Breaking up with an SEO company is not going to be a pleasant experience. One main reason why many businesses pull out from their SEO investment is when nothing has changed or happened in terms of progress and rankings. Some agencies will not give you any historical data, would not transfer the ownership of social media platforms and may even pull the website since the business owner does not technically own it; it could get very messy and bad.
However, all these circumstances can be avoided if from the beginning, you have chosen a reliable and trustworthy SEO company. The main concern here is you don’t have any idea what you are actually looking for. To help you on this matter, this article contains useful tips in choosing a reliable SEO company, things that you need to look out for, questions that you need to ask, what you need to avoid and the standards that should be set.
Benefits Of Hiring The Right SEO Company
All negative experiences can be prevented if you choose to right partner to handle your SEO needs. If you are having doubts about paying a company to handle your Internet marketing strategies, here are some awesome benefits that you don’t want to miss:
- You’ll have more time to concentrate on managing your business’ needs
- You will have a better and improved website, guaranteed good user experience
- Your rankings in search engine results pages like Google, Yahoo and Bing will definitely progress
There are agencies that can do more than the scope of SEO, such as PPC or Pay-Per-Click service, content marketing, email marketing, social media marketing and many others.
Five Helpful Tips When Choosing A Reliable SEO Company
In the beginning, we always doubt whether a company can deliver the results that we want. Don’t be easily deceived by their promises. You need to do some research such as gathering reviews, check their website content and portfolios.
Here are some ways that you can do to find the right SEO firm for your business.
1st Tip: Lay down your SEO goals clearly
If you want a successful improvement in your online presence, you need to identify the goal and objective for your business. The right team will be able to understand your needs and come up with a suitable strategy after carefully evaluating your website and online status.
2nd Tip: The SEO firm should track your data
A good SEO company will be able to track and measure all the data of your company, including your contact forms, phone calls, CTR (click-through rate), website visits and more. The right decision in implementing business strategies should always be based on data and results and not by their gut instinct. A good company will offer you extensive tracking methods without you even asking.
3rd Tip: Gather reviews, ratings, case studies done and testimonials
If you want unbiased information and opinions from others, the best thing that you can do is to check out the reviews. These data won’t lie especially if it came straight from their past clients. From their testimonials, ratings and reviews, you’ll be able to gauge how reputable the company is. Go directly to their website or check the Google My Business, Yelp or Glassdoor (employees’ opinion working for their firm) of the company to learn more what they are capable of, and if they were able to make their clients satisfied.
Ask for case studies done, or you can even call them directly. You may also ask them a reference and contact one of their clients so that you can get a clearer idea on their experience and how satisfied they were in that company.
4th Tip: Set a consultation time
No matter how near or far you are from the SEO company, you have to spend time and set a consultation time with them. It can be done over the phone or be there physically. A good company will be happy to discuss with you some methods that might work for your business. This will give you an idea about the type of team or people you’ll be working with, and it gives you an opportunity to tell how passionate and creative they are.
Trust should be established, and understanding must be built between the SEO company and business owner. Connection is important in every partnership. You are able to comprehend every single word that they say, and if you don’t, they must be willing to answer your questions and make clarifications. You can see a good working attitude, and they are not overselling their services too. This is a good time to ask specific questions that you have in mind and evaluate how well they are in answering your questions.
5th Tip: Be clear with your budget as to how much you can allocate for SEO
Don’t invest on something you can’t afford, and make plans ahead of time to ensure you won’t be wasting money. Ask about the different SEO packages that they have to see the best option that you can afford. Choose the package deal that fits your goals mentioned in the 1st tip.
Common Mistakes In Choosing An SEO Company
Let me enlighten you on what you need to avoid when choosing an SEO firm to work with. This may be easier to do than looking for one. This is a list of the top five mistakes that you will want to know:
- Getting easily attracted with their SEO presentations
At times, people tend to be deceived easily with flashy presentations. If this company has created an awesome and extremely alluring marketing pitch, and they started off by promising you heaven and earth. Be vigilant on all these over and empty promises.
- Deceived by the “secret strategies” pitches
Actually, there is no “secret ingredients” in SEO method. Everything is well-documented, the process and all the steps that will be implemented. That’s why it’s vital to only work with experts in this field and not just anyone who started out and has not even done a single project yet but tells you many beautiful things on how they can help you with their ‘secret strategies’, be careful.
- Pricing package that is too good to be true
Need I say more on this? You know that you’ll get what you pay for. On the other hand, it doesn’t mean the more expensive it is, the better the quality will be.
- Limiting your options within your local area just because they are near you
One advantage of implementing SEO is that it can be done anywhere, which means you’re not really stuck with your local SEO firms. However, you have to take note not to close a deal with a foreign company, not unless your target market is situated in that country.
- Not spending time on researching for information
Check the case studies of the company. Gather online ratings and reviews. Read their blogs and try to see if there is any connection. Look for documented results that may be similar to your goals.
Finding A Reliable SEO Company For Your Business
The partnership in SEO strategy is long-term, and you don’t want to end up choosing a company that you’ll eventually break up with later or after a few weeks. Don’t believe their advertisements right away, not all of these agencies live up to their promises of giving you your SEO dreams. You should avoid the agencies that will promise you the following:
- Instant top ranking or promising good ranking results overnight.
- Traffic is doubled in a short span of time.
- Leads are instant.
- A huge number of backlinks.
Yes, you might have heard people possibly doing it, but did they tell you the consequences you may face? These practices are not acceptable, and you might get in trouble.
Indications Of Black Hat SEO
If they are implementing questionable SEO applications to achieve rankings quickly or to beat the long-term system, this is often known as Black Hat SEO. The damage done through your website is punishable and Google will not let you get away that easily. It may take years to reverse it; you need to stay away from people or agencies performing such techniques. Don’t waste your investment and most especially don’t put your business’ reputation in a bad position. It’s just not worth it.
Don’t believe in anyone who gives any guarantees in a short amount of time. Here are the signs of SEO strategies that you need to stay away from:
- Purchasing a huge amount of links from irrelevant websites
- Utilizes scrapped or duplicated content
- Generates hundreds of total garbage pages through the use of a certain computer program or tool
- Spamming links by submitting phony press releases
Another note to remember, never engage those who are insisting on retaining all the metadata they have created. You can be barred or totally remove your website if you ever decide to leave them for another firm.
Questions To Ask Before Deciding Who To Engage
Look at the SEO company reviews first before you start choosing from the list of SEO firms. If you see a lot of negative reviews about a certain company, then something’s not right with it. You can prove their success by asking for samples of accomplished projects or case studies. Here is a list of questions that you can ask them:
- Contract details – Make sure to read the contract again. What’s in the contract? What are the inclusions? How long does this contract last?
- Cancellation process – What is the procedure? Are there any fees involved if I cancel before the agreed end date and how much will it cost?
- Communication – What is the means of our communication and how often is this in a week or in a month?
- Access and permissions – Do I get full access to my accounts in Analytics and AdWords and even in my own website? You should know who gets control over what access.
- Website ownership – Check the website ownership clauses in the contract. It might indicate that they will build “free” websites but will be losing the rights of owning it once you leave.
- Options – Do I have options in terms of budgets and contract? As what we have discussed, your budget relies on your goals, competitive landscape, starting point and capabilities internally.
- Payment options – What are the modes of payment that you offer? Get every detail on what SEO costs you will be paying for and how you are going to pay for it.
Don’t be too quick in choosing an SEO company, explore your options. You can find a lot of good SEO firms but there are only very few of them can be considered best in this field. Take your time in finding the most reliable SEO company that fits your preference and business’ needs.