Must ask questions for your SEO agency

Nowadays it’s vital for every business to be partnering with a digital or SEO agency.

Why? Because if your reliant on Google for leads & your wanting a conversion focused website to attract customers then a SEO or digital agency is the answer.

Still to our amazement, nearly 50% of businesses still do not use a digital agency. How bizarre is that?

When you work with a digital / SEO agency you get to decide on an online marketing plan and implement this. Working with a digital agency means that you can quickly ramp up your online efforts by scaling up your SEO, content marketing, social media as well as the all important conversion rate optimisation. Focusing your energies here will quickly drive new business in the insanely competitive online space.

Finding the right agency to partner with is often difficult. You have to find the right one that is big on communication and big on results. You can’t have one without the other. A digital agency has to be in tune with your business goals, and be on the same page when it comes to this.

A massive problem for most businesses is the range of choice they have when it comes to picking the right digital partner. It can get confusing and a lot of people end up choosing a complete dud.

Wondering what to ask your SEO marketing agency? Here are some great questions.

1) Why is your agency good for us?

Don’t believe everything they tell you. Yes, they might have achieved great results for a couple of companies but will they be able to work with you and your business culture? How do they communicate and does it seem like the right fit? Do they work with large clients and perhaps as a small business you might not get the attention you want.

Most of all don’t get overly impressed with technical jargon that’s spewed out by them. A lot of what they say is there to impress you. The aim here is to find a digital agency that seems like the right fit.

2) What is their unique selling point?

All agencies should have at least 1 USP. This is where you ask them this question and get them to sell it to you. If your not liking the answer, you can easily look elsewhere. Again, look for the right fit. Someone your comfortable with that can also show you tangible results.

3) Can you help me reach my business goals?

All businesses have different goals and you have to find an agency that understands this. Be direct, be blunt and see if they can help you get to where you want to be. Ideally you want an agency to be a partner that can address your digital marketing concerns quickly and communicate how they are helping you each month.

They need to be taking a proactive approach to this by looing at your competition, seeing what they are doing online and then make sure they are doing it better.

Most businesses goals are more customers, more revenue & growth and this must be part of your agencies strategy as well. If they are just about simple link building without a digital strategy then this is not the path you should go down. That’s old school SEO & you definitely don’t want to be part of this.

4) How fast are they to respond?

Ask them how quickly they respond to changes in your industry. If there is a new product or service how fast are they to take this on board and promote it?

Digital agencies have to be dynamic and respond immediately to the shifting business environment. Ask them also how quick they are to respond to your emails. If they say within a couple of hours this is a good sign.

If you start using them and they slacken off with response times you can always refer them back to this question. In my opinion, you have to respond that hour. This is the age of high speed internet and you have to be quick. Well at least this is how we operate and conduct our business. We are super fast with our response times. If your agency is slack with communications then it may be time to look elsewhere.

Related post: How to Ditch your SEO agency without it affecting your rankings

5) Do you work with any other clients in my industry?

It’s not bad if they are working with someone in your field. A lot of people would disagree with me and say that it’s a conflict of interest but that’s not true.

Why? Because you know where to get links, you know who the influencers are and you know what content to write. It’s actually an advantage as your agency will already understand how competitive the space is and what’s going on.

6) How are they marketing themselves?

The proof is in the pudding as they say. How are they getting new sales and where do they promote themselves.

You are communicating with them which is a good thing ( so you must have found them online somehow) but ask them for a list of keywords they are trying to rank for and do your own Google search. Make sure their claims are true.

7) Do you know my local market?

When is comes to getting new business local search is so important.

– nearly 50% of searches on Google are for local businesses and companies

– 50% of people that find a business locally will visit the place within 48 hours

-20% of local searches will lead to a buy

This is why you need an agency that has a thorough understanding of your local market and area.

What this means for your business is that it’s best to go with a digital agency that’s nearby; one that knows the area. We are in Surry Hills in Sydney for example, so this means businesses within a 5-10km radius of us should consider us as local.

8) Can I speak to some of your clients?

If they have happy clients they are going to want to tell you about this. In fact, make a few calls and see what experience they’ve had. Also see some of their case studies and check the results for yourself. Also, check a few of their online reviews.

Also, ask them how they have been able to improve rankings, sales and conversions for clients in competitive niches. You might be in such a space as well so you want reassurance that they will be able to deliver on their promise.

9) Who will be my main point of contact?

This is a really important question as you want to be working with someone you get along with. Most likely you would have spoken initially to a suit or account manager with slick sales talk and refined sales tactics. Then, you might be dealing with some tech geek who is bad on their communication and emails.

Ideally, you want to be working with 1 point of contact and be able to establish a good working relationship with them. Also, see if they are able to be contactable by phone or is it all via email? You need rapport and to feel a certain level of trust with this person as after all, they hold the key to your business success.

You also want to see how often they will be providing reports and what level of reporting they provide. Are these monthly or every couple of months? Many SEO agencies will try to hide their work to avoid being scrutinised in depth. Watch out for this!

