When it comes to hiring an SEO agency to help you with your organic rankings and overall customer experience, you have to make sure you’re asking the right questions, which you can learn more about here. But what if you’re already working with an agency? Are the questions supposed to stop if you’re happy with their work? The truth is that because SEO is always changing, it’s crucial that you keep your agency on its toes and stay up to date on the latest news. This means that each year there will be new questions to ask and things to consider, so check out some of the questions you should ask before 2016 hits below.

How will your content marketing strategy evolve in 2016?

Semantic search is still a very important part of 2016, so this should be something that improves over the next year. Mobile responsiveness, social posts, and probably most importantly video are all things that need to really be improved in the coming year. For most companies, YouTube channels could use a little bit of extra care, and this comes down to your SEO agency helping you create relevant and engaging videos for your audience. Put these videos on YouTube and on your website/blog and you should see higher CTRs. According to a HubSpot infographic, by 2017 video will take up 69% of consumer Internet traffic, which is equivalent of almost 4x as much as web and browsing and email. By 2018 this will have risen to 79%.

Will you be introducing any new SEO tools into the mix?

There are constantly new SEO tools being developed, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that you need to use them all (actually, you should only use a very select few). However, as your strategies change and evolve in the New Year, there are likely tools that can help an agency complete your goals. They should have a tool or two in mind for what they want to work on in the New Year. If they say they’re going to use all the same tools, you should question whether or not they’re going to improve your SEO efforts or keep them stagnant.

What do you think the New Year holds for the SEO industry?

A good agency should have some sort of feeling or thoughts on what’s the come. This shows that they can stay ahead of the curve and they have a good handle on the industry in general. If you’ve really been following the Google updates and news, making predictions is easy. Being right isn’t always easy, but having some sort of idea is important.

Now that we’ve been working together, can you tell me where I may be in terms of rankings in the coming year?

A prediction is fine, but do not let them guarantee you any sort of ranking. Even in 2016, guaranteed SEO services still cannot be trusted. Sometimes companies seem to forget this and think that will more information an agency can make more guarantees, but this will never be the case. A good SEO agency will tell you this, so don’t take any other response for an answer.

What are your thoughts on social e-commerce?

This should be on the radar of any SEO agency. As more and more social networks make it easy to buy right there on the network, companies need to create a strategy to get involved. Social networks are now including features that make them act as an e-commerce site, and experts expect that this will be the next big thing in 2016 (hence the term social commerce). Talk with your agency about what plans they have for this phenomenon. If they don’t have any that’s OK, but they should have least have some sense of the importance and they should know that a plan should be put in place sooner rather than later.

Are you considering any alternate traffic sources next year, and if so which ones?

More and more people are moving to other places to search. While Google will likely always have the market share (at least through he foreseeable future), other sources such as Quora, Slideshare, Medium.com, Periscope, and more will likely gain traffic. This means that you should not only have a presence on these platforms, but you should be actively managing and optimizing your accounts. This is the job of your SEO agency, so let them tell you which platforms they think you should start with, why, and how they’ll get you there.

For a list of even more 2016 predictions that may help spur more questions, check out this article we wrote a few months ago. Are you an SEO agency that thinks a few questions should be added to the list? Have you worked with an agency before and found that there are other questions that are worthwhile? Let us know what you think we should add to the list in the comment section below.