- Ask to see demonstrable results from SEO strategies they have implemented.
- Get a feel for what types of practices they use. If the practices seem a bit shady, there's a reason (also known as blackhat SEO).
- Find out what the firm's long-term SEO strategy consists of. It's one thing to make search gains. It's another thing to keep them.
- Determine what your SEO budget should look like and what results you need to gain (ROI) to feed the SEO machine. Say you spend 2k a month on search and from that, bring 500 more visits to your site and from that, turn 5% (25 people) into strong leads and from that, two eventually turn into clients and each client with your company spends an average of 10k. In that example, a 2k/mo spend on SEO is a good one.
- Who will be doing the actual SEO work and what is their level of experience?
Determining these things on the front-end will give you a much stronger chance of being satisfied with your SEO progress in the long-run.