25 Critical Questions to Ask Before Hiring an SEO Agency

Explore 25 critical questions to ask before hiring an SEO agency. This approach will help you pick a company that drives sustainable growth and conversions.

Hiring an SEO agency

25 Critical Questions to Ask Before Hiring an SEO Agency

You’ve finally made the bold decision to elevate your business by hiring an SEO agency! 

Now, all that’s left is to ask the right questions to pick an agency that aligns with your goals.

Guess what? 
We’re here to simplify this process for you.

In this guide, we explore 25 compelling questions to ask before hiring an SEO agency, along with the ideal answers. With this information at your disposal, you’ll be well-equipped to select an SEO partner who can drive sustainable traffic growth and conversions.

Let’s get started!

25 Questions to Ask Before Hiring an SEO Agency

Here are the questions that will guide you through evaluating the expertise of an SEO agency:

  1. How Long Have You Been Providing SEO Services?
  2. How Is Your Approach Different From Other SEO Agencies?
  3. What Types of SEO Strategies Do You Implement?
  4. What Do You Offer Other Than SEO? Do You Offer CRO as Well?
  5. How Do You Know SEO Will Work for Me?
  6. What Monthly Deliverables Can I Expect If I Retain Your Agency?
  7. What Metrics Define “Success” for You?
  8. How Will I Get Updates on Progress?
  9. Do You Have Case Studies I Can Review?
  10. What’s a Realistic Timeframe Before I See Results?
  11. What SEO Tools Do You Use?
  12. How Will I Be Involved in the Process?
  13. What Types of Content Do You Produce?
  14. Can You Show Me Examples of Content You’ve Created for Clients?
  15. How Do You Choose Keywords?
  16. Can You Guarantee That Our Site Will Rank #1 for an Important Search Term?
  17. What Keywords Does Your Website Rank For?
  18. What Backlink Strategy Do You Use?
  19. Do You Use AI in Your Processes?
  20. What Experience Do You Have Working With Companies in My Industry?
  21. Do You Outsource Any of Your Services?
  22. How Do You Stay Up-to-Date on Industry Changes and Google Updates?
  23. How Much Do Your Services Cost and How Do I Pay?
  24. How Long Do I Have to Commit to Your Agency in the Contract?
  25. What Happens If I Choose to Terminate Our Contract?

1. How Long Have You Been Providing SEO Services?

This question helps gauge an SEO agency’s level of experience and track record in the industry. 

A longer history can indicate a depth of knowledge, the ability to adapt to fast-paced changes in SEO practices, and a proven record of delivering results for clients. 

This could also reflect on the agency’s ability to understand and evolve with search engine algorithms. After all, if they’ve survived this long, they’ve had to adapt!

Ideal Answer

A comprehensive response from an SEO agency should cover:

  • Length of Experience: The agency should communicate the duration of its service in the SEO field, which serves as a testament to its stability and accumulated expertise. Ideally, an agency that has been specializing in SEO services for several years will have a deep understanding of the SEO landscape.
  • Adaptability to Changes: The response should include an emphasis on how the agency has adapted to the ever-evolving SEO standards and practices over the years.
  • Evolution of Services: The agency should discuss how its SEO service has evolved over time. This will demonstrate its growth and responsiveness to market needs. For example, the agency might have expanded its offerings from basic SEO tactics to comprehensive strategies that encompass technical SEO and conversion rate optimization (CRO).

2. How Is Your Approach Different From Other SEO Agencies?

This question is essential for discerning an SEO agency’s unique methodology, innovation in strategy, and specific edge in delivering SEO results. 

It makes it easier for you to determine if their strategies align with your objectives and can address the unique challenges of your industry.

Ideal Answer

A well-rounded answer from an SEO agency should highlight several aspects that set their approach apart from competitors:

  • Customized Strategies: A leading agency prioritizes tailored strategies over one-size-fits-all solutions. It differentiates itself by developing customized SEO plans that are aligned with the client’s business goals and target audience.
  • Integrating SEO With Business Objectives: A top-tier agency should highlight the importance of integrating good SEO strategies with overall business goals, rather than viewing SEO in isolation. This strategic approach not only boosts visibility but also enhances lead conversion and sales — contributing significantly to both short-term achievements and long-term brand authority and engagement.
  • Focus on Content Quality and Relevance: The agency’s response should emphasize the quality and relevance of content over mere quantity. Additionally, its content strategy should aim to engage your audience and provide genuine value, instead of merely aiming to appeal to search engines.
  • Ongoing Optimization and Reporting: A reputable agency or SEO specialist will tell you that SEO is a continual and evolving process. So, this means you need to partner with a company that prioritizes ongoing optimization and transparent reporting. 

