Search Engine Optimization is a process that evolves continuously based on changes in search engine algorithms. These algorithms keep getting smarter to provide a better experience to users. Your business’ value proposition may be strong, but you also need to demonstrate this value to search engines.
With over 89,000 google searches per second, ranking high on your audience’s favorite search engine is not easy. Finding the right SEO agency can be quite demanding because several companies offer eCommerce marketing services, including organic SEO services.
Here is a set of questions that you must ask an SEO agency before signing up.
1. How Many Years of Experience Do You Have?
You do not want an eCommerce SEO agency to learn about SEO at your site’s expense. Also, the years of experience can make a big difference to the quality of eCommerce marketing services provided by an agency. According to a survey encompassing 6,000 marketing agencies, 37% of agencies had an experience of 10-15 years. Find an agency with 10+ years of experience, as their expertise gathered over the years is what differentiates them from the rest.
Next, look at their website, blogs, and social media pages. Most well-established SEO agencies have a strong social media presence and high-quality content on their website or blogs. You should check their own ranking for keywords such as SEO agency in ‘xyz’ locality. This will give you some idea of their capabilities and whether they are continually updating their own site as per the changing requirements of search engine algorithms.
You should also try and understand their thought leadership in the field of SEO. If they have a blog, the topics and the blog content will help you understand their skillsets. Also, check the quality of ideas posted on their social media pages.
2. What’s the range of your online marketing services?
Ideally, you want a full-fledged digital marketing agency that also offers organic SEO services. Why? For SEO to demonstrate its full potential, you will need a host of related services, such as content marketing, email marketing, social media marketing, PPC marketing, and so on. All these areas of digital marketing play an essential role in augmenting the efforts put towards organic SEO. So, having all the benefits under a single roof can genuinely act as an advantage.
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3. Ask questions on aligning with your SEO goals
You can start by aligning your SEO goals, as it could help when you are looking for a digital agency. While every business’s ultimate goal is to rank higher and get more traffic, it is important to have specific SEO goals. Some examples of SEO goals include:
- Increase organic traffic by x%
- Improve search engine rankings
- Increase page speed by x%
- Boost your domain authority
- Reduce the bounce rate of your website
- Increase the average time spent by visitors
- Increase the number of pages viewed
- Create more backlinks
While talking to eCommerce marketing agencies, you should assess the metrics tracked by them and how frequently they will report progress. Additionally, you should also be clear about the keywords important for your business. Possibly, the SEO agency may show you an improved ranking for some keywords to demonstrate their performance. However, if those keywords are not relevant for your business, the improved rankings are of no use. Transparency of SEO goals and regular reporting can go a long way in getting the best out of your SEO agency.
4. How is the work culture at your company?
In any digital agency, work culture plays a significant role. A good work culture can lead to healthy ideas and ensure people stick with the agency. In contrast, toxic work culture can lead to the opposite. You do not want your point of contact to change every now and then and give them the same brief all over again. You can gauge their work culture by asking questions such as the average tenure of their employees. You can also check out their social media pages for posts on team social events, awards, employees moving up the ladder, work anniversaries, and more.
5. How will you use our content effectively?
You must have probably read, seen, or heard this phrase, ‘Content is king,’ several times. While it may sound clichéd, it is an undeniable truth. Content is the king when it comes to eCommerce marketing. When it comes to choosing an agency, make sure they can optimize your content efficiently. Some of these questions can help you assess their content marketing capabilities:
- What is your plan to make an inventory of our current content?
- How will you optimize our existing content before investing in fresh content?
- What is your plan for creating fresh content? For example, if you plan to start a blog, what will be the publishing frequency?
- Does the contract include new product pages, category pages, or landing pages?
6. Questions on clientele and metrics that prove the agency’s efficiency
The best way to look at an agency’s past performance is to go through its client portfolio. Even if the portfolio is unavailable on the website, do ask for it. It is always beneficial to find an agency that has worked with clients belonging to your industry. For evaluating their SEO performance, you need more information than their client list. It will help if you ask about the results achieved for their clients, such as improvement in rankings, traffic, and conversions. Once you have gone through their portfolio, feel free to ask for references. Asking past or present clients about their experience will help you get a real sense of the agency’s professionalism after signing the contract.
7. Who will be responsible for technical changes?
Before you sign the contract, ask this very important question to avoid any surprises in the future. Make sure you know who is responsible for technical changes on your website. If the agency is being vague or does not give you a straight answer, move on. Technical audits and updates are an essential part of SEO. It’ll help if you have a technically equipped team to solve SEO-related issues on your website. Google uses more than 200 factors to determine ranking. You want your SEO team to be aware of all the technical aspects of search engine optimization.
8. Are any of our competitors your clients?
It is a healthy indicator if an SEO agency has a wide range of clients and has relevant industry experience. However, if they are working for any of your competitors currently, it might cause a problem. For example, you and your competitor are likely vying for the same set of keywords to rank higher. In such cases, how can the agency deliver value to both clients? It is advisable to get clarity on these aspects before signing the dotted line.
9. A bird’s eye view of the agency’s eCommerce SEO approach tailor-made for your store
Ask them to make a customized pitch on how they plan to approach your eCommerce store’s SEO campaigns. This pitch should not include lofty promises but real specific insights and goals. You also want to understand their approach. While there are numerous ways to improve SEO rankings, the pitch will help you understand their prioritization. The pitch should be detailed with clarity on timelines of milestones. While no agency can guarantee a surge in rankings, their strategy will help you understand the potential of their efforts.
Choosing the right eCommerce SEO agency can be challenging. But if you are armed with the right questions, you can shortlist proven performers and weed out the ones who will not add much value to your SEO goals. If you want to start questioning, start with us. Our eCommerce SEO team will be happy to answer your questions.