- Understanding What an SEO Company Can Do
- Benefits of Working with a Reputable SEO Company
- 6 Tips for Choosing the Right SEO Company
- 5 Mistakes to Avoid when Choosing an SEO Company
- Finding the Best SEO Company to Match Your Needs and Standards
- 8 Important Questions to Ask Your Potential SEO Companies
Choosing the right SEO company can be difficult, and picking wrong can be downright disastrous when it’s time to break up with them and go with someone else. With so many SEO companies available, choosing one that is both reliable and dependable can be overwhelming. However, we’re here to help. We’ll outline things you should watch for, mistakes to avoid, standards to seek from the start, and questions you should ask your prospective SEO company.
Understanding What an SEO Company Can Do
Over the past several years, the term “SEO” exploded in popularity for both large and small businesses alike. Simply put, SEO stands for search engine optimisation. This is a strategy where your business increases both the flow rate and the quality of the traffic that comes to your site when people perform organic searches. The three critical areas of SEO are:
- Traffic Quality – Quality traffic is anyone who comes to your site with an existing interest in your products or services, and not because Google, or a wayward piece of content, mistakenly tells them to come to you for something you don’t offer.
- Traffic Quantity – The more people who are clicking on your website through organic search, the better your site will rank with Google.
- Organic Results – Organic results refer to traffic that comes to your site naturally, and that you don’t have to pay for through ads. The more you get, the better off your site will be.
The entire point of SEO is to drive traffic and increase your rankings on SERPs (search engine results page). Ideally, you want your site to appear on Google’s first page because this is where the majority of traffic comes from. People tend to stay on the first or second pages of Google’s results, and don’t usually venture any further for their information. Roughly 60% of all searchers click on one of the top three results.
This fact makes the results pages extremely competitive, as there is only limited space on these first couple of pages. This is why you need a quality, dependable and reliable SEO company that helps you to improve your page’s ranking, and a company with a service that fits your company’s unique style and brand. Ideally, your chosen SEO company’s goals should line up perfectly with yours, and they should offer competitive pricing that doesn’t break your budget.
Benefits of Working with a Reputable SEO Company
If you get the formula correct and choose the best SEO company for your needs, the benefits far outweigh the costs. Firstly, your rankings (visibility) will improve. When this happens, you will receive more organic traffic to your site, kickstarting a domino effect with more organic traffic leading to more leads, followed by increased sales, and, finally, increased revenue. Other benefits of these improved organic visibility include;
- Improved customer satisfaction, as users are able to quickly find what they need
- More time for your team to spend on running your business’s day to day operations
- Better brand visibility across online channels
- Reduced advertising and paid search costs, as organic traffic begins to take the strain
Also, some companies are capable of helping your company with more than just an SEO strategy, and it’s always a good idea to double check all of the products or services before you settle on one provider.
As well as SEO services, you may find a provider who can offer pay per click campaigns, content marketing, email marketing and social media posts. The SEO company will optimise all of these areas, and you can focus your complete attention and energy on your business.
6 Tips for Choosing the Right SEO Company
How do you know the SEO company you pick is really the best fit for your company? What should you look for when you’re screening potential applicants? We’ve picked the best tips that you can take and apply to the various SEO companies you have around to ensure you choose the best one.
Tip #1 – Define and Set Your Company’s SEO Goals
Before you even begin searching for your SEO company, you want to have a very clear and defined set of goals you’d like to accomplish with your new SEO strategy. Which areas of your online presence do you want to improve upon? Maybe you need a completely redesigned website that is more user-friendly, or you need content to fill out your website? Perhaps you need keyword incorporation or you need a stronger social media presence?
If you’re not sure where to begin, you can look for a digital marketing analysis. This comprehensive report will point out weak areas that need improvement to bolster your online presence. This will give you a solid foundation as you set your company’s SEO goals and define a roadmap towards achieving them.
Tip #2 – Check Reviews and References
It’s essential that you are able to see what an SEO company has accomplished for past customers, especially if you’re thinking about using them for very specific services. You can look on Google or Facebook for reviews by inputting the company’s name and performing a simple search.
