Choosing the best possible Search Engine Optimization (SEO) agency for your company could have a significant impact on your business. SEO is a powerful tool, but not all SEO companies are created equally. In this article, we will show you exactly how to choose an SEO company.
With the right SEO partnership, your business can increase sales or acquisitions, while decreasing the money you spend on advertising. This collaboration can improve your brand by harnessing the powers of SEO.
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Tips for Hiring an SEO Company
Before you lock into a contract with a new SEO agency, you should have some idea of what you need and what to expect. It helps to have some knowledge of what goes into the type of SEO work specific to your market. Some questions to consider should include:
- What prices are reasonable?
- What are the signs of high and poor-quality SEO services?
- How long does SEO take to show results?
- Who are my competitors?
- What is my marketing goal?
Below are some tips to help you prepare in your search for SEO help.
1. Do More than a Google Search for SEO Firms.
There’s more to choosing an SEO company than a simple Google search.
Internet searches play a large part in looking for services. However, do not let your decision rest entirely on search engines and their results. “Top SEO” lists can be impartial. Keep in mind that it is possible for an SEO company to pay for a spot on a list of the best firms.
That doesn’t mean you can’t find a great SEO professional this way. Spending time searching and reading reviews with a cautious eye is a great way to start. But, don’t trust every ranking or review you read online as they can be fake or paid reviews.
Many of the best SEO specialists can be found by digging a little deeper and listening to friends or business associates. After all, some top digital marking companies may be too busy helping clients with SEO to worry about their own rankings. Do you have a mechanic friend who’s got that one car that’s never finished? He always says he will get to it, but years later it’s untouched?
Personal references are powerful! If you ask around, you may find other long-term SEO clients who will refer you. They can personally tell you about their experience with them and show you real-time results. Don’t be afraid to ask for their honest opinion.
Some Potential Sources of Information on Good SEO firms Include:
- Friends and acquaintances in your professional circle
- Non-competitive companies and professional networking relationships
- Trustworthy industry leaders
- Businesses or pages you follow on social media
2. Know Your Goals and Have Them Ready to Present.
It is very important to have goals in mind before choosing an SEO company.
Make sure you are not hiring an SEO company until you have a clear set of goals. Sometimes, potential “SEO experts” will offer little more than a vague, broad goal that could apply to any business. These are the sort of ideas you might see in every “SEO for Dummies” article on Google. There should be more to a goal than simply, “increasing your ranks.”
Getting eyes on the product or service is only a part of the battle. Will the strategy take into account conversions and closing the deal? Will the traffic to your site come from qualified leads or just random visitors?
Avoid vagueness or ambiguity as much as possible. Outline your goals and expectations as clearly and specifically as possible. The better you can express your desires, the more effective your SEO agency can be for you.
Write these goals down and have them ready when interviewing SEO experts.
Don’t be afraid to ask questions! If your SEO specialist makes you feel uncomfortable upon asking, move on. If you don’t understand something, just ask. Your SEO agency should be more than happy to explain everything to you in a way that makes sense.
Goals to Discuss with your SEO Specialist:
- Wanting to “get in front” of research into a specific topic and gain traffic from specific target groups
- Increasing sign-ups, trials, and other forms of contact from your site
- Boosting product and service sales
- Improving reviews and feedback
- Trust in your brand
- More site traffic
- Higher rankings
- Beating a specific competitor
- Brand awareness
- Vanity metrics
A good SEO specialist will help you narrow and refine your goals. If they are too broad or not relevant enough, a team of professionals will be able to help. Whatever goals you have, your SEO firm should be able to address them in specific terms.
3. Good Communication is Key.
Being met with an SEO expert who is clear and specific when responding is a sign of good communication. The right specialist for you will be able to communicate with you about your needs, wants, and desires. They will do so clearly and openly. They should be honest about expectations and set reality into perspective.
When learning how to choose an SEO company, having good communication in introductory discussions is an important first step. It is a sign that they should be able to continue this level of communication throughout the work.
While you may have access to the tools SEO companies use (Google Analytics, SEMrush, etc.), you likely do not have time to analyze everything. You have to trust that your SEO specialists will communicate important updates and information to you.
Finding an SEO company that is fitting is key. Once you find the right one you may end up working with this firm for many months, years or even a lifetime. Truly positive, lasting results can and will take time. Even if you plan on working with them temporarily, it will still require time and patience. A positive, collaborative working relationship will provide you with a number of lasting benefits. One thing is for certain, good communication is always essential.
You can use strategic questions to gain an understanding of how these companies work for you. It is a good idea to educate yourself beforehand if you are unfamiliar with SEO. Understanding the basics of what an SEO company is can be a good place to start. This knowledge makes it easier to formulate the right questions, and know when answers are genuine and helpful. For example:
- What kind of processes will you use to accomplish our goals, and how will they help us?
- How often do you communicate about the project and what methods of communication do you use?
- What metrics will you collect and why?
- Which resources will you have to devote to the project?
- How do you go about addressing any problems that may come up?
Watch for Answers that Seem too Simple
Most companies, including SEO firms, have a sales strategy. While that is not necessarily a bad thing and their claims may be true, be cautious about believing everything you hear. Some SEO consultants may try to acquire your business by claiming they have a trade secret.
There are NO secret solutions in SEO.
If your potential SEO consultant starts talking about their secrets to success in optimization and superior techniques, be on alert. Be warier if they do not explain these “secrets” clearly. You are within your right to reject that their processes are proprietary. SEO is an open field and well-understood by those who practice it.
There are also no easy, quick solutions. If the SEO professional makes claims about great results in a short period of time, that is a major red flag.
SEO is not a quick fix. It takes time for Google’s algorithm to scan over new information on your website, digest it, and rank it. This process requires patience and will vary on location, trade, and many other factors.
Points to Consider on How to Choose an SEO Company
You may be met with some unexpected realizations as you discover how to choose an SEO company. You will certainly learn more about SEO in general and your company’s specific needs.
When You Need More than You Thought
It’s possible that your initial goals and expectations have changed after you’ve done more research into SEO. A proper SEO firm can downsize or upsize efforts based on your new goals. Often, your SEO specialist will help guide you to choose a path that’s right for your business.
Keep in mind – businesses change. Your SEO campaign should grow and expand as your business grows. This can mean upping the budget. A higher budget can include services and strategies that may have not been effective in the beginning stages of your SEO journey.
Choosing an SEO company depends on your business’s size and needs.
Another option would be to hire in-house SEO services. This process could be more or less expensive depending on your business. However, there is no “one size fits all” in the world of SEO. If you have a large business, multiple locations, or the budget to allow it, hiring an in-house SEO team could be the right move.
You May Not Need it at All.
Of course, SEO is not always the right pursuit. SEO is competitive, and true results take time and money. If you can not afford services that will produce real results, it may not be an asset to your business. You can always put SEO off and pursue some other, more affordable advertising. When you are ready financially, you can put money into a worthwhile SEO company.
For example, many businesses with tight budgets choose to do pay-per-click advertising (PPC). PPC ads are able to drive a large amount of traffic to your company’s website within a much shorter period of time. PPC is an on/off switch so results can be seen immediately – if setup correctly.