What you Should Look for in an SEO Company
When it comes to outsourcing anything, you need to be sure that you’re putting your business in good hands. SEO is something that is quite new to a lot of people; whilst they understand the importance of having a website, many aren’t all that aware of how exactly to market it. As such, there is often a similar level of confusion over just what is required and who to hire.
SEO is one of the most effective ways of marketing a website online. With search engines providing such a wealth of targeted traffic for sites, it’s a logical place for most to begin. Plus, with the way search engine algorithms have evolved to involve a far greater emphasis on quality, SEO is almost like a best practice strategy for development of a site. By getting it right first time, you can really see some benefits.
As with any industry, particularly one as lucrative as SEO, there are some bad eggs out there. More often than not they will be far more interested in providing ludicrous promises than effective results. Anybody who claims that they can get you to the top of Google in x months should be treated with caution. Okay, so you might have seen my book – Get to #1 on Google in Easy Steps – and think that is showing double standards. But the truth is you can get to the top, it just takes a lot of work in the right areas and maybe a little compromise on the keywords you target – all of which is explained in more detail in the book.
Unreliable SEOs though will tell you that they can get ANY term to the top in a few months. This generally means that they will either get your site involved in some very shady black hat techniques (ordinarily buying hundreds of links en mass) or just fall flat on their face. It is for this reason that it is usually best to see what their track record is like; how many clients do they have, and how many are willing to provide a positive reference? Getting yourself stuck in a long-term contract that offers little in the way of returns will do nothing for your confidence in SEO.
A good SEO always provide an honest summary of your site and the work required to bring it up to scratch. Whilst it is horribly clichéd, if something sounds a little too good to be true, then it probably is. An SEO assessment should encompass all of your site’s good and bad points, highlighting exactly where changes can be made to ensure that it succeeds in the future.
For smaller companies with fewer resources, the budget may have to go further. In these instances, you might not be able to have a full time professional on your staff or can’t approach some of the better known SEO agencies. Don’t worry, there are plenty of options available to you. A number of smaller SEO agencies, who charge less money will have exactly the same expertise as the ‘top’ businesses. They can give you a start in SEO for a fraction of the cost. Alternatively you could just get in an SEO consultant, who will provide you with advice as required and give you enough to get your site ranking improved.
Essentially though you need to go into this with your eyes open and not get duped into spending more than you can afford, or signing up to anything that will cause more trouble than it’s worth. Talk to companies, discuss it with their clients and don’t make any rash decisions.