Hiring an eCommerce SEO company is going to be an expensive endeavor. It can definitely pay for itself, but it will serve you well to do your due diligence.
Part of that is asking the right questions in the “interview” before you hire them. Some of these will help you hedge your bets and make a better choice.
What Differentiates You from Other eCommerce SEO Companies?
This question could have lots of different answers, but really you want to ask it just to see how the company delivers its “elevator pitch.” Don’t look for one thing, but expect an honest, plain answer. Don’t accept political doublespeak that shifts the onus of response back on you!
Can You Summarize Your SEO Process?
This is an important question because you will want to know how their SEO process actually works. A lot of agencies approach SEO with a smoke-and-mirrors, devil-may-care attitude.
You do not want that. Not all SEO companies offer the same deliverables, so listen for these. Some only build backlinks, some write content, and some make basic on-site changes.
Make sure you get a clear view of what the company itself will be offering.
What Is the Strongest Aspect of Your SEO Process?
Look for a straight answer. Most will be happy to answer this. The answer might be writing, it might be the technical proficiency of their project managers, and it might be their ability to find low-hanging fruit during keyword research.
Regardless of what answer is given, probe deeper with a “why?”
How Do You Handle Communications?
Most agencies will use some sort of ERP that allows for communication with clients but some might prefer phone or even email. Just make sure you know what you’re signing up for.
Will You Inform Me Before You Make Technical Site Changes?
Some SEO agencies will make ongoing technical changes to client websites – this is a good thing as it can help improve site speed, structure and remove broken and toxic backlinks, among other things.
But, you want to know when these changes are being made because it is, after all, your website.
Can You Give Me a Sample of a Domain You Use for Backlinks?
Oftentimes, an agency’s backlink process is not as strong as they’d like it to be. Ideally, you want them posting content on websites with domain authority ratings of at least 30, but this isn’t always the case.
Ask for a sample of a domain they use and see what it’s like. Does it seem credible? Run it through a DA checker. Is the website relevant to your vertical? These are all things you should look for.
Who Will Actually Be Writing My Content?
A lot of agencies outsource content production to content mills, but in 2023, with the importance of quality writing only growing, this is unacceptable. Ask to bring a writer on during a sales call to address concerns if you can, and ask to see samples of blog posts.
What Tools Do You Use to Monitor Performance?
Most eCommerce SEO agencies will utilize Google Analytics and Google Search Console to track performance but others will have their own tools. If they use their own, ask about what data, specifically, they will be tracking.
How Long Will It Take to See Results?
Listen very carefully to this answer. Most eCommerce SEO experts are unwilling to give concrete answers, which is wise. It usually takes a year or nearly more to see appreciable results. This will give you an impression not only of their confidence in their own eCommerce SEO strategy, but how willing they are to make promises in the first place. Most of the time, a conservative answer is better – and more honest.
Are You Familiar with My eCommerce Platform?
Whether you are built on Volusion, Magento, Shopify, BigCommerce, WordPress, or some other bespoke model, the answer should be “yes.”
Last Thoughts on Hiring an eCommerce SEO Company
Search engine optimization is a long-term marketing strategy in which all eCommerce websites should be investing to improve their online visibility and reach new potential customers – but making the right choice in a partner is critical.
Jot these questions down as well as any others you have before you sign anything, and make sure you ask them all and get satisfactory answers before you hire any eCommerce SEO company.