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12 Essential Questions to Ask SEO Agency Before You Hire Them

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Boni Satani

May 16, 2024
questions to ask an seo agency

SEO is a complex field despite being crucial to organic visibility. Finding or training in-house staff with expertise in all areas, from technical SEO to content optimization, can be a significant challenge.

This can also lead to critical gaps in your business development, diluting focus and affecting operational strategy. On top of that, developing and running an internal SEO staff might be quite expensive, both in terms of budgets and opportunities.

According to the latest Demand Sage estimates, around 34% of businesses prefer outsourcing their SEO and digital marketing services.

Demand sage

Partnering with an SEO agency can be your gateway to ensuring business growth and long-term success. Yet, the challenge lies in selecting the most suitable agency with the perfect blend of expertise and efficiency. To help you navigate this, in this blog post, we have compiled 12 vital questions to ask SEO agency before onboarding it.

Questions to Ask an SEO Agency

Let us review the questions that will help you choose the best SEO agency for your requirements:

1. Do you think we should Invest in SEO?

As the caveat goes: SEO isn’t a one-size-fits-all solution.

Therefore, among the many questions to ask SEO agency, this one is the fundamental step in shaping your digital marketing journey. It’s where you actually decide if SEO is the right path for your business.

Your objectives, target market, and company are unique. So, be wary of agencies that respond to your request with an immediate ‘yes’ without delving deeper. Instead, look for an agency that demonstrates genuine curiosity about your needs. Here’s what they should be asking:

  • Are customers genuinely searching online for your goods or services?
  • Are you willing to wait 8 to 12 months for the results?

An agency that asks these questions or suggests doing some research first truly values your business. That’s the kind of partner you want – one committed to your success, not just closing a quick deal.

Note- Focusing on your company’s objectives and realistic timeframes for results is more valuable than an agency’s rushed ‘yes.’

2. What is your SEO Process?

To better understand SEO strategies, ask experts from SEO agencies to break down the essential components of their approaches.

Give them a specific example and ask for their recommendations – it’s like a test run to see how they tackle challenges. This goes beyond just knowing what they do; it’s about seeing how they apply their knowledge to help your business grow. It can help you make informed decisions.

Generally, the standard SEO procedure consists of the following important steps:

  • Technical Audit: This entails assessing your website’s technical elements to ensure search engine optimization is in place
  • Keyword Research: Finding suitable terms to include in your text is known as keyword research
  • Content creation: Creating interesting, high-quality material for your intended audience
  • Content Optimization: Optimizing content on the page to raise search engine ranks is known as content optimization
  • Backlink building: Increasing your website’s authority by obtaining high-quality backlinks from reliable sources

Note: A clear understanding of these factors will help you choose the finest SEO partner to increase your website’s traffic and popularity.

3. What will be your KPIs?

Among the many questions to ask SEO agency, asking this question guarantees alignment with your business objectives and helps ascertain the agency’s commitment to ethical, white-hat SEO services.

To gauge their efficacy, you must methodically evaluate the SEO agency’s Key Performance Indicators (KPIs).

Focus on KPIs like revenue, clicks, leads, and organic traffic – these are the true indicators of SEO success.
Also, be wary of relying solely on Domain Authority (DA), as it can be artificially inflated by low-quality links.

Did you know Zestard’s white label SEO services helped grow a one-person agency into a team of over 10 experts? Yes, it’s fascinating! Check out this case study, which speaks for itself, and learn how we can help your business thrive.

Note: It’s important to ensure that the agency prioritises metrics that are important for your company’s expansion and success by having a solid grasp of its KPIs.

4. How do You Compare SEO with Other Marketing Strategies in Terms of Effectiveness and ROI?

This is among the crucial questions to ask SEO agency. It can help you understand how their SEO efforts stack up against other marketing strategies.

While conventional techniques like radio spots, TV advertising, and print ads have advantages, or performance marketing or paid acquisition channels can have quicker results, SEO stands out for its affordability and long-term effects.

