When Should I Start Seeing Results?
Unless your product is paid advertising, the answer should almost be never. Results depend on basically a few things:
- How competitive your market is
- How big your market is (do you compete in cities, states, or nationally/internationally?
- How much money you’re investing into your SEO campaign
- If your website is dated/is being rebuilt
Feel free to ask the person you meet with in your first consultation. They should really understand the fundamentals of these things. There really is a window of time for this kind of thing. If you’re in a smaller market with little competition and you have SEO going strong from the get go, you could see online leads in as little as 3-4 weeks. If you are a small law firm in a big city that has competition pouring tons of cash into their efforts while you’re starting at a modest pace, and you’re attempting to go for short-tail keywords without niche in mind, you may never see results.
So for this question, there truly isn’t any definitive answer, but it is good to ask so you can feel about the person you’re speaking with. You’ll be able to sense more reasonable answers that are in the month range (3-6) typically. Be wary of anyone that says immediately, or even often times “within a month” if they are referring to completely organic methods.
How Transparent Are You?
One of the most important questions you can ask. You want to know exactly what they’re doing. Question “proprietary”. This often involves cryptic link building and being submitted to link directories. Though this still (more or less) stands as a pivotal component of SEO, it is quite easy for SEO companies to sweep this one under the rug and avoid its discussion. It is also easy for them to take advantage of lack of knowledge by excessively using jargon as well as “proprietary” means of earning you traffic. The thing is, yes SEO can get quite complicated. But it doesn’t have to always be presented that way. Ask questions like what kind of reporting will there be? Will you be able to see if your keywords are increasing or decreasing in position? Which keywords work best? In fact, here is a list of questions you could ask regarding reporting, which will help with transparency:
- Will I be able to see where people go on my site?
- Will we be setting up goals?
- Will we try out A/B testing?
Hell, just let them give you Google Analytics access altogether. They should. It is fascinating and you’ll be on it constantly if you get the basics.
Bonus Question: How Many Accounts in My Industry AND Market Do You Have?
This actually may be one of the most important questions you can ask the company. If you are an air conditioning company, and the company you’re working with already has 3 of them in your immediate area, what is their incentive for taking your business to the next level instead of the other ones? More money? You certainly shouldn’t have to shell out more cash just to see slightly better results.
Ideally, an SEO company shouldn’t have ANY other clients like yours in your area. This will ensure that all efforts are genuinely invested in you and there is no issues with conflict of interest. So, this is a very simple question to ask
We hope you found this guide helpful in narrowing down the number of companies to reach out to, and then finding the perfect one during your own, unprecedented “interview process”. Remember, this is your money/time/business/online presence on the line. You want them to do a good job. And we didn’t even thoroughly discuss SEM, or Social Media at all! But don’t be discouraged. If you have any questions whatsoever, please reach out to us. Remember we are passionate about this stuff, love talking about it, love learning about it, and loving doing it. So give us a call or shoot us an e-mail.