The 5 essential questions to ask your SEO agency

Search engine optimisation (SEO) is quite the buzzword these days. At its heart, it’s about increasing your business’ presence on search engines like Google and Bing without paying for ads.

Chances are you know it’s an important part of your marketing strategy and maybe you’ve engaged an agency to ‘do SEO’ for you.

But! Are they delivering the right kind of results for your business?

  • Is your website traffic increasing?

  • Are you rank positions floating higher and higher over time?

  • Is the traffic coming to your website converting? Or just bouncing off?

Maybe it’s time to give your SEO agency a bit of a shake up to make sure they’re doing the best by your business.

These are the five essentials questions to ask your SEO agency to find out if they’re deserving of your SEO budget.

Question 1 – Please explain the last two major Google updates, including how they’ve affected search rankings.

If your SEO agency can’t easily talk about the Google updates, chances are they aren’t up to speed on SEO.

SEO best practice changes constantly.

It used to be about keyword stuffing and links. Right now, it’s more about great content and connecting with your reader. Tomorrow… who knows! But your SEO agency should!

Here’s a handy link with all the Google update information so you can check if they’re right.

Question 2 – Tell us your strategy for link building, with examples of how you achieve your best results

Link building is a key part of SEO. When another site links to yours, it tells Google and the other search engines that your site is one worth linking to. And the text or image that forms the link from that other site (anchor text) tells the search engines what your site is about.

In the beginning of SEO, it didn’t matter who linked to you as long as you had lots of links.

Google’s Penguin update in 2012 started to rank the quality of the sites linking to each other. Directory sites with LOTS of links, but no much quality content, were demoted.

Now it’s about getting other websites with high authority (read: sites Google trusts a lot) to link to yours and with the right kind of anchor text.

Link building takes time and is an important strategic part of SEO – so it’s important the strategy your SEO agency uses is a solid one.

Question 3 – What other aspects of my website and online presence will you be taking into account in our SEO strategy?

SEO isn’t just about keyword phrases and trying to get your website’s core pages to rank.

So much more goes into it. Just to name a few key things:

  • Site speed

  • Content that connects with the humans reading it

  • Google My Business – local business listings

  • Metadata, reviews, star ratings

An SEO agency who only wants to talk keyword research and shoehorning those keyword phrases into existing pages doesn’t have your business’ holistic online presence needs at its heart.

Question 4 – How do you track the performance of the SEO work you do for us?

A list of where you rank for certain keyword phrases and Google Analytics can only tell you so much.

Your SEO agency should be giving you comprehensive reporting on your SEO positions and a fresh strategic perspective as things move and change throughout your partnership together.

Question 5 – How do you decide which are the best keyword phrases for our business and where do you put those keyword phrases?

Your SEO agency should have a clear approach to choosing your keyword phrases that doesn’t just involve ‘picking the ones with the most searches’.

Often keyword phrases (words/phrases people type into search engines to find what they’re looking for) with the highest searches are also going to be the hardest to rank in the #1 position for.

Consider ‘Microsoft’… do you think a business who offers integrations with Microsoft’s products is ever going to be able to rank for ‘Microsoft’?

Of course not.

But they might be able to rank for something along the lines of ‘small business apps sydney’.

The longer the keyword phrase, the more qualified the search and, usually, the further along the buying journey the person is. That’s why it’s so important to aim to rank for keyword phrases that:

  1. You have a chance to rank for (i.e. they’re not too competitive)

  2. Are relevant to exactly what you do (i.e. they’re not too broad)

And once your SEO agency has chosen those keyword phrases, they should be able to instantly sprout off where the most important places to put them are. It’s no good aiming to rank for a keyword phrase if your SEO agency doesn’t even make sure you add it to your Page Title, Meta Description, Image Alt Text and File Name, Headings and copy. Let alone using it as part of their backlink strategy.

Time for a new Marketing partner with SEO expertise? Talk to Mogrify

If your SEO agency didn’t quite turn up the goods when you asked them these questions, maybe it’s time for a fresh look at your SEO strategy with Mogrify.

We are unique in taking a fully holistic approach to marketing across Messaging & Strategy, Marketing Asset Creation, and Promotion & Distribution/ Amplification. SEO falls primarily under the Promotion and Distribution work we do for our customers. Because we look at B2B marketing holistically, we'll also be upfront in telling you if SEO might not be the best way of spending your dollars - perhaps, as we've covered in other blogs, your issue lies with Messaging & Strategy or with Asset Creation more than with Promotion & Distribution/ Amplification methods such as SEO.

Either way, we'll tell you and allow you to seamlessly move budget between a number of different marketing techniques on the fly.

We already have the best interests of our clients’ whole businesses at heart – helping them achieve a better online presence in search engines is a natural fit.

Talk to us about SEO and other Promotion & Distribution/ Amplification activities today.

If you want to get a quick sense of where your gaps lie across our three core marketing areas - Messaging & Strategy, Asset Creation and Promotion & Distribution/ Amplification, then take our quick 3 minute assessment to receive your bespoke report.

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"Vision without execution is just hallucination."

- Henry Ford