When on the hunt for an eCommerce SEO agency it may be difficult to know exactly how to compare each of them and identify the strengths and weaknesses.
Fortunately, we’ve been doing this a long time and have taken note of the good (and the not so good) questions, and answers, that we’ve heard in the past.
What do your current/past clients say about you & can we talk to some of your current clients?
This is the ideal opening question. A good agency will be able to confidently call upon its clients to give referrals, positive reviews and so on. We’re big believers of referrals and how they should make up a large portion of your lead generation.
If you get a couple of their clients’ feedback and hear wonderful reviews from them, then you know you’re onto a winner.
What have been your top 3 SEO case studies?
An agency can only be classed as “strong” if they’ve got the numbers behind them to prove it. By asking for 3 success stories/case studies, you’re getting them to prove their worth by matching the numbers to their reputation/ranking. This will also give you an idea of the kind of businesses they’re successful with, whether it’s more in fashion, childrenswear and so on – which can help you make your decision.
Describe your ideal client
A good client-agency relationship is based on mutual respect and trust. As a result, as important as it is for the client to appreciate what the agency is doing, it’s equally as important for the agency to enjoy working for the client to ensure maximum performance.
Therefore, by understanding their ideal client, who they enjoy working with and why – this enables you to see if the underlying relationship would work between the two of you.
How much do your SEO services cost?
If you’re searching for an agency then you should have a rough idea of the budget you’re willing to spend, but obviously to save yourself the time it’s always best to ask what the cost of the agencies SEO services are. If they have a minimum that is too much for you, then you won’t need to waste time pursuing them.
However, it is important that you first make clear what your ideal monthly budget is for SEO services and then ask what they cost. If your budget is too low for them, they can refer you to someone else. But this is usually a step sometimes missed and results in multiple calls until the client realises they can’t afford the agencies prices.
How do you maintain regular communication with your clients?
Communication is everything. Understanding how you’ll be communicated to throughout your relationship should be a key part of your decision-making process. If they say they’ll report to you once a month etc – big no!
You’re on the lookout for an agency that will show initiative, keep you updated, schedule in weekly calls etc. Listen to how they’ll communicate with you and factor that into your decision.
What is your reporting process like?
It’s essential for you to know that your results will be communicated to you regularly, and simply. Try and understand what the agencies reporting process is like, is it once a month, every quarter, a long email or a simple dashboard?
As you’ll have to report to your own boss/investors about the results and where the money for SEO is going, it’s critical you understand if you’ll receive the kind of reporting you need and want. If they don’t offer a particular metric in their reports, ask them. They should be more than happy to tailor to your needs.