If there was a business solution that could increase the number of your leads by 20% and put you in front of your competitors, I’m sure you would do whatever it takes to acquire it.
Not only that, but you would also spend your time researching how to best implement it.
SEO is one of those solutions and finding the right SEO company is especially important for e-commerce stores. Online retailers depend on their online visibility.
However, there are so many SEO companies out there that business owners don’t know who to choose or even where to start looking.
You might have even heard a horror story from someone who didn’t do his or her homework and made a mistake of entrusting the lifeline of their business to someone who made false promises.
Make sure that this doesn’t happen to you.
This article will help you get the most out of your investment by providing you with a list of essential questions to ask your potential e-commerce SEO agency.
What kind of experience and references do you have?
You want a reliable company with positive client feedback. Ask to see their references early on and don’t be afraid to check them. Also, don’t forget to ask what separates them from all the other SEO companies.
The right SEO agency will provide you with a case study that shows one of their success stories, i.e. how they managed to improve rankings of one of their clients, how long it took them to achieve it, and what methods they used in the process.
Ideally, they work with e-commerce businesses regularly and they’ve worked with companies similar to yours so they will be able to solve any problems specific to your industry.
If possible, choose a company that is, therefore, already familiar with your niche, market, and competitors.
What do you think about black hat SEO?
You want a company that employs only white hat SEO methods to improve your rankings. Why?
There are no quick fixes and results in SEO.
It takes three to six months to see those first results in search engine rankings. Yes, that means that you will have to pay your SEO agency for several months without seeing absolutely any results!
However, if you want to avoid getting a penalty from Google, accept this slow nature of SEO and avoid companies that promise to get you on the first page of Google, or that No. 1 position.
Such expectations are unrealistic.
Specifically, avoid companies that engage in getting backlinks from sites with no relation to your business, or buying links. They will promise hundreds of links to your site but those are the links that will probably do you more harm than good. And once the damage has been done, the agency will move on to a different client, leaving you to deal with the mess on your own.
The nature of SEO is fluid. It takes some time to get things rolling.
The right SEO company will first create valuable content for your site, and then place it on high-quality sources so that you can earn links to your site naturally.
This will increase your rankings without you having to fear about getting a penalty from Google.
How often will we communicate?
Look for clues that will give you a hint at what kind of relationship you will have with your future agency.
Will it be a transparent relationship, based on regular reports and clear monitoring with the latest SEO software?
Proper communication reveals that they are really interested in your business, and will work with your long-term prospects in mind.
However, communication works both ways so make sure to do your part as well.
Read your reports well, and ask any questions you might have early on. Also, cooperate with the chosen SEO specialists on any projects they might need from you, such as creating valuable content for your site or gathering customer testimonials.
Consider getting familiar with some basic SEO terms so that you may understand their SEO process.
This will also help you avoid getting scammed with false promises.
How do your current SEO tactics differ from those you used two years ago?
SEO is constantly changing because Google is regularly updating its algorithms. This ultimately affects how SEO should be done to achieve the best results. The right agency will stay on top of all those changes.
The methods SEO company is using should be current.
Don’t be afraid to ask what kind of content they plan to create, who will write it, and if they have any examples of such material.
What will their services include? Will they change your site’s design, coding, navigation, and incoming or outgoing links profile?
Your site must be optimized to the maximum for the search engines and your agency must have a viable tactic to increase the online visibility of your business.
How much do your services cost?
In a way, this is a trick question because you don’t want to hear that they are really cheap.
Good SEO takes time and effort, and this costs money.
To determine the most realistic price, see what other SEO companies are asking for their services. You may also ask your colleagues how much they are paying their agency. Take the location of your SEO firm into consideration because it affects the cost.
Apart from companies that charge too little for their services, avoid those without a properly designed website, that don’t have “about us” page, and are generally not transparent with the services they provide and how much they charge for them.
To conclude, look for a company with years of experience in the SEO industry, and up-to-date knowledge of all the current white hat tactics. The company should also exuberate integrity and a real interest in your business.
Choosing the wrong SEO company will not only mean that your hard-earned money will go to waste, but it may actually end up doing irreparable damage to your website.