Hiring An SEO Agency In NZ? Seven Questions You Need To Ask
We’ll spare you from a lengthy preamble.
You’re here because 1) you know awesome Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) is critical to your business growth, and 2) you want an SEO agency to make it happen.
How to choose an SEO agency that knows its stuff – the big questions
Put these questions below to any SEO agency that wants your business. If they hesitate, dismiss the question, or fail to answer, then find someone else.
Q1. How do you measure success?
Possibly the most important question this. If you’re going to be paying an SEO agency to do a job, you want to make sure they have a history of delivering the good stuff. And by that, we mean robust, rock solid, real world results.
In reality, that means more people being led to a website, which means more people discovering a product or service, which can mean more conversions, which can mean… cha-ching! More money in the bank. Ask for stats, graphs, tables, anything that proves growth, and every dollar paid out delivering something healthy in return.
Q2. Do you follow Google Best Practices?
Every SEO agency will say they do this. In which case, the follow up question is below.
Q3. What are examples of Google Best Practice?
So, Google is not dormant (in fact, no search engine is). It evolves to stay ahead and SEO agencies adapt. That said, any agency worth its salt will be able to reel off half a dozen or so Google Best Practices that tend not to change. For example, images should have alt text, your website should have a security (SSL) certificate, and your content should be of excellent quality and written for the user.
Note of caution: if someone ever says, ‘you should keyword stuff’, or, ‘we’ve got a Google algorithm hack’ then find another agency.
Q4. Do you guarantee #1 results?
If an agency answers yes to this, then look for the asterisk in their marketing material that gets them out of jail. There are dozens, if not hundreds, of variables that are out of an agency’s control in the SEO realm. An agency can be really smart, do everything by the book, and still not get a client to number one in a search engine. Instead, ask a potential agency question five.
Q5. Do you provide reports and can I see an example?
The answer to this should be something along the lines of: “Yes, we do provide reports, and we’d love to show you some examples”. Now, the reports will have confidential information in them, so an agency should ensure they have permission to share a report, or, ensure nothing in a report is a breach of confidentiality.
The reports (they tend to be monthly) should have a summary with key results, the work that’s been done since the last report, and what work is to come. It needs to have facts, no spin, no jargon, and be easy to follow, without compromising on critical detail.
Q6. Are you one of those cheap SEO agencies with everyone based overseas?
Tricky this question, eh? The reality, however, is that if you’re a New Zealand based business then having people based here do your SEO makes sense. It allows the chance of face to face meetings when you can share your passion for your business, have a coffee, and look the agency representative in the eye.
Q7. Who are your longest SEO clients?
An agency that knows its SEO and how to deliver outstanding customer service will love this question. They’ll mention some familiar names, say they’ve been working together for x number of years, and (quite possibly) suggest someone to give a testimonial. An agency that doesn’t know its SEO (or how to give quality customer service) will be silent, or fudge an answer. Again, that agency isn’t for you.
You’ll see below the impact of quality SEO support. These examples are from the work by Quentosity’s New Zealand SEO agency partner Found.
- For The Hotel Grand Chancellor, a 93% increase in revenue via online bookings, and a 3,600 increase in Google Search Rankings.
- For supplement company Testo, a 3,491% increase in online sales and 3,202% increase in revenue.
- For finance company Unity, a 156% increase in organic search traffic and 88 place increase in rankings.
One final piece of advice on hiring an SEO specialist
Check reviews for the agency. As many as you can, across as many platforms as you can. And don’t be afraid to contact the reviewer and ask if they’ll talk to you about the service they received. A good SEO agency will have nothing to fear about this. A bad one will. Good luck.