According to HubSpot’s State of Inbound Marketing Trends report,

  • SEO is the 2nd most effective channel for acquiring new customers after social media
  • 66% of B2B marketers report using SEO, compared to 77% of B2C marketers.
  • The report notes that brands are seeing more success with SEO tactics like pillar pages, optimizing page load speed, and using topic clusters.

It demonstrates how well SEO works to generate organic leads and visitors.

Therefore, when used in conjunction with other marketing tactics, SEO can yield long-lasting effects instead of paid advertising, guaranteeing a strong return on investment. By adding SEO to your marketing mix, you’re positioning your company for long-term success.

Note: When SEO is combined with other marketing techniques, a potent synergy is created that maximizes outcomes and promotes long-term growth.

5. How are Your SEO Services Different from Other Companies?

Featuring among the top questions to ask SEO agency, this is your key to discovering what makes each SEO agency unique. This also signals them to go beyond generic promises and highlight their core strengths.

Now, pay attention to how they answer. Do they emphasise data-driven strategies, industry-specific expertise, or consistent client support?

Their detailed response will give you invaluable insights into their approach and whether they fit your business’s needs.

Note: If the SEO agency talks about leveraging multiple data points and a strategy that involves rigorous research and optimization efforts instead of quick fixes, that’s a good sign.

6. When Will My Site Start Seeing Results?

Cut straight to the heart of realistic expectations with this question. SEO is indeed a long-term game, but a good agency should be able to provide an estimated timeline based on your website and goals. Google states that it usually takes 4-12 months to see good traffic on your website from SEO efforts. So, be wary of any promises of overnight success.

Remember, factors like your industry’s competitiveness, your website’s current state, and your strategy’s aggressiveness will all play a role in how quickly you see results.

See for yourself how Zestard drives real growth for businesses. Take a look at our case study, where we propelled 3x organic traffic for an e-commerce client in just 4 months!

Note: Knowing when to expect SEO results from your SEO Agency helps you both stay in sync and manage expectations.

7. What Are a Few of Your Best Clients and Please Share Some Insights on Your Achievements?

The top SEO companies need to be ready to present several case studies or client endorsements that highlight their prior accomplishments. These success stories provide insightful information about their competency and efficacy.

For privacy reasons, they might not provide access to their whole customer list, but if they share a few notable names, you can assess a sample of their work. If they work with various sectors, find out if they have experience with businesses like yours.

Checking customer reviews online can also show how reliable and successful their SEO services are. Look for reviews on platforms like Clutch, a reputed B2B site, or other trusted websites. These reviews offer a chance to evaluate the staff’s personality and SEO proficiency.

Note: Reviewing case studies and testimonials to establish trust with the agency regarding their capacity to fulfill your business objectives is necessary.

8. Who Will I Be in Contact with, and what communication medium Will You Use?

Being one of the vital questions to ask SEO agency, this helps determine who will be in control and how communication will occur. It might not be the best choice if no assigned contact is available or if the agency has assigned an inexperienced intern.

Additionally, knowing how they will contact you—by phone, email, or video chat, for example—keeps everyone in the loop on developments and outcomes.

Successful cooperation depends on establishing a clear point of contact and deciding on a communication method, such as emails or phone conversations.

Transparent communication is at the core of Zestard’s operations, ensuring you’re always informed about the strategies and methodologies we deploy.

Note: An effective and dedicated communication channel is essential to the success of your project.

9. What Kind of Reports or Monitoring Updates Will I Be Receiving and How Often?

Transparent communication and timely reports ensure openness and goal alignment in SEO partnerships.

You need to know that the agency will provide thorough reports outlining their efforts, results, and what comes next. These reports should be simple to understand and cover progress, ROI, challenges, and future strategies.

Furthermore, inquire about the reporting format. Will it include interactive dashboards, personalized meetings, or a combination? Additionally, ask how they’ll demonstrate accountability, ensuring the reports clearly connect SEO activities to your business objectives.

