As professional in the web marketing industry, I see a wide spectrum of skill-levels and service capabilities when it comes to SEO and website optimization providers.
That spectrum is vast, spanning from individual SEO consultants to full-service web marketing firms. Depending on what your business is looking for, you’ll want to ask some probing questions to expose their capabilities and weaknesses.
In short, there are some SEO companies that rock and some that completely suck. If you’re hunting for a website optimization company to provide your business with SEO services, there’s a few key questions that can help reveal just how capable they are at getting your site ranked.
What SEO Tools Does Your Company Use? (read Top SEO Companies article)
Having the right set of tools for SEO and website optimization is imperative to achieve success. There are tons of software programs out there that make the optimization processes more efficient as well as effective.
Below I list some of the most noteworthy tools for SEO. Any individual or company that performs optimization on a professional level should have at least one of these tools in their arsenal:
SEO PowerSuite – This suite is actually composed of four software programs that each handle a specific aspect of website optimization and SEO. This is the granddaddy of all tools.
Open Site Explorer – Designed for link data, this tool is ideal for competitive analyses and link analyses.
SEM Rush – This is a great tool that offers a wealth of insights for many aspects of search engine marketing.
SEO Quake – Created by the makers of SEM Rush, SEO Quake is a handy plug-in that offers SEO data on-the-fly.
– This site offers a number of different tools and resources for various SEO contexts.
Of course these are just a handful of the top tools for SEO and website optimization. You can also try asking questions like:
What tools does your firm use for keyword research, link analysis, and/or competitive analysis?
What platforms or types of web properties does your company use to publish and market content, as well as build links?
Is Your Company Engaged in Social Media Marketing?
Social media marketing is becoming integrated with SEO, as social signals are playing a huge role in determining keyword rankings. As a result, any company engaged in website optimization must also be engaged in social media marketing.
Some companies may be slow to catch on but are still surviving as “SEO firms.” Neglecting social media in a SEO campaign will not hold out for long. The growth and direction of Google+ is set-out to change the ways in with optimizers gain exposure for clients.
Social interaction via awesome content is inevitably the new wave of SEO. Google is making a hard push at cleaning-up its search results by offering more valuable content in the form of blog posts, articles, videos, and other engaging forms of content. For this reason, solid SEO companies are those that can create, publish, and share exceptional content on their client’s behalf.
With that said, you’ll want to learn just how capable your prospective SEO provider is at producing content and using that content to engage with customers via social media. Is the provider capable of shooting videos or writing articles and press releases? Can they manage a blog or two, while ensuring the blogs stay fresh with quality content? These are the questions you’ll want to ask you prospective SEO providers.
Does Your Company Offer Any SEO Case Studies?
Tangible examples are one of the best representations of what a website optimization firm can do. If a company can show cases studies of how it transformed a client’s search presence, then you’ll have great evidence of their capabilities.
If the website optimization firm you’re interviewing does not have case studies on its website, ask if they can provide examples of current client projects and what they are doing for them. If they sound structured and well in-tune with the exact strategies (and results) they are providing their client(s), then you can have greater confidence that the company is legit.