Finding an SEO company for your business can be a challenge. With so many firms around that all offer to get you to the top of the search engine results, how do you make your decision? There are a number of considerations to keep in mind, so remember these when you start your search.
Decide on Your Specific Requirements
The first thing you need to decide before you even look for a company is what you actually need from your SEO. Do you want to improve your search engine position over the coming months and years on a long-term contract, or do you just want a one-off audit? Or do you simply want to focus on one specific activity like link building? SEO firms offer many services, so have a think about what you need.
Try to have a goal in mind, which could be a traffic or sales target, and then use this when you discuss your requirements with an SEO firm to see how they react.
Be Wary of Unrealistic Claims
It may seem great to hear from an SEO firm that they can get you ranking in the first position in Google in a week. However, don’t automatically believe claims that sound too good to be true. The fact is it is impossible to guarantee number-one rankings, and it is a common claim made by unethical companies.
When looking for the best SEO companies, steer clear of such claims and don’t be fooled by claims that firms have special relationships with Google because it does not work like this.
Check Out Previous Clients
One of the most important things to do before hiring a firm is to find out what they have done for clients in the past. Start by reading testimonials and case studies, as this will give you a good idea about previous success stories. But also find other clients and ask them directly to find out whether they recommend working with the firm.
Essentially, you want to hire a firm that will get you results, so you want to hire one that has already proven they can get the results for other clients—especially for businesses in the same industry as yours.
Ask About Fees and Terms
Fees are an important consideration, but try not to be tempted to go with the cheapest you can find because they are not likely to provide you with the value you are looking for. Another consideration is how the firm charges. For example, do they get paid by the hour, the month, or the project?
Always find out what is included in each fee so you know exactly where you stand. Also, will you be locked into a contract or can you cancel at any time?
Get to Know them Better
Rather than just looking at the results an SEO firm has managed to achieve in the past, make sure you also talk to them and get to know them before you hire them. Go beyond the basics when you talk to them, and ask them about their background, experience, the history of their company, their best clients, their success stories, and more. This can be very revealing and it can help you to choose between similar companies.
How Will They Actually Improve Your Rankings?
SEO firms may promise you results, but how will they actually achieve these? You should try to get some information on their methods so that you know what you are getting into. What strategies will they use, and how long do they estimate it will take before you get results? The more information you can get, the better.
Find Out What Happens When You Stop Working Together
This is important because you may decide after a while that you want to end your agreement. Creating content is important for SEO, so find out what happens with this when the contract ends. Will the content and links remain yours? They should do. Also, do they charge fees for early termination? Find out so that you know exactly what is involved from the start.
Find the Right SEO Firm for Your Business
Finding the right SEO firm is something that you should not rush. Improving your search engine rankings may be critical to the success of your business, and you don’t want to make the wrong decision and see your search results suffer. In the worst case scenario, you could even end up worse off if you choose a firm that employees questionable tactics. So take your time, keep these considerations in mind, and find the right SEO firm for your business.
Don Roberts MSSM CLMC is the Founder of DonRoberts.com, a California based small business marketing services agency that helps businesses become more findable online. Don is a Certified Local Marketing Consultant, a Certified Professional Internet Marketer, and a Certified Sales Partner. Don earned a Masters of Science Degree in Systems Management from USC, and he graduated with Distinction from San Jose State University.