Looking for how to choose the best SEO service? If you are wondering how to partner with the best SEO company for your online presence, you will find that locating the right SEO company is no simple task. Fortunately, there are several aspects to look for in a SEO company that can help you get started with the right experts.
In this article, we’ll discuss 6 smart tips to help you match your business to the right SEO agency.
Related: What Does an SEO Management Company Do?
What to Look For When Hiring An SEO Company
So what do you look for when you hire an SEO company? Here are some of the leading reasons why business owners choose a marketing agency with trusted SEO services:
The leading reason why businesses choose an SEO company is because of referrals. Referrals or previous relationships is a key factor in developing trust with a particular SEO company. If business partners, friends, and colleagues recommend a company because of their own positive experience with them, there is a much better chance that your experience with them will also be a positive one. In your own research, then, inquire of your friends and connections to ask what company successfully helped them rank better in search engines.
2.) Demonstrated SEO knowledge & processes
When you look into an SEO company, be sure to research their SEO knowledge, practices, and process. Evaluate their present and past performance. As you browse their website, social media pages, or as you speak with a team member on the phone, be sure to pay attention to the following:
- Customer service
- Staff experience
- Thought leadership
The level of knowledge, process, and transparency the SEO company has when working with clients can also be reflected in their testimonials and reviews.
3.) Case studies, client references & online reviews
In addition, some of the aforementioned characteristics can be determined by reading what their current clients have to say on the company’s social media pages. In particular, be sure to read their Facebook and Google reviews for honest reviews. Observe the company’s past performance. This includes case studies, portfolio examples, client references, and online reviews. The company should have proven experience with verifiable results to build trust with upcoming clients.
6 Tips for Choosing the Right SEO Company
Approximately one-fifth of SEO marketing companies have previously had a negative experience with another SEO company. As a result, careful research helps to weed out wasted time and effort and helps you instead connect with SEO experts who care about building a relationship with you and improving your organic rankings. Below are our six tips to help you make the best decision about which SEO company will work best for you.
1.) Look into the company’s past performance
When customers come to your business, they are likely looking at your job photos, testimonials, reviews, and case studies to see how your work holds up when compared with the competition. Likewise, when you research SEO companies, you will want to do the same. Be sure to look extensively into the company’s past performance and experience with SEO. If the reviews, testimonials, case studies, etc. are all consistently raving, this will help you confidently make your decision. Professional SEO management is key when choosing the right SEO company.
2.) Ask present or past clients about their experience with the company
Review the company’s Google reviews, testimonials, and case studies to gain a better understanding of the company’s client relationships. Look into current or past client feedback – in doing so, you can get an idea of the company’s strengths and weaknesses. In addition, this may give you more insight into the agency’s strategy and reporting process. Browse the company’s portfolio and reach out to those clients, or ask the company directly to provide you a list of contacts of three to five clients. Be sure to ask the following questions to obtain a better understanding of the agency and client’s relationship:
- How fast does your consultant return your calls or emails?
- Do you receive a dedicated point-of-contact or several different ones within the company?
- How much time do you have to look into reviewing SEO reports and marketing strategy plans?
3.) Meet with the SEO company & ask specific questions
Once you have narrowed your search down to one or two SEO companies, schedule an in-person, over the phone, conference call, or video chat to meet their team member(s). Before meeting with the company, create a list of detailed questions to ask them. During the sales process, ask plenty of specific questions to get a better understanding of the company’s experience in the industry, the company culture, and their reporting process. Be sure to at least ask the following questions:
- What experience does your SEO team have with my industry?
- When should I expect to see the results of your SEO efforts?
- How much do your SEO services cost?
4.) Be specific about your SEO goals
You need to be clear about your business goals. Saying “I want to show up in search results” isn’t enough information for your agency to help you. As a business owner, you will want to outline your business goals before starting a partnership with an SEO company. Here are some more specific goals to help kickstart your business’s SEO strategy:
- Obtaining more customers via sales or leads
- Improving brand awareness
- Gaining more industry recognition
- Developing a better reputation
Be sure to partner with an SEO company that has experience working with your industry. For example, if you have an online business, you will want to ensure you work with a company that has experience working with an ecommerce website.
In addition, you will want to have a budget in mind. This will help you and your agency achieve your SEO goals. Furthermore, if you have an idea of how much money you are able or willing to spend, it can help your agency strategize and focus on the SEO solutions best suited to your customized needs.
5.) Choose an SEO company that communicates effectively
Chances are, as a business owner, you’ll have little to no time to sit down and analyze all the tools your consultant is using. Whether it’s SEMRush, ahrefs, WebCEO, Google Search Console, Google Analytics, or Ubersuggest, you will want your SEO expert to routinely monitor, optimize, and improve upon their work and then regularly update you on the results. As you browse for SEO agencies, don’t be afraid to ask them questions about how they will inform you about the work being done to improve your search engine optimization.
When it comes to choosing the right agency, you will want to feel comfortable where you can ask questions and voice your concerns with ease. This is a vital aspect of the business-client relationship because SEO is a long-term strategy. If you don’t feel comfortable with the agency, it may lead to issues with the long-term relationship and the overall SEO plan moving forward.
6.) Avoid “SEO experts” who use black-hat SEO tactics
A word of caution – finding the right SEO company takes time and research. As you research, watch out for companies that make promises they can’t keep, or violate Google best practices using bad SEO tactics. Otherwise known as “Black-Hat SEO,” bad SEO practices will be penalized by Google and in the long run, will seriously impact your rankings. This, in turn, will lead to your website being banned in search engines. These practices are focused solely on getting your website to rank and have little to no value to the user.
Black-Hat Practices to Watch Out For:
- Keyword stuffing
- Creating pages with duplicate content
- Hidden text and links
- Link farms
- Buying links
- Excessive footer links
- Overused anchor text
- Article spinning
- Rich snippets spam
- Keyword stuffing in image alt tags
By contrast, White-Hat SEO techniques utilize ethical tactics to properly get your site to rank on search engines. White-Hat SEO includes keyword-rich content and meta tags, quality content that is helpful to the user, a mobile-friendly site with fast loading times, local SEO optimization, and an easy-to-navigate website. It is important to understand that White-Hat SEO companies with extensive experience in the industry will offer fair, honest pricing. Many SEO companies with ultra-low rates that look too good to be true are often the same companies that underdeliver and utilize Black-Hat tactics that will negatively impact your site. Simply follow this link for additional information on SEO terms and their meanings, and how White-Hat SEO differs from Black-Hat SEO.
Benefits of Choosing the Right SEO Company
When you invest time into searching for the right SEO company suited to your business’s needs, you will enjoy the following benefits:
- Working with a company with proven knowledge and skills in the industry
- Honesty and transparency in the communication and reporting process
- Excellent customer service and close attention to inquiries
- Customized and fair pricing
Remember, increasing your organic traffic takes time, effort, and patience. The results take months and even years to develop, so you will want to not only choose a reputable SEO company, but also a team of SEO experts that are willing to build a trusted relationship with you, answer your questions, and update you frequently on their SEO strategies.