6 Questions to Ask a SEO Company Before Hiring Them?

By | August 13, 2019


MARK: Hi, I’m Mark Steinbrueck, and this is
Kurt Steinbrueck. He’s our Director of Marketing Services at OurChurch.Com, and I’ve asked
him to be a part of this video where we’re going to talk about six questions to ask an
SEO company before hiring them. The first question to ask an SEO company is
what is their mission or vision, and does it line up with yours as an organization?
Very simply put, just ask them, “What is your mission?” or “What is your vision? What is
your goal as a company?” and see what the response is. You’d be surprised to find out
how many organizations don’t know this, or haven’t defined it. If that’s the case, most
likely their mission is probably just to make money. So it’s good to ask that question and
find out if their mission or if their goals are aligned with what your goals are as an
organization. The second question to ask is how long have
they been doing business or SEO professionally, and how many clients have they served? If
they’ve only been in business a few months, or even a few years, that may not be enough
time to really understand SEO and really bea ble to provide a good SEO service. KURT: I would also add to that that there
really isn’t any standard for SEO in a sense. There’s no license, like with a realtor, you
have to have a realtor’s license. There’s nothing like that in SEO. There’s no certificates,
there’s no graduate programs. All you really have to do to become an SEO is put up a website
and say you’re an SEO. So that happens a lot. There’s people that are just these fly by
night companies; they just pop up out of nowhere and they claim to be experts in search engine
optimization, but they haven’t ever done it. MARK: Right. Yeah, and it’s also helpful to
go with an established business simply because you want to make sure that they’re going to
be with you, by your side, and partnering with you for a long time. #3, what will they be doing for you? This
is incredibly important, because SEO varies. One person’s definition of SEO is probably
quite a bit different than what another person’s is. So why don’t you share a little bit about
that? KURT: Yeah, SEO is a very nebulous term. Thre’s
really no distinct definition of it. I’ve seen webhosting companies that say that they
do SEO, and all they really mean is that search engines can crawl your site, they can read
your site, and maybe there’s some automatically generated meta tags. They’re not really doing
anything for you. This isn’t really SEO, but they claim it. Then you can go from there
to the broad spectrum, where people are doing link building and content creation and social
marketing and all kinds of other elements to it. There’s a broad range of what can be
included in SEO, so you really need to make sure that you know what exactly are you going
to be doing. MARK: Yeah, and I’d recommend even asking
for that in writing. Get it down so you know exactly what they’re going to be doing, and
that way it’s not a “he said, she said” situation. Fourth question to ask is do they have any
client references who are ranking well? Simply ask them for references. Granted, this will
probably be a list of their best customers that will say the best things about them,
but even that being the case, oftentimes when you have a customer that’s talking to another
customer and you don’t have the SEO company there to listen in, they’ll let you inside
and give you a little bit of an insider tip. There might be some things that will help
you make your decision, possibly some positive things or some negative things that would
help you in your decision as far as which SEO company to choose. #5, what are their ethics? How do you ask
this question? It’s something that if I just came up to you and I said, “What are your
ethics?”, you’re going to tell me what you think I want to hear. So how do you go about
that? KURT: This is a little tricky. And yes, there
are ethics in search engine optimization. Asking them is probably not going to get you
the best answer. Like you said, they’ll probably just tell you what they think you want to
hear. But you can ask questions that are a little more subtle. Maybe you say, “I’ve heard
that SEO takes a lot of work and it takes a lot of time, but I don’t really want to
wait that long. Are there things that we can do to speed up the process?” or “Are there
things where we can get around some of this hard work?” If they say that there are, and “Yeah, we
can do some things that are going to get past this,” that should be a red flag to you, that
they’re willing to step over certain boundaries that the search engines may have said, “Don’t
do this,” and they’re willing to then risk your website, your organization, to do this.
This is a very dangerous thing, because you can literally be penalized or even kicked