3. What Types of SEO Strategies Do You Implement?

Asking about the types of SEO strategies an agency implements offers insight into the breadth and depth of its expertise. It helps you understand whether the agency has a comprehensive approach that covers all facets of SEO — from technical optimizations to content marketing

The variety and sophistication of the strategies employed can significantly influence the effectiveness of your SEO efforts, impacting everything from your site’s visibility in search engine results to the quality of traffic and user engagement.

Ideal Answer

The ideal response should detail a range of strategies, illustrating the agency’s holistic approach to SEO:

  • On-Page SEO: On-page optimization tactics are fundamental. This means an SEO agency should talk about its approach to optimizing individual web pages to rank higher. This involves strategic keyword placement in titles, meta descriptions, headers, and within the content itself.
  • Off-Page SEO: While off-page SEO remains a key component, modern agencies understand that tactics such as link-building are no longer as pivotal. This is due to search engines increasingly prioritizing factors like content relevance and user interaction over mere link quantity. So, a forward-thinking agency will emphasize fostering organic growth and establishing content authority — significantly reducing reliance on extensive backlink campaigns. This sets them apart from other agencies that continue to focus on traditional link-building methods.
  • Local SEO: Local SEO is vital for businesses targeting local customers. An agency should describe its strategies for optimizing a client’s online presence for local search, including managing Google My Business listings, acquiring local citations, and optimizing for local keywords.
  • Technical SEO: An agency should stress the importance of a solid technical foundation for SEO success. It should conduct extensive technical audits to identify and rectify any issues that might impede search engine indexing or user experience. Key aspects of this include optimizing site speed, ensuring mobile-friendliness, securing the site with HTTPS, and improving site architecture.

4. What Do You Offer Other Than SEO? Do You Offer CRO as Well?

This question allows you to understand the full range of services an SEO agency offers beyond traditional search engine optimization. 

Services beyond SEO can enhance the effectiveness of your online presence by ensuring all aspects of your digital marketing work together cohesively. Specifically, asking about CRO is important because it focuses on optimizing the website to increase the percentage of visitors who convert into customers, which is ultimately the goal of most SEO efforts.

Ideal Answer

A well-rounded agency should offer a comprehensive suite of services to complement its search engine optimization strategies:

  • Content Marketing: For a well-rounded approach, the agency might consider expanding its offerings to include content marketing services (such as distribution and promotion across diverse channels). This approach helps clients engage their audience, establish authority, and drive inbound traffic from sources beyond organic search.
  • Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO): A leading agency should highlight the importance of integrating CRO with SEO efforts. That’s because this strategy converts visitors into leads and customers effectively — maximizing the ROI of SEO investments. The agency may also discuss how it analyzes user behavior, conducts A/B testing, and optimizes landing pages to ensure higher conversion rates.
  • Pay-Per-Click Advertising (Google Ads): While SEO focuses on organic growth, Pay-Per-Click (PPC) advertising can offer immediate visibility in search engines. So, it could be great if the agency combines Google ads or paid search with SEO to boost visibility and conversions efficiently.
  • Email Marketing: Effective email marketing can nurture leads and enhance customer retention. If the agency offers email marketing services, then that would help complement SEO and CRO efforts.
  • Web Design and Web Development: An SEO agency might offer web design and web development services to create aesthetically pleasing and user-friendly websites. These services ensure that the website not only attracts visitors through SEO but also keeps them engaged, reduces bounce rates, and enhances user experience.

5. How Do You Know SEO Will Work for Me?

This question targets the confidence and credibility of an SEO agency in delivering tangible results. A reliable agency should be able to provide a reasoned expectation of success, based on a combination of industry experience, analytical assessments, and proven track records.

Ideal Answer

A comprehensive response should highlight several key areas that an agency considers to ensure SEO can work effectively for a client:

  • Detailed Initial Assessment: An agency should start by conducting a thorough assessment of your website, industry, competition, and existing online presence. This assessment will enable it to tailor its SEO strategies effectively to meet your specific needs.
  • Proven Track Record of Success: The agency should illustrate its success with concrete examples. For example, at Startup Voyager, we’ve helped notable clients in the SaaS industry (like ClickUp) and FinTech sectors (like Vinovest) to significantly increase their organic traffic and conversions. Our strategies have helped clients surpass industry giants without the need for expensive backlink acquisition strategies. But don’t take our word for it —  check out our client testimonials.
  • Adaptability to Various Industries: A versatile agency should have experience in adapting good SEO strategies across different industries. This demonstrates the agency’s ability to make SEO work for any client.

