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Choosing an SEO Company is hard. Unfortunately, choosing an SEO company in Orange County is even harder.

But why is it so difficult?

The answer is quite simple: It’s hard to tell the difference between each SEO company and why their pricing varies so widely. It is also difficult to understand exactly what an SEO firm is going to do for you and the results from each aspect of their deliverable.

To help alleviate some of your confusion and simplify things, we have created a list of seven questions to ask any SEO company in Orange County, CA before you hire them. Also, we’ve interviewed 45+ experts in the industry to get their perspective as well. You can find their thoughts on hiring an SEO agency here.


1. Do you do the actual SEO work in-house?

It’s a simple question, but in reality, most SEO companies do not do their work in-house. Instead, they manage your account but have another company do the work.

The Directive Consulting Difference:

At Directive Consulting, we have a 10+ person team at our Irvine office. The entire team is dedicated to operations and account management. With our in-house team and intense focus on exceeding client KPI’s, we can offer a focused, specialized, and ROI driven strategy.

If we did not control the entire service from account management to fulfillment in-house, we would not be able to deliver as high of a level of service.

2. Do you build and send manual reports?

SEO reporting sucks. The companies know this and they send you to search engine optimization reports that are quite frankly gibberish. As a customer, you should ask for three things in your manual reports:

  1. What did you do?
  2. Why did you do it?
  3. What were the results?

The Directive Consulting Difference:

We send weekly updates for every one of our accounts. These are manually created by your account manager. Our goal in these reports is to maintain a tight feedback loop with our accounts and demonstrate the value of our services.

Also, we send a monthly report. The monthly report is a month over month comparison of our marketing KPI’s with detailed breakdowns of the logic behind our work for the month. We want to empower you with the data and insight that you need for yourself and management.

3. How often will I receive reports?

You want to be constantly in the loop. But, you want the hours that you are paying for in your actual internet marketing work, not reporting. With that being said, it’s critical to receive consistent updates more so then reports.

The Directive Consulting Difference:

We balance communication with enough data for you to digest and tailor our reporting to your needs. If you need a detailed report every week, then we can accommodate that request, but we prefer to keep the focus on what’s next instead of what’s been done. To tie it all together, we send monthly reports breaking down KPI’s, and weekly updates with what we’re are doing.

4. How many keywords will I get?

This is a trick question…

If they tell you a bunch or offer you all these keywords, it’s not true. Each page on your website should be dedicated to one primary keyword/topic. Furthermore, with Google’s algorithm tailored to historical search and personalized to each user keywords are not the ultimate metric.

The Directive Consulting Difference:

We value the importance of keywords and view them as a surface level indicator of SERP market share. But, we do not think that keyword rankings alone truly change your business or revenue. We like to focus our efforts around conversions. These conversions can vary from eCommerce sales to B2B form submissions.

Our goal is that we can create a clear and transparent way to tie the impact of our marketing efforts with the inputs that have the greatest effect on the things that matter most to you or your company.

5. Who writes your content?

You don’t want anyone writing content for search engines. You want content that is written for your target audiences. Better engagement will equal better rankings and conversions.

The Directive Consulting Difference:

We value to search engines and keyword research. In fact, these are both large factors in our content marketing process. However, we believe that content is meant to be read, viewed, and favorably consumed by humans not bots.

Because of that, we take the time to vet every writer and manage everything from content research to editing internally. More control equals a better product for our customer.

6. How will you promote our content?

Remember, the goal of great content isn’t just rankings. It is to successfully associate your business with whatever you offer. For example, if you are a plumber in Orange County you want to have such great content that you are the first thing people associate with plumbers in your area.

The Directive Consulting Difference:

Content is a branding opportunity just as much as it is a lead gen opportunity. Content is meant to be consumed. What’s the point of creating all that content if no one is actively engaging with it or enjoying it?

At Directive Consulting, we believe that whether you are B2B or B2C, boring or exciting, content can be correctly shared and promoted across social media to build brand affinity with your target market. From LinkedIn to Twitter, we have talented experts in-house who can make sure your content gets the coverage and conversions it deserves.

7. What type of event and conversion tracking will be in place?

While this is a tough subject, it is essential to have in place. If you do not know what is working, then it’s hard to know where you should invest more of your budget. Tracking and analytics are the foundations of a great search campaign. Whether you are a small business in Orange County or a global enterprise, having the right metrics in place allows you to interpret and grow your marketing ROI.

The Directive Consulting Difference:

Far too often we take over accounts from other agencies and find little to no conversion tracking in place. When we see this, it’s critical that we first establish a clear and agreed upon method of tracking our success. This is step one. With metrics and analytics in place, we can now execute our strategy with precision and accountability. Here’s a sample of things we track for our accounts:

  • eCommerce sales
  • Form submissions
  • Email signups
  • Phone calls
  • Button clicks
  • Quality visits
  • + any metrics critical to your own marketing KPI’s or business

If you are ready to speak with an SEO agency, please feel free to contact us or review our case studies here.


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