How to choose a SEO company
Just knowing how to choose the right SEO agency can be an instant increase in organic traffic, better ranking, and increased conversions .
A proper search engine optimization campaign is a necessary marketing requirement for every aspiring company. Unfortunately, search engine optimization is often difficult and confusing to beginners and on top of that the competition is extremely fierce because every business wants to be at the top of the results for their keywords. In order to develop a strong online presence, a business needs to invest in an effective digital marketing campaign and choose an SEO company that is reputable and has proven results.
Selecting the best SEO company can be a daunting task, especially with the sheer amount of SEO companies (local and international). Here are some tips for choosing an SEO and search engine marketing company and what you can do to maximize your digital marketing strategy.
Look at seo companies closely
You should first begin by looking at their work, starting from their website. Does this company ‘s site rank in the top searches for digital marketing companies? Do they actually show up for the keywords they supposedly invested in? Are they purposely being vague, or appear to be a black-hat SEO firm? Take a look at their work and start with their website. Chances are, if they themselves aren’t high up on search engines then they won’t be able to help you either. If this is the case you should consider other SEO companies obviously, and also take a closer look at some of the companies they’ve promoted, and you can check their search engine ranking.
In addition to that, you should also consider reviews! They’re one of the best ways to get unbiased opinions about a SEO company! It’s actually really easy to find a reputable SEO company if you read through their testimonials and online reviews. You can usually find these reviews just on the company’s website or by searching for them on search engines like Google, or even consulting specific websites like Glassdoor to learn more about the work culture.
For more in-depth information, you can always request case studies from a SEO company by either contacting them or depending on the site they may even have an online form. This is a great way to see what the agency is capable of regarding their process, sales and their general knowledge about the industry. Another method that you can employ to get a feel for a SEO company is by requesting a reference. If they are a reputable agency they should be able to put you in touch with a current or past client that you can speak to regarding their feelings, experience and overall level of satisfaction.
Choose a SEO agency that you can trust
One of the biggest questions that a company can ask is if they can trust a SEO agency. In addition to that, it is important to consider ethics too, the best SEO company will be fully transparent in their marketing.
Even before choosing an SEO company it is considered good practice for the business owner to familiarize themselves with the basics of SEO services, organic search, local seo, off page seo, on page seo, technical seo, social media marketing and more. To know what good SEO looks like, black-hat SEO practices, and how search engines should be utilized is super important. Why? Because this will not only help your business in the long run, but it will also give you an idea of what questions to ask, what user experience you want to aim for, website essentials, and much more and lastly it’ll be extremely helpful when learning how to choose an SEO company.
Before hiring an SEO company, make sure that they adhere to the guidelines of search engines. Black-hat SEO is a term that describes unethical optimization practices, these can actually produce quick traffic, but eventually the search engine will ban you from using any of your SEO services on it.
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Define your SEO budget
It’s better to pay more for a reputable SEO agency that is ethical, is transparent with case studies and is willing to work for you rather than paying less for a SEO agency that fails to increase your conversion rate and doesn’t drive traffic to your site. Even before this, you need to define your budget for your company, and you can also look at the pricing of some of the best SEO agencies to gauge a budget. It is also a good idea to prepare questions regarding deals and package price ranges early on in the discussion when hiring a SEO company. Most SEO companies have a variety of package deals to choose from, which should speed up the process of finding the right company. Even then, make sure you refer back to your original budget as well as your long-term goal to see if the package will align with your SEO marketing strategy.
Remember that Guaranteed Results Do Not Exist
This is pretty similar to the idea of ethics, it’s important that you keep in mind what is possible and what isn’t when hiring an SEO company. Remember that in general good SEO companies never say anything along the lines of being able to “guarantee” a certain rank on Google, or a certain number of visitors to your site. If done properly through white-hat strategies, it is impossible for anyone to promise an exact rank because Google refuses payment for priority submissions or higher rankings. Instead, it is better to look for a company who will promise that they will follow the search engine guidelines for quality of work as well as the search engine optimization process.