6. What Monthly Deliverables Can I Expect If I Retain Your Agency?

This question helps set clear expectations between your business and an SEO agency regarding the scope of work and frequency of updates. It helps you understand how the agency plans to keep you informed about their efforts and the progress of your SEO campaign.

Ideal Answer

The ideal response from an SEO company should detail a comprehensive set of deliverables that cover various aspects of the SEO process:

  • SEO Performance Reports: The agency should offer detailed monthly reports that track key performance indicators (KPIs), such as organic traffic, rankings for targeted keywords, conversion rates, and other relevant metrics. These reports should also provide insights into what’s working and where there’s room for improvement.
  • Content Creation and Optimization Updates: A good SEO agency should provide a summary of the content created and optimized during the month. For example, it could deliver a specified number of blog posts, landing pages, or updated web pages each month.
  • Technical SEO Audit Updates: If applicable, the agency should offer monthly updates on any technical SEO improvements made to your website. This might encompass enhancements to site speed, mobile responsiveness, or the resolution of crawl errors — ensuring your site’s foundation remains solid and search-engine friendly.
  • Keyword Research and Strategy Adjustments: A reliable agency should offer updates on any new keyword opportunities identified and how they are being incorporated into your ongoing SEO strategy. This includes adjustments based on search trend analyses, competitor movements, and performance data.
  • Action Plan: An SEO company should provide a forward-looking action plan detailing the focus areas and activities planned for the coming month. This not only keeps clients informed about the next steps, but also ensures that the SEO strategy is proactive and dynamic.

7. What Metrics Define “Success” for You?

This question is important because it addresses how an SEO agency measures the effectiveness of its strategies and the value it delivers to your large or small business. 

The metrics an agency prioritizes for defining success can reveal its alignment with your SEO goals — whether that’s boosting traffic, enhancing brand visibility, improving engagement, or increasing conversions. So, understanding these metrics can ensure that the agency’s efforts and your expectations are in sync.

Ideal Answer

A reputable SEO provider should focus on a variety of metrics that collectively offer a comprehensive view of the success of an SEO campaign:

  • Organic Traffic Growth: One of the primary indicators of a successful SEO campaign is an increase in organic traffic. So, an agency should track the volume of visitors from organic search results and strive for consistent growth.
  • Keyword Rankings: An agency should actively track the rankings for a curated list of keywords relevant to your business. Additionally, the agency should strive to consistently achieve and maintain high visibility for those keywords in the search engine results pages.
  • Conversion Rates: Beyond attracting visitors, it’s important for an agency to convert site traffic into leads or customers. Additionally, it should monitor conversion rates and continuously optimize its strategies to ensure the effectiveness of its SEO efforts.
  • User Engagement Metrics: An agency should closely monitor engagement metrics such as average session duration, pages per session, and bounce rate. This helps gauge how effectively content resonates with an audience.
  • Customer Acquisition Cost (CAC) and Return on Investment (ROI): An agency should assess the cost-effectiveness of SEO by analyzing both CAC and the overall ROI from SEO efforts. It should also aim to optimize these financial metrics to demonstrate the tangible value of its SEO strategies.

8. How Will I Get Updates on Progress?

This question is essential because it clarifies the communication process between you and the SEO agency. 

Clear communication and regular updates are vital for transparency. They allow you to stay informed about what’s being done on your behalf and how these actions impact your online presence.

Ideal Answer

A comprehensive communication plan from an SEO agency should include various methods:

  • Regular Reporting: Agencies should provide detailed monthly or quarterly reports (based on the agreement). These could cover key performance indicators (KPIs), including organic traffic, keyword rankings, conversion rates, and more.
  • Meetings or Calls for Strategy Review: Beyond written reports, an agency should dedicate time for meetings or calls to discuss progress and updates.
  • Email Updates: An agency can use email updates for more immediate communications, like sharing quick wins.
  • Dedicated Account Manager: A good SEO agency should provide a dedicated account manager or point of contact to ensure that you always know whom to reach out to with questions or updates.
  • Project Management Tools: A reliable agency should employ communication and project management tools (like ClickUp and Slack) to facilitate smoother communication and collaboration. The agency may invite you to join them on these platforms for a more integrated approach to project tracking and updates.

