When companies decide that they dont want to do in-house hiring for an SEO expert, then they look for SEO agencies. Without investigating, asking around and interviewing the SEO agency, no company should make a hiring decision.
Specialty Of The Company
A company should always choose an SEO agency marketing agency that specializes in their industry. If the SEO agency has worked with other companies in the same industry, then they must have proper knowledge about how the industry operates, the big players and what content is in demand. When the top management meets the expert from the SEO agency, they should ask about the service, location and industry in which they specialize. They should also talk about the other services they offer, apart from SEO.
References And Reviews
The most important thing that a company should check are the references and reviews of the SEO agency that they are considering to hire. They can ask for references, call up old clients or look at their current website, and the traffic that it receives. Analysis of a website on which an SEO agency worked on, would tell the company about the SEO techniques they use, the quality of their keyword and content.
Companies can check reviews of SEO agencies online. If the agency has a page, then some existing customers would have surely commented on their page; it could be either compliments or complaints. The main thing is to differentiate between paid positive comments and genuine positive comments. Some agencies would pay people to post positive comments on their pages, just to misguide their future clients.
SEO Agency Team
It is best to know about the team that would be working on the SEO marketing campaign of the company. The company should interview the people who they would be directly working with, in order to know if they know about the company, understand the features of their products and services and have the ability to promote them. The team should know about the difference between black hat and white hat SEO techniques; if a team doesnt know how to ethically handle a clients account, then this would be bad for the company.
When interviewing the team, the top management or the marketer should question the team about the core values of the SEO agency, and a description of code of ethics. If a team doesnt understand the ethics, then it is best to assume that they have used black hat SEO, or doesnt care about how website traffic is increased.
The most important thing is to have a written contract between the two parties. The contract should have details about the payment schedule, the activities that the team would undertake and their responsibilities apart from SEO. The company should read the content posted by SEO agency team in the past, to know whether it is of quality or not. These things will help them make an informed decision about whether to hire them or not.