10) The take away

There are many SEO agencies in Sydney claiming to be what they’re not. In other words they are not really as good as they say they are.

I’ve seen it and heard it all before. I’ve spoken to businesses who have made the mistake of partnering with less than ethical agencies and the results have been horrific.

Choose wisely or contact us here at SEO Sydney Experts on 02 9360 8514 – we will help you turn your sales slump around very quickly with our powerful SEO strategies.

How to Ditch your SEO agency without it affecting your rankings

There are so many people out there worried that if they ditch their current SEO agency then all their rankings will disappear.  This unfortunately may be the case as the back links they have acquired over the duration of the campaign will most likely be terminated or not renewed. This will have the effect of hurting your Google rankings, unless you follow these important steps.

Most people are likely to get rid of their current SEO agency for a number of reasons; they are not able to perform and rank the site on Google, they lied in the beginning and over promised on the likely results they were able to achieve, they charged too much and you are not seeing a return on your investment, or you are simply unhappy with he reporting and customer service.

If any of the above points sound familiar and you are wanting to take the next step and ditch your SEO agency then do it. The longer you wait, the more you put it off, the longer you hold off and procrastinate, the worse it will get. But here’s the catch and i hear this all the time because clients tell me that their SEO agency said this when they threatened to leave. They basically said that they will rip out every link they have ever created which in turn is going to have a seriously bad impact on your Google rankings.

These businesses panic when they hear this and fear that whatever rankings they do have will disappear overnight. But I’m here to tell you don’t worry or stress about this.


Because if your not ranking and not seeing the kind of results you were expecting then the links they have created were probably worthless and they are doing you a big favour by removing these. So if they start rambling on and threatening you that your Google rankings are going to tank if you leave them, just go along with this, let them have their rant and simply move on. Worthless links built by dodgy SEO agencies are in fact doing more harm than good to your website.

But what happens if you are leaving for other reasons and your rankings are not bad? well, this is another scenario and in most cases they will rip out the links they’ve built and this may have an impact on your rankings. To minis the negative impact of this the best thing you can do is move on very quickly and sign up with another SEO agency who can implement their back linking strategy. This will minimise the effect of loss links as new ones are being immediately created.

Think of it like a glass of water with a hole in the bottom. As the water drains out it must be replaced if there is going to be any water left in the cup. Only, quick and immediate action will mitigate any damage caused by loosing links.

The trick here is to get on board with another company that can perform a back link profile to determine the value of the links you will be loosing. I think it’s always best to plan a couple of weeks in advance and get them to do this before you break the bad news to your current SEO team. This way they won’t have touched or removed any links.

What any credible agency will do is to immediately start link building and creating their own solid SEO strategy. You will find that this is the very best approach and you may even find that your rankings will improve very quickly.

I know so may businesses that are simply stuck with their current SEO provider for this 1 main reason. They are petrified to move because they are so fearful that they will loose their rankings. Pointing the above fact out should alleviate some of your fears and trepidation about moving but there is also 1 really important point to make. If your website is a few years old and you have been blogging, content marketing and active on your social media building your brand, then in most cases Google will not penalise your website for lost links. Remember, your website is aged and has a certain trust value when it comes to rankings – so loosing a few links will likely have little or no impact.

If you are feeling paralysed and unable to move due to being threatened by your SEO agency then sit back relax and let another more hands on and credible team look after your internet marketing. Don’t feel pressured or stressed by the loss of links as these can be easily replaced and done very quickly. We know how to get Google to index these newly built links so you get the authority to your website very quickly.

Related article: Why should you trust us with your SEO campaign?

Hope this helps alleviate the worry, but if you are about to jump ship and are having second thoughts please give us a call here at SEO Sydney Experts and I will show you that this is really a simple process.

Five Important Questions to ask your SEO agency before your work with them

If your starting to in business and have never used an SEO agency before then your in for a hell of a ride. Finding the right SEO agency is going to extremely challenging and probably one of the most important tasks you will have to undertake. As the owner of an SEO agency I get phone calls every day from small to medium size business owners all asking the same type of questions. So, as a helpful tool I thought I would provide you with some basic questions your should be grilling your potential SEO partner before your decide to sign up with them.

The stakes and risks for your business at this stage are really high. If you make the wrong decision boy o boy are you going to pay for it later. There are tons of cowboys out there looking to completely rip you off and they are experts at the deceptive sales pitch. If you make the right choice then you are well on your way to getting lots of web traffic from the search engines; especially Google.

Q 1. Do you out source any of your SEO work?

This question is really important as your SEO campaign should really be done by local agencies (preferably within your capital city) who have a thorough understanding of the local economy, business conditions and can write copy targeted to your audience. Far too often businesses (especially those in the SEO space) are somewhat naive when it comes to internet marketing and will believe anything they are told. Unfortunately, it is hard to tell if your SEO is done locally or not but a good barometer of this is to see the type of content they publish for your site. If it sounds gibberish it’s probably been out sourced. Effective web copy should only be done by professional copy writers and these are NOT found in third world countries where blogs and web pages are spewed out en masse.

