What to look for in an SEO company
How Do I Choose an SEO Company?
The world of SEO can get pretty muddled. Every online business can benefit from improving their visibility on search engines, and the benefits to ranking in the top are too good to pass up. But as soon as you start looking for help, you begin to get email after email and call after call from search engine optimization firms, stating that they can help you get to the first page in Google or help you build links for SEO. How do you wade through all of the firms to select the right one for you? Here’s a quick guide:
Check their own SEO
I don’t mean their ranks, because if they’re newer, or by nature of being a SEO firm in a really competitive niche, they may not rank well (especially if they’re white hat) – but rather if they do things correctly. When you search for their company name, are they the first result? Does their meta description make sense and compel? Are the search results under them reviews, and how do they look? They’re going to be doing the same for your company, so make sure it all looks good.
Look at their Portfolio
Do they actually list companies they work with, case studies, have reviews online, etc? There are some reasons to keep your clients private, but the majority of SEO clients are more than happy to have their name and link on the consultant’s site – it’s more free publicity. If you can’t find any evidence of them doing work for real companies, maybe there’s a reason they hide it.
What is Their Price Point?
If they’re offering packages like “15 keywords for $500” or any kind of standardized pricing, then they are usually not a firm that will work for your best interest. They basically plug you into their system and let it go. A real SEO company will be doing an in-depth investigation before they offer you a quote, as each company has different markets, competition, and goals.
Do They Care?
What kinds of questions did they ask you? – A good SEO firm will do their best to understand your customer base, your present SEO position (often asking for view access to your analytics) and your goals. They’ll lay out reasonable goals (no guaranteeing first page results in XX time) and try to offer you the best ROI on your investment. If they just sent you a document showing SEO improvements, they’re not looking very hard at you and how to make you succeed.
What Kind of Relationship Will You Have?
You’re building a relationship with, if they’re good, a company that is going to be in constant contact with you. They’ll be calling/emailing trying to understand your market, targets, etc. If you can’t communicate effectively, it won’t work well for either party. Look at it as if you’re hiring an employee; vet them thoroughly and make sure you can work well together long-term.
After vetting the company using these steps, you’ll likely find yourself with a much better partner who is genuinely interested in helping your search rankings and organic traffic grow and improve over time, and stay strong for years to come.
This article was contributed by Josh Rubin with Creative California. Josh has over 10 years experience developing websites with SEO and marketing as the primary foundations for local small businesses and national franchises.