Is your business in dire need of a digital makeover? If so, then hiring search engine optimisation (SEO) pros should be at the top of your to-do list. With them on your team, you can run your business while they help ramp up organic traffic, rankings, user experience and revenue.
But the thing is, finding the best SEO company is not a walk in the park. And doing a Google search for this will likely lead to more problems later on. Like any relationship, choosing an SEO company is a two-way street. Business owners need to be specific with their needs so their SEO partners can help fill in the gaps.
Steps in Choosing a Reliable SEO Company
Well, we’ve yet to come up with an instant recipe for choosing the best SEO company. In the meantime, let’s do it the hard way, where a fair amount of in-depth research and all sorts of deciding factors are involved.
But not to worry. This list should take some pressure off during the vetting process and let you focus on activities that matter. Here’s what you should do.
1. Establish your business goals
Why do I need to hire an SEO company?
Before diving into the all-important SEO company hunt, first things first: set your goals. You probably need a qualified SEO firm to help you reduce bounce rates, achieve a revenue goal or fix your Google penalty. Or perhaps you want to boost sign-ups or drive in more organic search traffic for an upcoming campaign.
The best SEO company can help improve any aspect of your online presence. But you need to play the director’s role. Your precise and clear goals can identify the right SEO services you need and achieve the results you want. More importantly, these will be your basis for measuring failure or success.
To create your goal outline, talk to relevant people: your executive board, sales department, customer service staff or marketing team. Let them raise problem areas related to your site performance, online visibility or web presence. If this task is too technical, experts on digital marketing services can come to your rescue. They can provide you with the data summarising your critical business areas that need improvement.
2. Find your perfect business match
Which SEO company can help achieve my goals?
Whatever you do, don’t base your decision-making process on what the search results tell you. They can probably show you lists of top SEO firms, but they may not exactly help your business. The truth is some SEO agencies that dominate the rankings have more time optimising their websites than servicing actual clients. Worse, some even employ black-hat SEO strategies. You can do these instead:
- Consult people in your professional circle or industry. Ask around and get valid recommendations. Word of mouth works not only for gaining customers but also for sourcing service providers.
- Check the SEO company website. Once you’ve shortlisted your potential agencies, do some research. Find out if your choices specialise in a specific location, business industry or search engine optimisation service.
- Get an in-person or phone consultation. Finally, call the SEO company for further information. During your initial conversation, ask if they can give you a free website audit. The quality of their assessment can tell you how much they’re tuned in to your business model and goals. Also, try to evaluate how the company can connect SEO metrics to tangible benefits. And don’t fall for those shiny things and flashy sales presentations. That’s a red flag waving.
3. Verify its experience and track record
Should I believe these raving reviews and testimonials?
What makes the best SEO company different from amateurs? That would be years of experience, proven success and a trail of satisfied customers. However, any experienced agency can impress you with its milestones, awards or certifications. Whether they’re real or just for show is for you to find out. These sources can help you judge:
- Review websites. Google and Facebook display these star ratings that suggest the trustworthiness or reliability level of a quality SEO company. Check the company’s Google My Business or Facebook page.
- Proven performance records. When you consult the SEO company, ask for examples of their past work. These can be portfolio or case study samples. Depending on your set business goals, check how their services enhance web design, website content, social media posts or pay-per-click campaigns.
- Previous and current clients. During your research on the SEO company’s website, you might come across some reputable companies that have worked with the SEO agency. Talk to them if possible. Get accounts of their first-hand experience or satisfaction level.
4. Foster open communication and transparency
How do you plan to keep me in the loop?
I’m sure you know how poor communication leads to business failure. It’s the same when choosing an SEO company. The agency knows the current SEO trends and technical tools to help you. But you should be informed with the highlight, be it login details, new website content or conversions. So, right off the bat, ask them questions like:
- What reports will you provide?
- How often should I expect updates?
- Will there be an account manager in charge?
Ask them about their tools for identifying key SEO performance indicators, too. Google Analytics and Google Search Console are common examples. It’s essential that you have access to these and, at least, have a basic understanding of how they work.
Remember, you’re investing valuable resources for your SEO project, so there’s no room for grey areas. Besides, a high-quality agency will have no problem having an honest dialogue with you. Also, SEO success doesn’t happen overnight. It’s a long, arduous process that requires effort, time and patience. And throughout that process, you would want a powerful ally by your side that you can trust.
5. Go for realistic outcomes
Do you guarantee page-one search rankings?
This question is your final indicator of whether the SEO company is good or not. And if its consultants answer you with a resounding yes, then it’s time to look for another agency. You see, ranking and search algorithms change now and then. And no one can predict what these changes will be or even when they will happen. So, guaranteed rankings are non-existent.
SEO experts may have previously outsmarted Google, for example, keyword stuffing, buying low quality links, mass blog commenting, etc. Now, these black-hat SEO tactics only spell Google penalty and damaged online reputation for you. A quick, easy win is enticing. But white-hat SEO will give you the same, or probably better, results without the risks. So, when choosing an SEO company, stick to those who can deliver results rather than empty promises.
Bottom line: there is no one-size-fits-all approach when choosing the right SEO company. But there is a select few made for you. And whether you are a small business or a large enterprise, you need time and effort to find them. With these, you’ll get stable business relations, positive results plus peace of mind. So, do your research, ask questions and impress (or scare) SEO experts with your scrutiny. After all, you are looking for the best!