimes becomes very annoying when businesses are trying hard to find the right one for the SEO services because, in SEO, no one can give you a guarantee for rankings due to the constantly changing environment of search engines, just like Google is continuously providing its algorithm updates that result in positive and negative outcomes for many websites.

Therefore, business owners should look for agencies that adapt their SEO strategies according to their requirements, which should be aligned with Google algorithms to avoid any penalties.

To find a good SEO agency, we have created a list of 24 essential questions that you should ask an SEO agency before hiring to understand whether they are a good fit for you or not. There are many other things, but these are some of the most important.

What is their agency’s ethos?

Ask about the agency’s guiding principles regarding SEO. Are they committed to ethical (white-hat) SEO practices that ensure long-term growth, or do they veer towards short-term gains that might use questionable (black-hat) tactics? The alignment with sustainable and ethical practices is preferable to avoid penalties and ensure long-term success.

Do they have experience in the industry?

Understanding the tenure of the agency offers insights into their industry experience. However, balancing this with their agility in adapting to the dynamic SEO environment is important. Agencies that have weathered algorithm changes and evolved their practices are more likely to offer valuable expertise.

Do they understand your niche or business?

Inquire about the agency’s experience with businesses similar to yours. Agencies with a track record in your niche will be more familiar with your market’s nuances, competition, and keyword relevance, enabling them to create a more effective SEO strategy. This also involves working or working for your competitors. It also benefits you because they would know more about your industry. You may be concerned about this, but it depends on which services your competitors are getting from them and how much they are paying.

Do they have any proof of success?

Request case studies or testimonials demonstrating the agency’s ability to deliver measurable results. Success stories and positive client feedback are tangible evidence of their expertise and effectiveness.

What is their SEO team expertise?

A diverse and skilled team is the backbone of any successful SEO strategy. Explore the qualifications and experience of the team members, especially in areas crucial to SEO, such as technical SEO, SEO audits, content creation, link building, and analytics.

Are they adapting new trends in SEO?

The best SEO agencies are those that stay updated with the latest trends, algorithm updates, and industry best practices. Their commitment to continuous learning indicates their ability to keep your SEO strategy according to the search engine updates.

Ask them which specific SEO areas they will prioritize.

Clarify which aspects of SEO the agency will prioritize. Whether it’s enhancing the technical foundation of your website or are they able to resolve the technical issues of SEO, enriching the content, or developing a link-building campaign, the focus areas should align with your business objectives and SEO needs and make sense to improve your rankings.

SEO areas could be broken into three sections

  • On-Page SEO
  • Off-Page SEO
  • Technical SEO

Are they creating custom strategies, or do they have one-size-fits-all?

The agency should offer a bespoke SEO strategy that addresses your website’s or business-specific needs and goals, focusing on technical SEO, content optimization, and link building. A custom approach is more likely to yield significant improvements in search rankings and user engagement.

Good agencies offer different strategies for all businesses, as one size only fits some.

What is the time frame to achieve the desired results?

This question may be very important for you, but unfortunately, maybe no one can give you the exact answer because everything is not under the control of an SEO specialist or SEO professional due to the Google algorithm updates. But one thing we should mention here is that the right SEO approach and roadmap will provide you with the expected results within a 3 to 6-month period of time.

Because SEO is not a one-day or one-week instant ranking scheme, it is a long-term plan for long-term growth.

What will be their keyword research or topical authority approach?

The agency’s keyword research and targeted keyword selection approach are foundational to an effective SEO strategy. They should use a data-driven process to identify keywords relevant to your business and offer the best opportunities for ranking improvements and traffic growth.

One more thing we want to add here now is that SEO dynamics have changed. Search engines prioritize those websites with strong topical authority, so the agency should have the expertise to build a topical map that gives your website authority on your topic or niche.

How do they track results and report on them?

Transparent, regular communication and detailed reporting are essential for a successful partnership. Understanding how an agency communicates progress and results will help you gauge transparency and reliability.

You can also ask them about how much detailed reporting you want from them to understand the campaign results. Typically, monthly SEO reporting would be a good way to communicate results.

How do they measure their SEO success?

Discuss how the agency plans to track and measure the success of its SEO efforts. Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) should be aligned with your business goals, such as increased organic traffic, higher rankings for targeted keywords, and improved conversion rates.

You can define your targets to them for the KPIs and for reporting to understand their SEO efforts and results.

How will they acquire backlinks or do link building?

External inbound backlinks are one of the most essential parts of any online marketing effort. Without good links pointing to your website, you’ll find it hard to rank higher than your competitors.

However, not every link is a good backlink. If you choose the wrong SEO agency and build spammy links that don’t adhere to Google’s guidelines, you risk the website being penalized, and you may never achieve your goals.

How will they create content for your website?

You may have heard that “Content is King.”

Yes, it is right if it’s in the right direction.

It has been approximately two years since Google has given multiple updates about helpful content for users, fulfilling their needs. If content creation is part of the offered services, understand the type of content the agency will produce, its relevance to your target audience, and how it will support your SEO objectives.

Do they have local SEO expertise?

If your business is a local business that needs to be ranked in the local map pack or target the local audience. You should ask the agency about their expertise in local SEO. In that case, how will they optimize your website for local search results, Google business profile, including local listings, and managing reviews, which are essential for local visibility in local search results?

What is their pricing structure?

Get clarity on the agency’s pricing model. Whether it’s based on hourly rates, a fixed project fee, or a monthly retainer, understanding the pricing structure helps budget plan and assess the value offered. You should also ask them about any additional fees or hidden costs. A clear understanding of all potential expenses upfront will help avoid surprises and ensure a smooth partnership.

What are the contract terms?

Discuss the terms of the contract, including its duration and any clauses related to early termination. Flexible contracts with clear terms are indicative of a client-friendly agency.

What are the payment terms and conditions?

Clarify the agency’s invoicing and payment policies. Understanding these terms is essential for financial planning and maintaining a positive working relationship.

Are there any guarantees and incentives?

While SEO results cannot be guaranteed due to the unpredictability of search engine algorithms, some agencies may offer performance-based incentives. The approach ensures caution and seeks agencies that set realistic expectations.

Are they offering a preliminary SEO audit?

A free SEO audit or consultation can provide valuable insights into the agency’s expertise and how well they understand your specific needs.

How do they collaborate with your team?

Understanding how the agency plans to collaborate with your internal team is important for a balanced and productive partnership. Smooth integration and regular updates ensure that everyone is aligned toward common goals.

Who will be your designated contact person?

Having a dedicated point of contact at the agency ensures consistent communication and better handling of your SEO project.

How will they protect your data?

The agency’s commitment to protecting your data and maintaining confidentiality speaks volumes about their professionalism and reliability.

How will they handle feedback and concerns management?

An agency that values client feedback and proactively addresses concerns will likely foster a positive, long-term relationship.

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