9. Do You Have Case Studies I Can Review?

Case studies provide concrete examples of the agency’s work — showcasing its strategies in action and the results achieved for other clients. They can help you gauge the agency’s experience in your industry, its approach to overcoming challenges, and its ability to deliver measurable outcomes. 

If the company doesn’t have case studies available, ask for client testimonials to gauge their reputation and client satisfaction.

Ideal Answer

Here are the ideal responses you should get from a reliable SEO agency:

  • Case Studies With Diverse Industry Experience: The agency should have case studies from a variety of industries, demonstrating its ability to adapt strategies to different markets and challenges. Each case study should offer insights into the specific strategies employed and the rationale behind them. Also, it’s essential that case studies include quantifiable results to illustrate the agency’s effectiveness.
  • Client Testimonials: If the agency doesn’t have case studies, it should provide evidence of client satisfaction through testimonials. Client testimonials can demonstrate a proven track record of meeting client expectations and delivering substantial results in various SEO initiatives.

10. What’s a Realistic Timeframe Before I See Results?

SEO is known for requiring patience and consistent effort over time, as results don’t happen overnight. So, this question sets realistic expectations about the timeline for seeing tangible results.

The timeframe for seeing significant improvements depends on numerous factors, including the current state of your website, the competitiveness of your industry, and the specific goals you’re aiming to achieve. Understanding the realistic timeline helps in planning and managing expectations for both your business and the SEO agency.

Ideal Answer

A responsible SEO agency should provide a nuanced answer that considers various factors affecting the timeline:

  • Initial Assessment: The agency should start by conducting an initial assessment of your website’s current SEO health. For instance, this might include evaluating your site’s existing content, technical SEO foundation, and link profile to understand the starting point. This assessment helps in setting a more accurate timeline for seeing results.
  • Short-Term Wins vs Long-Term Strategy: It’s important to differentiate between early improvements and achieving long-term SEO goals. A reputed SEO agency will tell you that some minor improvements and “quick wins” (like ranking for long-tail keywords) may be visible within the first few months. But substantial and sustainable growth typically requires at least 6 to 12 months of consistent effort.
  • Industry Competitiveness: An SEO agency or an SEO specialist will tell you that the level of competition within your industry can significantly impact the timeline. In highly competitive sectors, it may take longer to see major changes in rankings and traffic. At Startup Voyager, we set expectations based on your market landscape — ensuring you have a realistic understanding of the journey ahead.

11. What SEO Tools Do You Use?

This question helps gauge an SEO agency’s technical capability, efficiency, and approach to data analysis. 

In fact, the tools an agency uses can significantly impact the effectiveness of its SEO strategies — from keyword research and competitive analysis to technical audits and performance tracking.

High-quality, industry-standard tools enable agencies to glean deeper insights, automate time-consuming processes, and provide accurate, actionable data. So, understanding the tools in an agency’s arsenal offers a glimpse into its professionalism and how seriously it takes its craft.

Ideal Answer

A well-equipped SEO agency should use a variety of tools to cover all aspects of SEO work efficiently:

  • Keyword Research and Analysis: A trustworthy agency should use tools like Ahrefs, SEMrush, or Google Keyword Planner to identify valuable search terms and understand search behavior.
  • Technical SEO Audit: SEO agencies usually leverage advanced tools like Screaming Frog SEO Spider, Moz, or DeepCrawl to perform a comprehensive technical SEO audit.
  • On-Page SEO Optimization: Trusted SEO agencies use a variety of tools like Yoast SEO, the All In One SEO (AIOSEO) plugin, and Surfer SEO for on-page optimizations.
  • Backlink Analysis: To develop a robust link-building strategy, an SEO agency may use an SEO tool like Majestic or Ahrefs.
  • Content Analysis and Optimization: An SEO agency should discuss how it employs advanced tools that ensure the relevance and quality of content. For example, it may use Clearscope to analyze top-performing content and receive recommendations that improve its strategies. 
  • Analytics and Performance Tracking: The agency should leverage tools like Google Analytics and Google Search Console to track website performance and understand user interactions.
  • Local SEO Management: If the agency focuses on local search visibility, it may use tools like BrightLocal and Moz Local to manage listings, monitor local search rankings, and manage reviews.

12. How Will I Be Involved in the Process?

This question is crucial for establishing the nature of the partnership between you and the SEO agency. Understanding how you’ll be involved ensures a transparent relationship, aligns expectations, and ensures a successful SEO campaign.