A second thing you want to do is check their references. Ask to see examples of clients that they’ve worked with in the past, and make a note of them. You can call these companies later and ask about their experience with the SEO provider. Chances are, they’ll be happy to tell you both the good and the bad that came with the experience.
Tip #3 – Ensure Your SEO Company Tracks Your Company’s Data
No matter which SEO company you choose, they should have a system in place to track all of your company’s data. This will help them find points or areas that need improvement, and it can also help them monitor it and suggest changes as appropriate.
You’ll use this data to pick and formulate the right business strategies for your company, to increase your exposure and reach. Ideally, the SEO company should track click through rates, contact forms, phone calls and site visits at the very least.
Tip #4 – Research the Company and Team’s Ethics
Take a hard look at their leadership and team members before you settle on a company. If you know someone that works for them, ask to chat. You can typically get a good feel for the people in the company’s leadership roles by searching on LinkedIn.
If you search and find that the employees seem disengaged or disconnected from the company’s vision and mission statement, it’s highly unlikely that the rest of the team will put their full effort into your SEO strategy. Also, make sure they have a strong set of ethics that mean no unsavoury ranking shortcuts that could damage the company’s reputation.
Tip #5 – Set an SEO Budget
You should be able to find a quality SEO company without going over your set budget, but you do tend to get what you pay for in this field, so be prepared to spend a little more for these services. It’s an excellent idea to find out early on if the company offers package deals and what their price ranges are.
Many SEO companies feature monthly package deals that offer ongoing support, and this can make it easier to decide which provider is best for you. Keep the first tip we outlined in mind, and look for a company that offers packages to grow alongside your company’s goals.
Tip #6 – Schedule and Attend a Consultation
Even if you’re thousands of miles away from your chosen SEO company, it’s still possible to schedule and attend a consultation without flying out to meet them. Google Hangouts and Skype offer free video chatting capabilities that allow you to sit down with prospective companies for a virtual meeting.
This is a chance to see how well you connect with the SEO company. Do you fully understand the services they’re explaining to you? The company will most likely pull up your company’s niche industry and make some mockups ahead of time to walk you through their strategies.
5 Mistakes to Avoid when Choosing an SEO Company
Now that you’re well aware of what want from your potential SEO company, we’ll talk about the mistakes to avoid. This can help to save you a lot of problems and miscommunications in the long run, and it’s better for your business overall if you avoid these errors in your quest to find the ideal SEO provider.
Mistake #1 – Picking a Cheap SEO Company
One of the biggest mistakes people make is thinking that a cheap SEO company can and will provide the same advantages as a more expensive option. This doesn’t mean that you have to find the most costly company around, but it is worth bearing in mind that, if something seems to good to be true, it probably is. Compare the prices of the various SEO companies and find one that fits with your budget.
Mistake #2 – Falling for a Shiny SEO Presentation
On paper, an SEO presentation may look and sound amazing, but don’t forget that such pitches will be smooth and well-honed advertisements. It is important to look beyond the glitz and the glamour of a sales pitch and focus on real value. Remember that SEO companies make money from every client they take on, and the shinier the presentation, the more likely they are to hook people in.
Mistake #3 – Picking a Local SEO Company for Convenience’s Sake
Technology is a beautiful thing, and it allows you to work with companies thousands of miles away without ever stepping foot through their doors. While supporting local businesses is nice, don’t restrict yourself by shutting out better suited SEO companies in favour of a local candidate simply for the sake of it. Also, don’t sign up for an out of country SEO company unless your business’ target market is in their region.
Mistake #4 – Falling for “Secret Trade Formula” Pitches
There are no “magic trade secret” or ‘special formula’ to getting the SEO strategy correct. What a company needs to do to succeed with SEO is already well documented, but some providers are better than others because they have specific industry experience, deploy the best methods to achieve their aims, and stay ahead of the curve when it comes to innovation. Look at their methods and success stories, as this is a good indicator of the company’s experience.
