What to Consider When Looking for a Good SEO Partner
When you’re searching for that ideal SEO company to work with, there are certain things to consider in order to determine if the company you’re thinking of working with is the right fit. An SEO company that is truly working in your favor should act like a partner, treating your business with the same kind of care that they provide their own. Here are some elements that will separate SEO “partners” from simple vendors.
Is the Company a Long-Term Partner or a Temporary Provider?
Progress in your business’s online visibility doesn’t happen overnight, which is why you’ll want to work with a company that can work with you over a long period of time to get you the results you initially wanted. Paying a higher price doesn’t always guarantee you’ll get the best services, and many SEO companies out there will try to make you think your company will rank #1 within a month or less, along with other equally unrealistic expectations.
Some might even say you’ll be on page one within as little as 48 hours. A solid SEO partner, on the other hand, will tell you what you can realistically expect to see in your website’s performance over the course of your campaign. They will also know how much the company’s services are worth and inform you of pricing based around the plan you want.
Search engine optimization work takes time, so you shouldn’t choose an SEO company with the mindset that your website will drastically improve after only a brief period of assistance. With quality service, you should see an increase in leads and subsequent sales, with new ideas proposed to help develop your online business as the SEO landscape evolves. An SEO company that’s truly on top of the online marketing industry will readily adapt to change, not relying on outdated practices.
When consulting with a prospective SEO partner, the company should be able to help project your business’s return on investment based on your business’s SEO campaign. Your partner should also be able to set specific campaign goals, with benchmarks put in place from the start. In a consultation, you should ask how the company would perform benchmarks and project ROI in the long term.
Is There Frequent and Scheduled Communication?
When working with an SEO company, effective communication is crucial for a long-term partnership. Oftentimes the person in sales will not be the person with whom you regularly communicate. You should know who will handle your account from the start of your campaign, as well as how to communicate with him or her for updates. You should also find out how often you will receive updates about your account and the specific details you can expect to see.
A worthwhile partner will help you come up with a clear communication plan that specifies who you will contact and how often they will contact you in return. They should also be available to speak with you throughout the day if you have any questions or concerns.
If you are unable to communicate during work hours on a frequent basis, or experience severe miscommunication that results in unwanted actions, it could cause a lot of harm to your campaign, and indicate a lack of investment in you as a client. This is why your SEO partner should establish clear communication from the moment they first speak with you. If they seem difficult to speak with, it might be time to look at other options.
Is There Transparency in the Company’s Efforts?
Throughout your campaign, you should be able to get an idea of how much work your SEO partner is doing. With this information, you will be able to better gauge the level of effort it takes to improve your company’s online presence. There should be a clear-cut project accountability plan that details the hours your partner spends each week or month on your company. Once you have created an accountability plan, you should make sure both parties stay with it as consistently as possible.
Whether you’re able to view logged hours and tasks via an online platform or a collaborative spreadsheet, you should have a good understanding of the work invested in your account. It may not seem entirely necessary if things are going well, but in the event of any shortcomings both you and your partner should be able to identify the issue before it can worsen.
During consultation, you should ask about what level of access you would have to view project goals, current and completed tasks, and the projected amount of time it will take to complete certain objectives.
Does the Company Make Sound Recommendations Based on Data?
Analytics (both for the client and competitors) is another vital element to consider when deciding on an SEO company. Companies can access analytics data without any hassle in most cases, but having access to detailed analytics data isn’t the same as being able to understand and act based on this data. Your SEO partner should be able to both perform thorough analytics and report this data to you, putting it into business terms so that you can understand what it means as well.
With this information, the SEO company should also make recommendations based on the data that can further improve your business, and help you both measure and track your campaign’s success. A company that performs analytics without informing you of what the data means isn’t going to truly help your company succeed.
The bottom line is that an SEO company should not only work for you, but also work with you in order to come up with an effective online marketing strategy that can give you the results you’ve wanted to see. While it may require patience to see these results with any SEO campaign, a true partner will be able to work with you every step of the way to ensure that you are satisfied with the progress your company experiences.
A reliable SEO company will establish and work to maintain a long-term business relationship that is in your best interests. With effective communication in terms that you can understand, you’ll be able to stay on top of online marketing trends, and see more leads and sales.
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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.