It’s also important to realize that search algorithms of search engines are constantly being updated and adapted. It’s important to choose a SEO company that stays on top of these updates and is willing to change marketing strategies and tweak in order to maximize traffic and rankings for their client.
Schedule a Consultation
Regardless of whether or not it’s a local SEO or an SEO that works on a remote basis, you should always request a consultation. Going into this consultation, make sure you have some questions to ask agencies as well regarding their process, team and website design and more. Most likely, the agency will be happy to go through their services and walk you through the process as well as provide case studies involving past clients and the relative success they’ve experienced. A consultation will also help you get a feel for the type of people on their team and to see if their agency is the right fit for the services your business requires.
It’s important that you develop a close relationship with the SEO company that you choose, so use this as an opportunity to see if they could be the right SEO company for you or if you want to consider another agency. Some questions that you should keep in mind are:
- Do you understand the way they explain their online marketing strategy?
- Does their attitude work for you?
- Are they promising sales or services that seem suspicious?
- Are they willing to prioritize your company’s goal and find the right strategy for you?
Remember that this is your time to ask them everything you want, no matter how big or small, so ask away!
Mistakes to Avoid When Choosing SEO agencies
Sometimes it’s quicker to know right away what you should avoid, rather than comb through multiple SEO agencies to see if they have what you want. Here are some of the most common things you should keep an eye for:
- Falling for false promises made by “top” SEO agencies. It’s generally common sense that you should always probe past the surface when the exterior looks too good to be true. It’s important that you examine facts such as sales, previous clients, rankings and other performance indicators. Remember that if their promises seem a little bit too good to be true, regardless what aspect it is (process, sales, website design, ecommerce, etc) you should immediately be wary SEO penalties, and try to look for hard facts.
- Falling for the idea of “secret sauce” as a key to success. Simply put, “secret sauce” doesn’t exist in SEO marketing. The steps to success are very well laid out in SEO and it’s a very systematic process that you have to comb through and test. That being said, some people are better at digital marketing and research than others either because they’ve been professionally trained to or because they’ve done it for so long they have the experience necessary to pull it off. What separates the amateurs from the experts is mainly experience and previous successes that they can readily pull up for you.
- Choosing a cheap SEO agency. When doing online marketing the last thing you want to do is cheap out after you’ve already spend all the time and resources to tailor your product and services. After all, wouldn’t it be terribly disappointing if your product and services were great, only to fall short because you paid $1000 less for a bad SEO agency?
- Choosing a local SEO company for the sole reason of keeping it local. SEO is really flexible in the sense that you can do it from anywhere, which means you aren’t limited in who you choose based on location. However, you want to consider the costs and benefits of a foreign SEO company, for example it may not be beneficial to sign on with them unless your target market is in that country.
- Not doing enough research. Research, research, research! We at Rank By Focus cannot stress enough how important it is to thoroughly evaluate case studies, reach out to past clients and make sure you are completely satisfied with the services they offer! This can be something as broad as their online reviews to their specific language. Don’t set yourself up for failure just because you were lazy.
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Before You Hire A SEO Agency
Remember that SEO is very complex and you shouldn’t expect to understand all of the details and nuances right away! However, they all have the same goal: to make your website rank higher on search engines, to increase online visibility, and to make your site user-friendly.
Additionally, remember that there are subsets of SEO but that they are not actually different processes, but rather variations of each other. Another way of thinking about it is breaking down SEO into smaller bite-sized portions so that the average Joe can read it.
SEO is an extremely valuable investment that you shouldn’t just pass off as another skill that you could probably get away without. Rather, it’s something you should consider as a need rather than a want especially if you want to be successful in the ecommerce industry. You should consider this as your chance to build your brand’s awareness and equity the way you want it and get it to the audience you’re targeting. With the right campaign, your company will gain both quantitative and qualitative results.
If you are able to, hiring an SEO company is a great way to increase visibility of your company page but you may find it hard to find the perfect one for your industry and clients. Make sure you’re working with people that are just as invested in the success of your company as you are, as you’re essentially handing partial control of your business over.
It’s time for you to find an SEO agency that is perfect for you, now what are you waiting for? Get out there and hope to see you on the first page of Google!
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