Choosing an SEO company is tough
Choosing an SEO company is a tricky task.
Why? Because there are a ton of SEO firms to choose from. Each of them will guarantee that they will be able to help you. Paying an SEO company hundreds (or thousands) of dollars to optimize your online presence is risky and the consequences of the wrong decision can be devastating to your site and business. Choosing a poor SEO agency can result in Google penalties and wasting your money on false promises. Here are some tips to help you choose the best SEO company.
A little research goes a long way
The key to minimizing the risk and maximizing the return on your investment is to arm yourself with knowledge. That way, you can make an educated decision without falling for dubious claims you might not be able to trust.
Ultimately, you can hire a freelancer, hire someone in-house, or hire an SEO company. And of those options, typically a freelancer will be cheapest - but you're hiring a one-man show. An in-house SEO manager will be expensive, although it's always nice to keep things in-house. Of the three, an SEO agency will probably be most reasonably priced and leave you with the most time to continue to run your business as usual and do what you do well.
so many to choose from...
But how to choose? As we said above, SEO companies are a dime a dozen. To make matters worse, many SEO agencies prey on vulnerable marketing departments by making big, fat claims like: "Top the Google results now!" or "We'll have you ranking in two hours tops - or your money back!" But can they really deliver on these gigantic and rather unbelievable claims? That's what you need to find out.
When it comes to choosing a company to do SEO for you, here's how you can make a decision you feel really good about:
consider these 10 tips when choosing
In a consultation or phone call, be sure to bring up these five areas and jot down what the consultant says in response.
#1 How they describe themselves in comparison to other SEO companies.
You want to find a company that prides themselves in being a cut above the rest. There's definitely a line in the sand in 2016 - between companies that conduct SEO the right way and companies who stick to promising impossible ranking results. You want to make sure they're on the good side, doing work with integrity. And a good way to get to the bottom of this is to see what they say in response to "How does your agency stand out from other SEO agencies?"
#2 Where are they located?
Make sure the business has a legit location. SEO agencies can have fake business fronts and hide behind a website. You don't want that.
#3 WHo would you be working with?
You should be able to talk directly with the SEO expert that will be working with you. This way you can connect with the SEO expert and decide if you like them, not just the company. Some SEO agencies will talk with you and then assign you an SEO expert later, once you've signed their contract. Make sure you know who they are before signing!
SEO is complicated to most people. If you can find a company who explains SEO to you in relatively simple, straightforward terms, you can be pretty sure that they'll be good to work with. Two things to request of them: regular reports (monthly, quarterly, whatever), and phone time to ask questions or just check in. If they're handling your SEO, you want to be able to talk to them about it.
#5 How do they REPORT?
Your SEO company should have an extensive report for you every month. Weekly reports would be redundant and quarterly reports would be ridiculous. These reports should cover more than keywords. It should be cover the analytics and performance of your site. Feel free to ask to see our customized reporting app.
#6 How confident they are.
I'd be wary of anyone who hands you a list of 50 keywords and says, "I've got these nailed! Piece of cake!" A great SEO agency will be upfront with you about potential challenges, but also positive and excited about the potential they do see for success.
#7 Can they show you case studies?
Any company that promises results should be able to show you case studies to prove they've actually achieved the results they promise.
#8 If they say they can rank you #1, Run.
Sorry, but this is a load of baloney. As an SEO expert, I would never say that to any clients of mine. With Googles paid ads and neglect of organic traffic nowadays, it is harder than ever to make a site #1 on Google. I make sure my clients have realistic expectations and we focus on conversions. Any honest SEO company will educate you on what to expect.
#9 They audit your site before creating an seo strategy
You deserve to see an SEO audit of your site and see where your site is strong, and where it could use some help. BEFORE you sign anything. It is easy for someone to pick keywords and stick them into a site. Let's take keywords for example, they are a big part of SEO. What matters is the thought process behind why these keywords were picked. You need to approve these keywords. Do they properly represent your services? An SEO audit will get you and your SEO company on the same page. Happy Dog also has a custom SEO audit app. Please contact us if you would like an SEO audit, however, our extensive audits are not free.
#10 is there a contract for x amount of months?
We can't believe other SEO companies do this. We never make someone sign for a set amount of months. You should stay with an SEO company for at least 3 or 4 months, just because it takes a while to see SEO results. But, we would never make a company stay with us if things aren't working.
I hope these are helpful points to consider when you're researching SEO companies. Comment below with any questions you might have, and thanks for reading!