Ideal Answer

An SEO agency that’s committed to a collaborative partnership should outline various ways you’ll be involved in the process:

  • Initial Discovery and Strategy Sessions: At the outset, the agency should conduct comprehensive discovery sessions to understand your business, goals, target audience, and any specific challenges you face.
  • Regular Progress Meetings: Scheduled progress meetings or calls should be a standard part of the process. These sessions provide an opportunity for you to receive updates, ask questions, and discuss any adjustments to the strategy.
  • Approval Processes: For key aspects of the SEO campaign, such as content creation, the agency might require your input or approval before proceeding. For instance, the agency may work closely with you to ensure the content aligns with your brand’s voice.
  • Providing Business Insights: Your insights into your industry, customer behavior, and competitor landscape are invaluable. So, the agency may encourage you to share relevant information that could impact the SEO strategy.
  • Feedback Loop: Maintaining an open and continuous feedback loop is crucial for refining strategies and achieving ongoing improvements. The SEO agency may encourage you to regularly share your feedback on any of its SEO campaigns. Based on your input, it may adjust its approach as necessary to meet your goals more effectively.

13. What Types of Content Do You Produce?

This question helps you understand the SEO agency’s content capabilities, which play a critical role in any effective SEO strategy. If an agency can produce different types of content, it showcases its ability to customize strategies for different objectives, platforms, and audiences.

Ideal Answer

An SEO agency should offer a broad spectrum of content types to address different needs and goals:

  • Blog Posts and Articles: These are foundational to any content strategy because they provide valuable information or insights to your audience. So, a reliable SEO agency should create engaging and SEO-optimized blog posts that address the needs of your target audience.
  • Landing Pages: An SEO agency should be committed to crafting landing pages that compel visitors to take specific actions, such as making a purchase or signing up for a newsletter.
  • Long-Form Content: SEO agencies might also provide long-form content like white papers or e-books. Not only does this provide in-depth information, but also helps establish thought leadership.
  • Infographics and Visual Content: Visuals like infographics, charts, and graphs can make complex information more accessible and shareable. So in some cases, the SEO agency may create visually appealing content that complements your textual content.
  • Video Content: An SEO expert may capitalize on the rising popularity of video by incorporating it into your SEO strategy. For example, they may create video content that resonates with your audience, such as explainer videos, testimonials, or product demos.
  • Social Media Content: The agency may focus on creating tailored content for social media to enhance your brand’s reach and engagement. By aligning these strategies with your overall SEO efforts, this could ensure a cohesive and effective online presence.
  • Email Newsletters: Regular email newsletters nurture leads and keep your audience informed and engaged. So, it’d be convenient if the SEO provider could design and execute email marketing campaigns that deliver value to your subscribers.

14. Can You Show Me Examples of Content You’ve Created for Clients?

When considering an SEO agency, it’s important to evaluate the range and quality of their content.

A prospective SEO partner should be able to showcase their expertise in content creation. While some work may be under confidentiality agreements, the agency should still have some shareable content.

If they are unable to provide examples promptly, it raises concerns about their experience or could signal that they don’t have clients.

Things to Consider

If the agency provides examples of client work, here are some of the things to look out for:

  • Blog Posts: Look for well-researched and engaging articles that provide real value to readers, not just keyword-stuffed text.
  • Landing Pages: Evaluate how persuasive and clear the landing pages are. Excellent landing pages should be visually appealing and have a strong call to action.
  • Infographics and Visuals: Check for creativity and the ability to present information in an easily digestible format.
  • Video Content: Request examples of video content and assess production quality. Also, check how the video content effectively communicates a particular message or tells a story.
  • Case Studies or White Papers: Assess these to discover the agency’s deep research skills and ability to provide detailed, actionable insights.

15. How Do You Choose Keywords?

Selecting the right keywords is crucial for any effective SEO strategy. It significantly impacts your website’s ability to draw in relevant traffic and secure rankings for key searches. 

The method an agency employs to choose keywords showcases its grasp of the market, competitive landscape, and SEO trends. It also demonstrates their skill in striking a balance between ambition (aiming for high-traffic keywords), realism (choosing keywords your site is likely to rank for), and relevance (selecting keywords that attract the intended audience).

