Before you start talking pricing or anything else with a potential SEO company, make sure you know they’re worth your time. First, start with whomever answers the phone. Sales people are okay, but does this ‘sales person’ actually know what he or she is selling? Or have they just been taught how to sell it and nothing more. Have a list of ‘qualifier’ questions to ask them before you call. Things you’ve researched about internet marketing and SEO that would immediately tell you whether or not the person knows what they’re talking about. For example; latest algorithm updates, percentage of traffic Google gets compared to Yahoo and Bing, simply asking them their background in the subject etc. Then, after you’ve qualified the consultant who answered the phone, on to the company itself.
Can they provide references and case studies? How long have they been in business? Do they appear to be customizing and catering their marketing plan and proposal to your specific needs and business or are they taking a ‘one size fits all’ approach to your internet marketing plan? (I will deem this one pretty important).
There’s no one size fits all
Any marketing company worth their salt knows you shouldn’t have a cookie cutter approach to marketing any business. Every business and industry is different and requires its own unique approach to bringing you more customers. Make sure you’re confident they understand your company. How much you make off of each sale or client, what YOU think is best for your company, which keyphrases are relevant to your business and not just high in volume and last but not least a good grasp on your competition and what they’re doing.
Don’t get burned.