Regular, transparent reporting keeps you informed and ensures your SEO investment aligns with your growth goals.

Note: For an SEO partnership to be effective, open communication and thorough reporting must exist.

10. What Tools Do You Rely on for Your SEO Efforts?

While creating your campaign, SEO specialists rely on specialised tools to analyse your website, examine backlinks, measure competitors’ performance, and more. So, the SEO professionals’ choice of tools might greatly influence how well your approach works.

Even if everyone is familiar with well-known tools like Ahrefs, and Surfer SEO, an agency’s knowledge of lesser-known yet effective SEO tools or proprietary software shows deep expertise and a modular approach to SEO.

Zestard uses a wide range of tools and technologies to evaluate your website and help it rank better on the SERP.

Note: An SEO agency’s toolkit significantly impacts how well your SEO plan performs.

11. How Long Have You Been in the SEO Industry, and Have You Worked in a Similar Industry Before?

By asking this question, you may find out how much SEO experience the agency has and whether they have prior experience working in related fields.

If they have experience in your field, they’ll already understand the unique challenges your company faces. Knowing this enables you to assess if the agency is a good fit for you and whether it can support your objectives.

If they are beginners, don’t simply dismiss them. Instead, pay attention to their portfolio and the SEO approaches they propose.

Note: It’s important to evaluate an agency’s portfolio samples, even if they lack direct experience in your specific sector.

12. What Is Your Strategy for Conducting Keyword Research and Selection for Our Business?

This query, which is among the crucial questions to ask an SEO agency, helps you better grasp the agency’s process for selecting the ideal keywords for your website. Listen to their reasons and keep an open mind.

It’s important to know that they consider factors like the volume of searches, the type of content being searched for, and the difficulty of ranking well for specific keywords. It indicates that they are aware of your and your business’s website needs.

The SEO agency should be able to select keywords that will assist you in achieving your company goals.

Note: By being aware of the agency’s keyword selection process, we can ensure they fit our company.

Hire an SEO Agency That Accelerates Your Business

Are you looking to increase your visibility online via an efficient and resourceful SEO agency? Look no further than Zestard—an SEO expert with over 10 years in service.

At Zestard, we employ the latest SEO techniques to increase your website’s visibility and attract more users. We also make sure you understand every step while providing a range of link building services, including HARO, guest posting, and technical SEO services like link audits and content optimization.

Let us take the opportunity to share one of our many success stories and happy clients with you. Check out how, in just a year, we assisted a SaaS-based website in seeing a 250K increase in traffic.

Find out more about our SEO projects and their outcomes here!

If you wish to learn more about Zestard, our past projects, and how we can help you going forward, book a call with one of our SEO experts today!


1. Should startups invest in SEO?

Startups should invest in SEO, without a doubt. SEO assists businesses in creating their online identity, drawing in prospective clients, and successfully taking on more established competitors.

2. How important is SEO in a SaaS business?

For SaaS companies, SEO is essential because it helps them connect with their target market, increase visibility, get leads, and build a brand reputation.

3. What Are the Benefits of Working with an SEO Agency?

Here’s why working with an SEO agency can benefit your business:

  • Expertise: SEO agencies offer specialised knowledge and stay up-to-date with the latest trends.
  • Tailored Plans: They create strategies specifically designed for your business and goals.
  • Higher Rankings: Their work aims to boost your website’s search engine visibility for more traffic.
  • Transparency: You’ll receive clear reports and updates on your campaign’s progress.
  • Measurable Results: Agencies track key metrics to demonstrate the impact of their SEO efforts
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Boni Satani

Boni Satani is the Co-Founder & Marketing Head at Zestard Technologies. With over 10+ years of experience in SEO, Boni has helped many national and international businesses increase their online visibility and reap high ROI. He frequently blogs for the Search Engine Journal and YourStory. You can find Boni on Twitter and LinkedIn.

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