If you are thinking about hiring an automotive SEO company to help you with your campaign, there are a number of questions that you should ask before just jumping right into your contract.
Making sure that you and the company are a good fit before making any commitments is the best way to ensure that you and the company both get what you need out of the partnership.
Here are ten questions you can ask your automotive SEO company to make sure they are the right fit for you:
- What will you do to improve our rankings?
Every SEO company has a long list of tactics that they use to improve rankings for their clients.
Your business, however, is unique and needs unique attention.
What works for a local bakery, for example, probably will not work for your dealership.
While they obviously will not be able to give you a full run down of everything they will do to improve your search rankings, they will be able to give you a general idea of what tactics would work best for you and how they will implement them.
- Who are some of your other clients?
Ask this questions for two reasons.
First of all, you want to determine whether or not this company has worked with other businesses like yours.
Second of all, you want to see whether or not the other businesses they have worked with have had results like the ones you want to achieve.
Ideally, you want your dealership as close to the top of relevant search results as it can possibly be.
Have they achieved these results with their other clients?
- How “in the loop” will you keep me?
While one of the benefits of hiring an automotive SEO expert is the ability to largely hand your website and optimization over to them, you likely will still want to be kept in the loop, especially if they are making changes to your website and content. Some companies will not ask for your permission before making changes.
Others will wait for your permission before doing anything.
Determine what their style is and whether or not it works for the level of involvement you’d like to have in the process.
- What do you do about algorithm updates?
Again, this question plays a dual role. First, it will help you determine whether or not this company cares about Google’s best practices and whether or not they care about how algorithm updates affect their clients (which, depending on which tactics they us, updates could be very important).
- Do you use any SEO tools?
There’s nothing wrong with using tools, especially those tools that report and analyze the success of your website and its optimization, but there are some companies that reply too heavily on tools, especially for things like keyword research.
You want to know that they have not tried to fully automate the entire SEO process.
It simply does not work and they will be wasting your time and money if they rely too heavily on these tools and do not do enough of the work by hand.
- How do you quantify success?
When choosing a SEO company, this is an extremely important question.
If they quantify success using a metric that is basically meaningless in the grand scheme of your business (like rating success based on page views, rather than by conversions), you are eventually going to run into a serious problem.
If they think that their strategies are successful just because more people are coming to your dealership’s website, even if you are not actually seeing more people in your showroom, there is a disconnect there that will cost you money and ultimately not help you improve your business.
- Can you get us a number one rank?
Anyone who promises to get you a number one ranking spot, especially within a very short amount of time, is selling SEO snake oil.
No SEO expert will guarantee the top spot.
Because it is impossible to know exactly what is in Google’s algorithm right now and how it will change in the future.
While we do have a good idea of how the algorithm works, based on observing what improves the rankings of other websites, there’s no way to know exactly what rank you’ll get, even with great SEO.
- What do your fees look like and what do I get for each level of the payment structure?
Most companies use a tiered payment structure, offering different levels or amounts of services at each level of payment.
Whether they offer this type of payment structure or not, it is still important for you to ask what exactly your money is getting you before you actually sign a contract.
- How will your SEO tie into our entire marketing campaign?
It is important for SEO and marketing to work hand in hand.
A good SEO company will realize that and will look for ways that optimization and offline marketing can work together.
Many SEO companies will actually act as marketing companies themselves, calling themselves digital or inbound marketing experts, instead of just SEO experts.
- How do you fix penalized sites?
Even if your site does not currently have a penalty, this is still something that is important to ask.
A penalty can come out of nowhere, at any time, and for no reason, killing all of the hard work your automotive SEO company has done—unless they actually know how to and take the time to have the penalty lifted and to redo the work that has been undone by the unfair strike.
Knowing that the company you are hiring knows how to do this can erase the worry that comes along with getting strikes on your website.