If your business could benefit from some help with their SEO (hint: everyone's could), it's time you think about hiring a company for the job. It will not be long, though, before you realize there are too many SEO companies out there to count. While it's certainly nice having options, this time that blessing can be a real challenge. So here are some things to think about that should help you bring that list of potential SEO companies down considerably.
In today's world, it looks like everyone is an SEO expert. This is one of the reasons why SEO companies are a dime a dozen. Unfortunately, because this is such a necessary tool and so many people who need it do not really understand it, a lot of these snake oil salesmen get hired.
Even if they have good intentions, becoming a true expert at SEO takes time. So that should be one of the first things you look for in any SEO companies up for the job.
Of course, they could have a decade of experience and not being the SEO company for you. Improving your search engine rank takes a number of talents, and chief among them is understanding your market. That's why many SEO companies have a specialty when it comes to industries. One may be the best at helping, say, law firms get ranked. However, if a restaurant hired them, their results could lack considerably.
On top of that, you obviously want to make sure they've had successful campaigns in the past. Do not simply take their word for it either. Call up the client they served and get their opinion. You definitely want to know how long it took them to secure that success. But it's also worth asking what it was like working with them. Given how important SEO services are and how much they can cost, the last thing you want is a company that you'll constantly be fighting with.
Another good way to get rid of some of the one-hit-wonders out there is to ask potential companies about the services they provide. Specifically, you want to confirm the main three. These are:
• On-Page Optimization, like HTML tags, keywords, meta descriptions, etc.
• Off-Page Optimization, like backlinks, directory listings, etc.
• Technical Optimization, like website design, etc.
You may be surprised to find how many companies only handle one or two of these. Again, this is because a lot of these so-called "companies" just learned one to get in the business. Without having all three working in tandem, your SEO will suffer, plain and simple.
Somewhere along the way, SEO became divided from traditional marketing strategies. The two are certainly different, however, they overlap considerably too. This means your chosen company should be able to provide you with content that outlines the benefit of your product or services to readers. If you just get a useful of paragraphs with a few keywords included, this really will not do much for you. Remember, having a user find your website is great. Turning them into a customer is ideal.
A Good Fit with the Rest of Your Company
If your company consist of just you and your laptop, you still want to make sure that you can get along with any SEO companies that are up for the job. As we mentioned before, getting ranked can sometimes feel like you're in a foxhole with your SEO team and those are cramped quarters during the best of times.
Finding the right fit is even more important for larger companies though. Chances are your SEO company will be interacting with your IT department, customer service, your sales team and more. If they can not all play well together, you're not going to get what you need from your SEO.
Lastly, you may assume that a company specializing in marketing tactics would be great at communicating, but this is an assumption that often proves wrong. A lot of times you'll find that many SEO companies fall short here. This is unacceptable. Try to get a sense for their communication style when you interview them to ensure that they will update you regularly and respond to communications in a timely manner.
While an SEO company can take your business to the next level, it can also stop your progress cold in its tracks. Consider the above to ensure the SEO companies you pick is more benefit than burden.