The reason outsourcing takes place is purely cost related. What happens is that the SEO environment is so competitive that under quoting is rampant in order to get clients. We see agencies quoting ridiculously low prices in order to get business and in order for them to make some money out of this they just outsource it. You as the business owner think you are getting a good deal but in fact you are the one that’s going to suffer. You will never end up getting any Google rankings and you are just bleeding money out on a monthly basis to a group of people that are blatantly lying, misleading and being extremely shifty. If your happy to pay peanuts for your SEO well I’m afraid you are going to end up getting zero results.

It is so hard to prove that they are not outsourcing your work but you will know after 2 or 3 months when your rankings are stagnating and you start to hear all those excuses, coverups and rationalisation that this is Google’s fault that the rankings are dormant, idle and really sluggish. Those SEO agencies like ours at SEO Sydney Experts who do everything in house will show you immediate online gains and improvements in traffic. We are one of the very few that do all our own SEO. Outsourcing is simply not in our DNA.

Q 2. How long have you been in business for?

If they have been doing SEO for less than say 3 years I would be very dubious and wary about working with them. The barriers to entry are really low in this environment and there are new SEO start ups every week. Most of them have absolutely no idea about Google or it’s algorithmic demands and want to enter the market to make a quick buck. again, they will probably tell you they have been in this game for years but the reality is they were probably working in another SEO agency as a sales rep. They built their site using some dodgy WIX or free website and are now operating their own agency looking for the next sucker to come along.

Truth is YOU MUST work with people that have been around for longer than 5 years. Reason being, is that they have seen Google’s algorithm changes over they years and know the nuances that are needed to be compliant. It is so difficult nowadays to be competitive online that you really need an agency who is exceptionally proficient in this space. Newbies ( and Im not saying they do not have a right to be there) need to be transparent with you and tell you exactly the age of their business.

A good idea is to actually meet with them and suss out their office. If they look transient, amateur like even freelancer style I would give them a wide berth.  Sure, they may be cheaper but again, at the end of the day you are going to want tangible and measurable results which these guys will most lily not be able to deliver.

Q 3. Why are you offering a page 1 Google ranking guarantee?

I have spoken a lot about this on my blogs as it really bugs me how many people fall for this scam. Most SEO agencies who say this are simply doing it to reassure you that the money you are paying them month after month has some guarantee behind it. Unfortunately, guarantees are impossible when it comes to Google rankings. Why? Because (and I have stated this many times in the past) Google is a third party and they will never divulge their ranking patterns. Who the hell is any SEO agency going to know what Google is going to do next. Google, with he flick of a switch can completely transform their ranking criteria ( and they do slight modifications constantly)  leaving those useless, impotent guarantees null and void!

My tip here is to stay well clear of any agency even remotely talking about guarantees or pay on performance rankings. Remember these are said to lull you into a false sense of security. They are throw away lines bleeped out by sales people under pressure to meet targets and the only loser will be you.

If you feel  as thought you need these types of guarantees to feel secure I urge you to read their terms and conditions and fine print regarding these guarantees. You will find that I am right and I know what Im talking about. Basically, they will guarantee ranking those keywords that are either branded or super easy to rank. You are probably already on page 1 already and don’t even know it. These guys are well trained scammers and their job is to prey on the vulnerable small business market who are completely naive about these sorts of things. For gods sake I beg you to please watch out for this and call me before you do any signing up with them. I can be reached in my Sydney office on  02 9360 8514.

Related article: The dangers of Pay on Performance SEO

Q 4. Are your reviews real?

When doing your research about your next SEO agency, look at the reviews and I will bet most of them are fake. There are tons of SEO agencies who will immediately write 10 fake great reviews for themselves following 1 real bad one. Be on the look out for this and don’t take all positive reviews on their merit.

Q 5. Why do you have to pay to be on page 1 using Adwords when your an SEO company?

Well, this is a no brainer! Why the hell would you use any SEO company that is paying upwards of $20 per click to do your SEO? This is so counter intuitive and absolutely crazy. These SEO fraudsters who are up there ( in the top 4 paid results) have to justify their spend and will say almost anything (remember my point about guarantees) to get your business and justify their spend.  Their sales people are the best in the business at getting you to sign up with them for a year and they are under some serious pressure from their bosses to meet hefty targets as they will spend thousands per month to be up there. Please if your unsure about this speak to me and I will explain this in greater details as it’s vital you know their sales tricks.

A golden rule there is if they have to pay to be there, forget about even calling them. These ‘so called’ agencies are the worst of the worst and are going to completely rip you off.

Most of the call I get are from people saying that they went with ‘company xyz’ who they saw on the top of Google and are now paying the ultimate price for this bad decision. Be smart and know the difference between paid ads and organic results. This will save you a lot of heartache.

Basically, if your venturing into the SEO space for the first time or have used a company in the past and were cheated,  defrauded, duped and swindled, don’t make the same mistake again!  You really only get 1 shot at this so make it worth your while.