It is no secret that SEO is beyond an emerging field in the marketing industry. It has been around since the inception of search engines, but with an exponential increase in the number of web pages along with increasingly strict guidelines set forth by search engines, it can be easy to make disastrous mistakes when it comes to your business’ SEO
It can’t be denied that the potential for targeted traffic to your site results in higher conversion rates and a higher return on your investment.
To experience the potential that a well executed SEO strategy offers your business needs an seo company to keep track of the changing trends in the industry (Google makes about 400-500 tweaks every year to its search algorithms). Producing quality content and employing reputable, white-hat link building practices.
Without a good SEO company not only ill your business waste time and money for little to no results, you may actually be paying for negative drops in rankings due to disreputable SEO techniques.
The question arises:
- First and foremost, try to find customer testimonials not only from the SEO company (because who would advertise negative reviews) but also directly from past clients. Even searching for the company itself can give insight into how effective their SEO strategy is. If the SEO company can’t rank highly in the SERPs (search engine result pages) what makes you think that they can help your business rank highly? True experts in the field can implement SEO for a wide variety of businesses and their own SEO company should be no different.
- The next question to ask is: What specific methods will your SEO company use to improve rankings for my business? This should include an overall SEO campaign, complete with keyword and competitive analysis. The exact strategy and rationale behind each keyword should be provided.
- The reason for this is because if a keyword generates no traffic it will be easy to rank for and therefore easy to produce results, but it will not generate business. Having a strategy designed to attack keywords that achieve a balance in traffic and competition among other businesses competing for them. If you are attempting to compete with multi-billion dollar companies your SEO company won’t make much headway in their efforts. This is where balance is key.
- A good SEO company will also provide an initial review, including ways to optimize your website for things such as broken links and error pages. Improving URLs and the overall site structure along with optimizing titles and headings with keywords. Making sure your site includes things like a sitemap is important as well. All of these factors make it much easier for search engines to crawl and index your entire site.
- Finally, does the SEO company offer off-page SEO strategies like content creation and backlink building? (While many do, some employ shady practices that will not stand the test of time, but more on this later)
- On the very important topic of content creation/sharing, which has become the holy grail for any successful SEO strategy, you as a business owner should ask whether the SEO company follows the Search Engine Webmaster Guidelines. These forbid generating keyword stuffed, spammy content and dubious, often bought backlinks. While most SEO companies will assure you that they follow these guidelines this is where some external research comes into play. Look into other businesses this SEO company has represented to get a better idea of their practices.
- These shady practices will provide a short term boost, but Google will inevitably catch on and lower your ranking or even worse ban you from search engine results all together.
- Beware of Guarantees: If an SEO company claims they can guarantee you a number one spot on Google search rankings it’s generally a sign of some unethical practices when it comes to link building or content spamming. SEO companies like this offering quick fixes should be avoided at all costs because the fact of the matter is SEO is not a quick fix it is a long term investment.
- This point applies mostly to local businesses. While the above questions apply, local seo services has some fundamental differences from traditional SEO, and a traditional SEO company may not be as well versed on these differences. The SEO company should be well versed in handling local business clients and experienced in accurately updating your business information across as many local directories as possible.
- Is my SEO campaign (traditional or local) measurable? This is a huge question to ask because all of marketing today is based on analytics. The SEO company should be using Google Analytics as well as proprietary tools of their own. Any changes in rankings, traffic, click-through rates, conversions, etc. should be available to the business owner either through a platform or through constant contact with the SEO company in the form of monthly or preferably bi-monthly reports.
- Is your SEO Company consistently communicating with your business? This is a necessity from time frames for content deliverables to monthly strategic plans and reports. An account specialist within the SEO company should always be on call to field your questions regarding the status of your SEO campaign.
- Fees & Payments: This can be the most stressful conversation with an SEO company because a stellar SEO campaign takes time to develop. You, as the business owner, may be paying before you see results. Depending on the size of the campaign expect to ay anywhere between $750-$5000/month over a 6-12 month period (once again depending on the scope of the project. Local SEO will generally be cheaper).
- Be weary of SEO companies offering contracts that keep you locked in for a certain amount of time because whether they produce results are not your are contractually obligated to pay. Try to find a firm that charges on a month by month basis rather than being locked into a long term contract.
- When the SEO strategy is completed: What happens when your business is left on its own without an SEO company to guide you. The mark of a good strategy, employing reputable, white-hat techniques, is that it is self sustaining needing only minor tweaks to continue to bring traffic in long after your business and SEO company have parted ways.
- As a Warning: After finishing a contract with unethical SEO companies you may see a significant drop in the rankings they earned you because they were earned through shady practices.
The best piece of advice is to simply shop around and do research on as many SEO firms as possible. This is imperative when choosing an SEO company because this is a long term investment into your business with potentially huge gains on your investment for years to come after the SEO strategy is implemented.
As a marketing agency, bidpin is dedicated to providing quality information about all of the services we offer so businesses can better understand the complex world of marketing and dominate their competition.