Mistake #5 – Picking a Company Without Doing ANY Research
You could close your eyes and pick an SEO company at random, but you’re dealing with your business – your pride and joy – and it deserves better. Instead, adopt a methodical approach, read the company’s reviews, and dive into their case studies. Take a look at their blog and see how they present themselves and what image they display. Do you want your company associated with this image? Does the provider seem like it would be a good fit? Don’t set yourself up for a nightmare breakup; do in-depth research on every company you consider.
Finding the Best SEO Company to Match Your Needs and Standards
Did you know that there are two types of SEO companies available? They use the terms “white hat” and “black hat” to define the categories. White hat SEO strategies use approved and legal methods to get results, while black hat SEO strategies use less than reputable, or even downright illegal, methods to get your business results. If you get caught, you can face harsh penalties from Google, and your reputation can suffer.
In order to find the best SEO company to suit your needs, as well as your business’ standards, you want to avoid providers who promise the following:
- Any sort of ROI promises without any supplementary data
- Anyone that mentions “instant”
- Overnight rankings
- Search engine submissions
- Personal blog networks
These are examples of things that a black hat SEO company will offer to gain new customers who don’t know any better. Basically, these practices go directly against the regulations set by Google and other search engines. If the company you consider promises you any of the above in a set amount of time, run – run fast, and run far because this is not legal. They accomplish these promises by:
- Buying links from a lot of random and weak sites
- Submitting fake press release and content to spam links
- Using duplicate or plagiarised content from another website
- Utilising a computer program to automatically generate pages of content that feature keyword stuffing and things that aren’t relevant to your products or services to try and trick traffic in
Also, one of the most important elements of searching for an SEO provider is avoiding companies that insist on holding the copyrights to anything they analyse, generate, edit, or create.
This is a trap that allows the SEO provider to legally ban you from using what you have already paid for, should you choose to not renew a contract with them. Essentially, this will set you back to square one, and you’ll be out a great deal of money with little or nothing to show for it.
8 Important Questions to Ask Your Potential SEO Companies
Along with everything we outlined above, there are several questions you will want to ask each SEO company you consult with. This will help you weed out any companies that you aren’t convinced by, and can also help you better tailor your expectations, and gauge the SEO company’s services. These important questions include:
#1 – “What is the standard contract?”
You’re looking for the specific terms, including copyright information. Ask: How long does the contract last? Is there anything specific included in it that you should be wary of?
#2 – “Do you have a cancellation process and what does it entail?”
If you cancel your contract early, do you pay a fee to do so? Does it render any agreements null and void?
#3 – “How often will you touch base with me?”
Does the company plan to keep you largely in the dark, or do they plan to be very hands-on and keep you in the loop? Ensure that you define your communication preferences, and do it early.
#4 – “Do you have a cancellation process and what does it entail?”
Should you happen to break your contract, do you own the rights to your website? Many SEO companies write it into their contracts that they retain ownership over the website if you break your contract early.
#5 – “Have you worked with other companies in my niche?”
This is a critical question. Different industries have different SEO strategies and requirements, and you want a company with experience and success in your niche to maximise your results.
#6 – “Do you offer custom packages?”
SEO isn’t one size fits all, and what works wonderfully for one company will most likely not work well for another. Ask if the provider can offer monthly packages, and what their pricing range is.
#7 – “What fees do you charge and what payments do you accept?”
Get a detailed list of the company’s fees and payment schedule. Also, make sure to ask which types of payment they accept so they can’t withhold services for “non-payment” after a simple misunderstanding.
#8 – “Do you offer performance/result guarantees?”
This question is a sneaky one, but it is an important one if you are to gauge the levels of competency and professionalism for an SEO provider. It’s not possible to provide performance guarantees because each website is different. If a provider tries to do so, they’re most likely not using legal tactics, and you should avoid them.
The Final Word
Your company deserves a reputable, experienced and dependable SEO company to help expand your web presence. Our quick guide can help you choose the best SEO company to suit your needs and budget while avoiding the common mistakes that can cost you thousands. Happy searching!