Buying SEO services can be a challenging and often daunting task. It’s important to ask questions to get a proper understand and scope of what an SEO is offering for your website. On page SEO is just as important as Off page SEO and it’s important that the SEO a client might decide on not push just one or the other. Knowing what questions to ask and also how to decipher the answers can help save a client a lot of time and money in the long run! Let’s go over 15 SEO questions to ask when buying SEO services.

1. Do they immediately quote you a price, or do they need time to review your needs?

If a price is able to be quoted right off the bat, odds are your website hasn’t even been looked at. Normally SEOs will need to audit the site to assess the health and what needs to be done.There is one instance where quoting a price right off the bat wouldn’t be suspicious, that’s if the SEO did an audit before contacting the client, often called a cold call.

2. Have they researched your niche/market?

Not every niche industry is the same marketing wise, some are much more competitive than the other. Different strategies are needed for every industry and if SEOs aren’t researching the niche you’re not going to get a good ROI on marketing costs. Keyword research, content relevancy, competitor research and many more factors must be researched to have a successful SEO campaign.

3. Have they built a campaign around your needs and aims?

As a client of an SEO, questions about what the client wants to target is of 1st priority! If a one size fits all solution is applied, then there isn’t proper focus on the client’s needs. Every website will have the same basic SEO needs, but also different challenges and optimization problems. It’s important to make sure a scope of deliverables is determined. And always make sure the client OWNS the deliverables, never should content or backlinks be removed once service is ended.

4. Do they talk about on-site SEO and changes that must be made to your site?

If only backlinks are being talked about, it’s time to be concerned. Search engines might weigh backlinks heavily for keyword rankings. However on page SEO is still extremely important, infact a website can rank without any backlinks if their on page SEO is flawless! Think about that!

5. Do they offer these ‘on-site’ changes as part of the campaign?

Does the SEO handle website implementation as well as consulting? You wouldn’t goto a mechanic only to hear ” your car is broken, you need a mechanic to fix these problems “.

6. Are their promises ‘too good’?

Remember the old saying, ” if it’s too good to be true, than it probably is “? That is your sign to look elsewhere for another SEO who will give you the facts and just the facts!

7. Is their time frame too quick?

In the name of securing a contract, SEOs may ” speed timelines up “. This one is a bit more tricky, as there are some SEOs who are able to do quick work. However despite doing quick work, it’s a matter of checking your work. Every website will have different issues to tackle SEO wise. So a fast turnaround could indicate a lack of detailed focus. Normal results of SEO can take upwards to 2 to 3 months just to see improvements.

8. Do they have a plan for after you rank? Do they even mention this?

Ranking keywords in SEO is only half the battle. The other half is focused on conversion rate optimization and content marketing. That web traffic needs to be turned into goal conversions! If SEOs just say they can rank you on page 1, be concerned. There is much more to having web traffic.

9. How secretive are they about their campaigns and the actual work they do?

If a SEO is being secretive to the client about the workload being done, then it’s time to be concerned. It’s one thing to be secretive to other SEOs, but the client has a right to know what’s being done to their website. It can be explained in a way that the secret sauce isn’t being disclosed, so ask questions and if a basic list of what was done can’t be said, there might be a problem.

10. Do they use ‘buzz’ words and ‘waffle’?

If buzzwords are being used but not explained and the client feels like they’re being talked to in geek speak, than be worried. It’s not hard to explain what is being done to a website and why. If an SEO can’t explain what’s being done in even basic terms to a website, get a second opinion.

11. Are they easy to contact?

Communication with the SEO should always be possible. In fact SEOs should be reaching out to the client weekly if not bi-weekly, it’s just professional to give progress reports.

12. Are they pleasant to speak with?

If it’s like pulling teeth just talking to an SEO, or there isn’t an effort to explain terms in ways the client can understand, be concerned and seek a second opinion. The job of an SEO isn’t just to improve website traffic and goals. It’s to also explain to the client in a precise and clear fashion the scope of work that will be done or has been done.

13. Do they require you to sign a contract?

This is one of the most important things a client and SEO can do. A signed contract not only explains the scope of the project and deliverables. The contract also acts as a safety net between the client and the SEO to protect one another from being scammed. If a contract isn’t signed, there basically the whole project is based on trust and trust alone, and that’s where lawyers like to be involved.

14. Do they say ‘no’ if your demands are unrealistic?

If an SEO is doesn’t tell a client no, when something unrealistic is demanded, there is a problem. That means the SEO is most likely trying to fool the client by promising something they can’t do. That doesn’t help anyone and often leads to lack of expectations being met.

15. Do they quote realistic prices?

The saying ” you get what you pay for ” is 100% true in SEO. Website size / page count will often determine many SEO project costs. If an SEO is quoting a price that looks too good to be true, than it most likely is. If the time quoted and price seem unreasonable, that’s because it probably is. It takes time to do a good job and SEO is no different. Auditing a website, finding problems, seeing the best way to fix said problems and track recovery is all part of the process. Be wary and ask questions when in doubt, and as always, ask for a second opinion.