Ideal Answer

A comprehensive approach to keyword research should involve several key steps:

  • Understanding Business Goals and Audience: The agency’s approach should start with a comprehensive understanding of your objectives and the target audience.
  • Competitor Analysis: An effective strategy should involve a detailed competitor keyword analysis to spot both opportunities and gaps in the market.
  • Search Intent Analysis: The agency should understand search intent and choose keywords that match the specific needs and behaviors of your potential customers.
  • Long-Tail Keyword Focus: Agencies should highlight the importance of targeting long-tail keywords as they are more likely to drive targeted, high-converting traffic.

16. Can You Guarantee That Our Site Will Rank #1 for an Important Search Term?

This question tests the agency’s integrity and understanding of SEO. It helps you differentiate between agencies that promise unrealistic outcomes to win business, and those that set realistic expectations and focus on sustainable, long-term strategies.

Ideal Answer

A responsible and ethical SEO agency’s response should encompass the following points:

  • Emphasis on the Complexity of Search Algorithms: An agency should explain that specific rankings, like a #1 position, cannot be guaranteed due to search engine algorithms’ complexity and volatility. Anyone who tells you otherwise is likely not being honest with you, unless they can provide evidence. For example, at Startup Voyager, we’ve consistently helped our clients reach top positions for key search terms, and we have the data to back it up.
  • Focus on Sustainable Strategies: The agency’s approach should emphasize sustainable SEO strategies over quick wins. For instance, it should concentrate on implementing comprehensive SEO practices that are designed to improve overall site health, relevance, and authority. This approach is more likely to result in significant, lasting improvements in rankings across a broad set of valuable keywords.
  • Measuring Success Beyond Rankings: An agency should also highlight the importance of looking at a wide array of performance metrics beyond just keyword rankings. (We’ve covered the vital metrics to track earlier in this guide.).

17. What Keywords Does Your Website Rank For?

Asking an SEO agency about the keywords their own website ranks for is insightful for a few reasons. For starters, it serves as a direct reflection of their SEO expertise and effectiveness in applying their strategies to their own online presence. 

Ranking well for relevant industry keywords not only showcases the agency’s SEO capabilities but also indicates their understanding of and authority within the SEO market. This can provide you with a practical demonstration of their skills and the potential impact of their work on your large or small business.

Ideal Answer

Below are the responses you should expect from a trusted SEO agency:

  • Transparency About Keyword Rankings: An agency should be open about sharing some of the primary keywords their site ranks for, especially those that are highly relevant to their services and industry. This could include terms related to their core offerings, such as “SEO services,” “content marketing agency,” or specific niches they serve. 
  • Contextualizing Rankings: It could be beneficial if the agency provides context around its rankings. This can demonstrate its strategic thinking and persistence in navigating SEO challenges.
  • Evidence of Continuous Optimization: The agency should discuss how it continuously optimizes its site to improve rankings and align with the latest search engine algorithms.
  • Using Rankings to Drive Business Goals: Finally, the agency should explain how its rankings align with and support its business goals. For instance, it could focus on business objectives like attracting relevant leads or establishing thought leadership.

18. What Backlink Strategy Do You Use?

A backlink (a link to your website) can influence your website’s authority and its rankings in search engine results pages (SERPs). Backlinks from reputable and relevant sites can significantly boost your site’s visibility and credibility.

However, the importance of building backlinks has shifted. Today, search engines place greater emphasis on quality content and user engagement rather than the sheer number of backlinks.

But if you’re interested in link-building, asking about it can help you gauge an SEO agency’s approach to building and managing backlinks.

Ideal Answer

A reliable SEO agency should detail a multifaceted and ethical backlink strategy that includes:

  • Content-Driven Link Building: A significant part of a sustainable backlink strategy involves creating valuable, high-quality content that attracts backlinks naturally. For instance, the agency could produce compelling content like in-depth articles that others in your industry will want to link to.
  • Outreach and Relationships: The agency may focus on building genuine relationships with influencers, bloggers, and industry-related websites. Their strategy should involve presenting valuable content to encourage natural sharing and linking.
  • Leveraging Social Media and Forums: The agency may use social media and industry forums to promote content, drive direct traffic, and increase the likelihood of earning backlinks.
  • Monitoring and Managing Backlink Profile: Finally, the agency should ensure that all link-building practices comply with search engine guidelines. It should regularly monitor your site’s backlink profile and eliminate any toxic or harmful links that could negatively impact your SEO.

19. Do You Use AI in Your Processes?

Asking about the use of AI in an SEO agency’s processes is insightful for several reasons. For example, it can give you a glimpse into its efficiency, innovation level, and ability to stay competitive in a rapidly evolving digital landscape.

