Checklist for Hiring the Best SEO Companies
As Google continues to make search engine optimization more challenging, finding an SEO company that knows how to construct an effective SEO strategy is becoming more difficult. The complexities of today’s ever-changing SEO landscape demand full-time attention, and when companies don’t have the time to manage their SEO effectively, an SEO company may be a necessity.
The best SEO companies will provide a comprehensive strategy that adequately optimizes your website, while making sure you understand the mechanics of your campaign through consistent communication. Trustworthy companies set realistic goals and don’t make exaggerated promises, and will work with you to get the best results possible to establish your company as an industry authority.
Here’s a checklist of questions to help you find the best SEO companies who have your best interests at heart.
Questions to Ask an SEO Company
When searching for the company that’s the best fit for your business, you should know which questions to ask before making your final decision. Cross examining an SEO company during the sales process can let you know if a company is worth working with or a business you should avoid. Some of these questions might include:
- How long has your company been around?
- Can you provide any examples or case studies of your past successes?
- What link building strategy would implement for my website?
- How do you develop your content strategy?
- What results can you see my website experiencing, and how long will it take to see them?
- Do you adhere to Google’s SEO requirements?
- How does your account management work?
- How and how often will I be able to communicate with you for updates?
- Do you provide local listing management?
- How do you build and organize your reports?
- Are you well known in the SEO industry?
- What kind of achievements and awards have you earned?
- Are you familiar with Google My Business pages?
- What kind of keywords does your own company website rank for?
- What kind of services can I get for my budget?
If the company in question can provide satisfactory answers to each of these questions, it may be worth it to consider their services.
What to Look for in an SEO Company
Apart from the previous evaluation questions to ask an SEO company, here are some additional reflective questions to ask yourself, which can help further determine whether or not an SEO company is reliable:
- Does the company appear honest and transparent? The best SEO companies leave nothing hidden in their business operations, and will be honest with prospective and current clients. If they are willing to show how your strategy is working and explain how it works, you’re likely to be in good hands. They will be able to measure the effectiveness of their strategies and show you how your company’s online presence is progressing.
- Are the expectations realistic? One of the biggest warning signs an SEO company can show is a profound, questionable guarantee. If a company tells you it can get you at the #1 spot on the first page of Google for a bunch of keywords within a month, this likely isn’t going to happen, and you can probably expect to receive more empty, unfulfilled promises in the future. You should take any “100% guarantee” as a sign to stay far away.
- Does the company place emphasis on customer service? Another trait you’ll see with the best SEO companies is a focus on high-quality customer service. A reputable company works to ensure that its customers are satisfied, learning about their business and helping them get the results they want, all while guiding them every step of the way.
- How does the company rank? The SEO company you choose should prove that they are good at what they do. One of the best ways to learn about companies’ competency is to perform searches for relevant keywords and see how they rank. If they appear to cover a wide range of keywords relevant to their industry, and show up near the top, they’re much more likely to be worth hiring. You can also use certain SEO tools to evaluate the company’s performance.
- Does the company have a good reputation in the SEO industry? If other companies are talking about them, and they are consistently active in the community, you can probably trust them to be industry authorities. Reputable companies are active in blogs, social media, and other outlets while providing helpful information and services.
Things to Look Out for
With all of the SEO companies out there competing for leads, many of the less reputable businesses use sketchy business practices to lure people. Some of these red flags include anonymous solicitation emails, aforementioned extraordinary guarantees, a lack of transparency, and even requiring customers to link to the vendor’s website.
Keeping all of these aspects in mind when searching for the best SEO companies can help guarantee that you aren’t stuck with lackluster services that provide poor ROI at expensive prices. A good company won’t keep you in the dark about any aspect of their operations, providing detailed information about their services on their website as well as in person prior to pushing sales. Shady business practices will always attempt to deceive prospective clients, but if you’re armed with the right questions and knowledge of the many red flags out there, you can successfully avoid them to get the services you want for your business.
With the right SEO company by your side, you can form a long-term professional relationship that helps your business excel beyond your initial expectations.
Ben Graves is an online marketing associate at Clickx, performing various SEO tasks for clients in order to help improve their online exposure and traffic, and to help establish them as leaders in their industries. You can connect with him on LinkedIn.