5 Things to Know Before Hiring That SEO Company
If you are looking for an SEO Company, there is no shortage of firms that will raise their hand and tell you that they are the best fit to take the job. The reality is that Search Engine Optimization is a puzzle with many pieces. If a company is only performing part of what it takes to be successful, it will be a frustrating venture for you and your team.
Here are 5 things to know about a company before you decide to move forward. Also, you may use this checklist to see if your current company should “hit the bricks.”
1. What is their on-site optimization strategy?
Everyone wants to make it all about the keywords, but the truth is that your site structure is crucial to your success. Google puts a lot of stock into the user experience. If you want reap the full benefit of off-page strategies, a company needs to be prepared to work within the four walls of your website to fit Google’s optimal criteria.
What to look for……
Look for a company that is going to comb your site from top to bottom, page to page, and make necessary adjustments. You don’t want to be 3 months in and have them blame site structure for their lack of success.
2. Do they back link and how?
Strategic back linking has become a cornerstone in the search engine algorithm. Your site’s domain authority is impacted by the back-links (or lack of) to authoritative webpages. A company that back links “only as needed” doesn’t have a strategy. How should you know? It’s because back linking is always needed.
Companies should be creating backlinks and making sure that the links are legitimate. They should have a clear plan to constantly monitor the toxicity of the connecting links. Links that are considered spam do more harm than good.
What to look for……
Make sure the company can provide a clear strategy for qualifying and creating valuable back links. Expect the company to provide ways for you to monitor the validity of the backlinks they are creating. Also, insist they set a goal for the number of backlinks created per month. Remember, “as needed”, in this case, is as good as a “no we don’t do that.”
3. How do they plan on learning about your business?
While SEO best practices can be somewhat agnostic, learning your industry and your business cannot be overlooked. It would be a frustrating endeavor to find that the company focused 80% of your keyword strategy on things that drive 15% of your revenue.
What to look for…..
Is the company taking the time in the sales process to really understand your business? This is discovered by examining the questions that they ask. A consultative approach to earning your business has a better chance of transitioning into a well thought out strategy. If it’s all about their value proposition during your consultation, that would be a red flag that once the campaign is under their care, the game plan for the lawyer is the same as the baker.
4. Who provides the keyword strategy?
The approach to a keyword strategy needs to be a collaborative effort. You may have a good sense of what you’d like to be found for, but the SEO company should have the insight into data behind the search terms. There are great tools that Digital Marketing Agencies can use to do extensive keyword research. Ask the company how what they use to determine a strategy. A quality company will seek to understand your perspective and also offer a strategy that aligns with sound analytics.
What to look for….
Your partnership should be a joint venture with the SEO company. Be leary of companies that will take your list and run with it. You want a professional to consider your industry knowledge but consult you on actual trends. Your company will be paying them good money out of your marketing budget. Let the SEO Professionals earn it.
5. Do they guarantee 1st page placement in 3 months or less?
This is a “gotcha”. Any company that guarantees 1st page placement in 1 - 3 months may be just trying to get the business. While there are certainly adjustments that can be made along with the creation of a strong backlink profile that gets your site ranked in good time, no-one can guarantee such things. This is the type of company that give the whole industry a bad name.
What to look for….
Look for a company that sets realistic expectations and also can provide examples of previous campaigns where they have accomplished great SEO results.
Choosing the right SEO company can transform your whole business. Selecting the wrong one can prove to be a frustrating and costly decision. Make sure that you vet companies and select one that will be more than a service provider, but a trusted partner.