Ideal Answer

A forward-thinking SEO agency should clearly articulate how they integrate AI into their processes:

  • AI in Content Creation: AI can support content creation by generating ideas, outlines, or even draft content for further refinement. Now, an SEO agency may highlight that it explores AI-assisted content creation to streamline workflow and inspire creativity. However, the agency should also assure you that the final content passes through expert human review for quality assurance.
  • Data Analysis and Insights: An agency should highlight how they use AI to analyze vast amounts of data for deeper insights into SEO performance, market trends, and user behavior.
  • Automation of Routine Tasks: The agency should mention how it leverages AI to automate routine tasks. This could include activities like automating SEO reporting and optimizing on-page elements.
  • Predictive Analysis: Agencies might employ AI for predictive analysis to forecast future trends that may impact your SEO strategy. This enables proactive adjustments to stay ahead of industry shifts and search algorithm updates.
  • Personalization and User Experience: An agency should describe how it uses AI to enhance website personalization and user experience. For example, AI can analyze user data and help customize website content. This could significantly improve engagement and conversion rates.

20. What Experience Do You Have Working With Companies in My Industry?

This question helps gauge the agency’s familiarity with the unique challenges and opportunities in your industry. An agency with direct experience in your field is likely to have a deeper understanding of your target audience and industry-specific keywords and SEO trends.

Ideal Answer

When considering an SEO agency’s experience with companies in your specific industry, you should expect a response that includes:

  • Industry-Specific Expertise: In the response, the agency should demonstrate a deep familiarity and experience working within your industry. It should also highlight an understanding of the unique challenges and opportunities it presents.
  • Evidence of Success Within Your Industry: It’s important that the agency provides tangible evidence of SEO success within your industry, such as case studies or testimonials.

21. Do You Outsource Any of Your Services?

This helps you understand which aspects of your SEO strategy will be handled by the agency’s in-house team and which might be managed by third-party providers. This can affect the consistency of the work, the level of expertise applied to different tasks, and the lines of communication.

Knowing about outsourcing practices can also give you insights into the agency’s strengths, focus areas, and how they ensure quality across all services offered.

Ideal Answer

Here’s what you should expect in an ideal response:

  • Core Competencies In-House: An SEO agency should emphasize the importance of maintaining core competencies within its in-house team. This ensures that strategic elements of SEO are managed by experts who fully understand the agency’s methodologies and client goals. For example, at Startup Voyager, we handle all your SEO needs in-house and deliver high-quality services that align with your goals.
  • Strategic Outsourcing When Necessary: It’s common for agencies to outsource specialized tasks that require niche expertise or to enhance scalability during peak periods. The ideal agency approach should be strategic about what is outsourced — ensuring any external partners align with the agency’s standards and client expectations. Additionally, agencies should clearly communicate which parts of their services are outsourced and how they maintain quality and accountability.

22. How Do You Stay Up-to-Date on Industry Changes and Google Updates?

Keeping up-to-date with industry changes and Google Search updates is essential for the success of any SEO agency. It’s indicative of an agency’s agility in adapting its strategies in response to the ever-evolving search landscape.

Ideal Answer

An agency’s commitment to staying relevant should be demonstrated through several key practices:

  • Internal Knowledge Sharing: An agency should foster an environment where knowledge is freely shared among team members. This allows the entire team to stay informed and apply the latest strategies effectively across all client projects. At Startup Voyager, we conduct regular internal briefings and workshops to ensure our team is equipped with the most current SEO tactics and tools.
  • External Training Sessions and Conferences: An ideal agency should emphasize its investment in continuous learning opportunities for its team, such as webinars, conferences, and courses.
  • Industry Publications and News: It’s crucial to stay informed through leading SEO and digital marketing publications. So, an ideal SEO agency should highlight that its team members regularly consume content from top publications like Search Engine Journal, Moz Blog, and Search Engine Land. This ensures members stay updated on the latest industry news and insights.
  • Active Community Engagement: An SEO expert could decide to actively engage with the broader SEO community through forums and social media groups. This involvement is invaluable for gaining real-time insights and engaging in peer exchanges.

23. How Much Do Your Services Cost, and How Do I Pay?

Understanding the cost structure for an SEO service helps you plan your marketing budget accordingly. Additionally, clear payment terms help avoid future misunderstandings — ensuring a smooth relationship between you and the agency.