out of the search engines altogether. So it’s important to be able to ask that. Another way to do this, just be aware of the
some of the black hat things. We say black hat; that really just means things that the
search engines have said, “Don’t do this to try to game our system.” Just be aware of
some of those things, so as they describe what they’re going to do, you can know, “Oh,
that’s one of those things that the search engines say don’t do. That’s going to risk
my site.” Some of those things might be buying links;
it might be getting spammy links which are just low-quality, no value type of links;
maybe some on page, things like that. Stuffing keywords, or hiding text. Things like that.
Just make yourself familiar with that. There’s a lot that I could go into. I actually go
into more of this in a video that hopefully we’ll be able to make available to you. I’m
sure Mark would be willing to send you a link to that, if you’d be interested. But just
some of those things that you can be aware of and look out for. MARK: Sure, yeah. Then the sixth question
is do they have a history and understanding of your type of organization and your niche?
How does this differ from the question of how long have you been in business, and is
your mission and vision lined up with that of ours? KURT: Well, just being in SEO doesn’t necessarily
mean that you know all the different aspects of SEO. There’s actually several niches within
SEO. One of the most obvious ones that you’ll see is national SEO versus local SEO. They’re
very different animals, so you may have been doing national SEO for a long time, but if
you’re a local organization, a company who hasn’t been doing local SEO may not know what
to do. They may try to apply national SEO to your site, which is not going to cover
all the bases. You can get even deeper, to where it’s your
organization. If you’re a church, it can be a little tricky. Obviously, I deal with churches
a lot, and when you’re trying to create content for a church, you have to be very careful
because churches have specific beliefs. Unlike with a pizza shop, where I can just write
anything about pizza and they’re probably not going to be bohtered by it, with a church,
if you have someone who’s writing things that are contrary to your beliefs, you’ve got a
big problem. There are things like that where if an organization hasn’t been dealing with
churches, they may not recognize that. They may not know that that’s an issue. MARK: Yeah, so it’s very important to make
sure that the organization that you choose, the SEO company, has a history and has a good
understanding of your particular type of organization, or they might either do things that aren’t
going to help you that much or, quite honestly, they could do things that would hurt your
reputation. It is very important. KURT: Yeah, and there’s also language. Christians
tend to have their own take on certain words, and not knowing that, if you’re dealing with
a non-Christian company, they may not understand some of the terms that we use. So that’s another
way that it can affect us. MARK: As a summary, the six questions to ask
an SEO company before hiring them: What is their mission or vision, and does it line
up with yours? How long have they been in business, how long have they been doing SEO
professionally, and how many clients have they served? What will they be doing for you?
Get that in writing. Do they have any client references who are ranking well? What are
their ethics? We talked about how you probably need to ask that in a more subtle way. Lastly,
do they have an understanding of your type of organization? Thank you, Kurt. I appreciate you taking the
time to explain this to us. And also I appreciate you taking the time to watch this video. I
hope that it has been informative. If there’s anything that we can do here at OurChurch.Com,
we would love to hear from you. You can email us at [email protected]

10 thoughts on “6 Questions to Ask a SEO Company Before Hiring Them?

  1. Sigmund Joseph Solares Post author

    I think getting references is the most important of the questions. Great stuff guys. Always interesting to see who they offer as references and the nice thing is you can easily check to see the rankings of the references.

    Reply
  2. Borris Unmüssig Post author

    This is reliable and very valuable knowlege here. Good guys, thanks Borris

    Reply
  3. Michael Smolensky Post author

    This informative video explains points to consider when vetting SEO service providers. Thank you for preparing and sharing it.

    Reply
  4. Mary Helen Ferris Post author

    thanks for sharing this information #granniegram loves to learn here

    Reply
  5. Rajeev Gaur Post author

    Great video with valuable insights, if you want to learn more on this topic, watch the video- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0hv3LZQ_3OM&feature=youtu.be

    Reply

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