Ideal Answer

An SEO agency’s response should clearly outline its pricing model and payment processes:

  • Transparent Pricing Structure: Initially, an agency should provide a clear and detailed explanation of its pricing structure. This could be project-based, monthly retainer fees, or performance-based pricing. For example, at Startup Voyager, we offer a variety of pricing plans designed to meet the diverse needs of our clients. Our plans are transparently outlined — ensuring clients understand what services are included at each price point.
  • Customization Based on Scope: An SEO agency will usually charge you based on the scope of the services required, including the size of your website, the competitiveness of the industry, and specific goals. At Startup Voyager, we assess each client’s unique needs during our initial consultation to tailor a package that provides the best value.
  • Payment Options: Agencies should offer flexible payment options to accommodate different business preferences. 

24. How Long Do I Have to Commit to Your Agency in the Contract?

This question helps you understand your level of commitment and flexibility when engaging with an SEO agency. Knowing the length of the contract also helps you plan and budget for SEO services.

Ideal Answer

Here are the ideal responses you should get from a reputable SEO agency:

  • Clear Terms and Conditions: An ideal response from an SEO agency should clearly outline the contract duration, including any minimum commitment periods. It should also detail payment schedules, deliverables, and any potential additional costs upfront.
  • Initial Consultation and Customization: Before finalizing any contract, an agency should conduct an in-depth consultation to understand your business goals and SEO needs. The agency should then tailor its contract terms accordingly — ensuring they align with your specific objectives and budget.

25. What Happens If I Choose to Terminate Our Contract?

This helps you understand your options and the potential implications of ending the partnership before the contract term expires. It helps assess the flexibility of the agency’s contractual terms and their commitment to client satisfaction and resolution.

Ideal Answer

An SEO agency’s response should address several key aspects of contract termination:

  • Transparent Cancellation Policy: Initially, an agency should provide a clear and straightforward explanation of its cancellation policy, which should be outlined in the contract.
  • Process for Termination: The agency should describe the procedural steps involved in contract termination. For instance, this may include giving written notice within a designated time frame.
  • Handling of Incomplete Work: An SEO agency should explain how incomplete work or ongoing projects will be managed when you terminate the contract. For instance, the agency may provide detailed documentation of all ongoing activities and deliver any completed work up to the point of termination.
  • Final Reporting and Handover: Upon contract termination, a responsible agency should provide a final report and handover of any assets or data collected during the engagement.
  • Feedback and Resolution: The agency might also seek feedback on the reasons behind the decision to terminate. This could be an opportunity for them to resolve any issues or improve services.
  • Future Re-Engagement: Lastly, the agency could discuss the possibility of re-engagement in the future. This helps maintain a positive relationship even if the current contract ends.

Drive Massive Traffic and ROI With the Right SEO Agency

Selecting the right SEO agency is pivotal for your online success. To make an informed decision, make sure to ask all the vital questions we’ve covered.

And if you’re ready to make your life easier, partner with a reputed Content and SEO agency like Startup Voyager!

Why choose us?
We tick all the right boxes when it comes to the answers you should expect from a reliable SEO agency:

  • Several years of experience specializing in SEO ✅
  • Demonstrated adaptability to changes in the SEO landscape ✅
  • Keyword research and strategy adjustments ✅
  • Customized strategies tailored to client business goals ✅
  • Ongoing optimization and transparent reporting ✅
  • Comprehensive SEO Strategies (Technical SEO and On-Page SEO) ✅
  • Additional services (like conversion rate optimization) ✅
  • Detailed monthly SEO performance reports ✅
  • Scheduled strategy review meetings or calls ✅
  • Use of industry-standard SEO and analytics tools (e.g., Google Search Console, Google Analytics, and an SEO tool like Ahrefs) ✅
  • No outsourcing of SEO services ✅
  • Transparent pricing structure and customizable contracts based on client needs ✅
  • Straightforward contract cancellation policy with prior notice ✅
  • And much more…

To top that off, we help you rank fast, get massive traffic, and drive millions in revenue. And if that sounds too good to be true, contact us so we can show you our achievements. 

While at it, get a gist of our exceptional SEO capabilities through client testimonials from businesses in sectors like FinTech, SaaS, and automotive, among others.

Fun Fact:
Unlike most agencies, we don’t rely on link building to take you to the top of the Google Search results. In fact, we consistently outrank industry giants like G2, Forbes, and Amazon with zero backlinks! 

Ready to elevate your organic traffic and conversions? 
Get in touch with Startup Voyager to discover how our top-notch SEO services can contribute to your success.

About Startup Voyager


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