If you're planning to scale your business, it's vital to invest in its SEO. These efforts will enable you to secure higher positions in search engine results, drive more traffic to your website, get more clients and maximize your ROI. To make Google display your business, regardless of its niche, on the first page is a realistic objective — but it requires a well-thought-out strategy and solid expertise. That's why it's especially important to hire a reliable contractor. In this article, we'll share tips on how to choose the right SEO company.
Scrutinize the portfolio of each agency that you consider
To get started, you should compose a list of the best SEO agencies that you'll later get in touch with. The paramount criterion to focus on is their portfolios.
Find answers to these questions:
- Has this contractor already worked with companies from your niche?
- Is it one of their priority niches?
- Do you like the results of what they did for other customers?
It's very easy to assess the quality of the agency's work for other clients. Type in Google the keywords for the niche that these clients belong to. Do you immediately see the link to their websites? If yes, the job was well done. If keywords don't help you come across their businesses, the SEO services were substandard.
Besides, pay attention to the performance of the agency's own website. Make sure it ticks the following boxes:
- Has a high position in search engine results
- Loads quickly on all devices
- Has an excellent mobile version
- Is visually appealing and well-structured
- Visitors can find any necessary information in one click
If the agency has a top-notch website, it should be able to deliver the identical quality of work for you.
Ask about the ongoing work
Search engines frequently update their algorithms. Ask the agency about what they will do after you reach the desired result. They should be ready to provide regular maintenance to help your site keep up with the current trends.
Stay away from professionals who provide guarantees
You can't pay Google or any other search engine to land a high position in its rankings. Plus, it's impossible to predict the behavior of your competitors. A responsible SEO professional for a small business company will never tell you something like "We'll drive your website to second place in Google". True experts will formulate their ideas like "You should be on the first page in approximately 7 months".
Glance through customer reviews
Client testimonials on the agency's website are always positive. Your task is to look for positive and negative reviews on platforms where people share their impartial opinions about service providers. Besides, check the company's social network profiles to see how they interact with customers and what their work ethic is.
Make sure all the details are transparent
The quality of work in SEO is standardized and easily measurable. Before signing the contract, the agency will show you a plan of action, the timeframes and the expected results. Don't hesitate to ask questions to clarify all the details.
If you fail to understand something, that might incur extra expenses. What's worse, your website ranking might deteriorate. Blackhat SEO techniques can deliver impressive results in the short term — but they're detrimental in the long run. Unscrupulous SEO professionals resort to them because they require less time and effort and motivate the client to keep paying.
It will take from a few months to one year to improve the search engine ranking position of your website. To ensure maximum financial transparency, opt for monthly payments. First, it will be more affordable than transferring to the contractor a large sum in one go. Second, it will be easier for you to check whether the contractor is indeed delivering what was promised.
Avoid looking for either too expensive or too affordable services
Each of the types of activity included in the roadmap has a certain price, be it building a backlink portfolio or writing new articles for your website. The more links and articles there will be, the more you should be ready to pay. Yet it doesn't make sense to pay much more than the average industry price per article or backlink.
Surcharges are justified if the work is urgent or complex. The most prominent SEO companies might charge extra for the power of their brand — then, consider looking for more affordable alternatives.
It would be unreasonable to look for extraordinarily cheap services. Why is the contractor offering such a big discount? Maybe, it lacks clients? Is it about to shut down? Will they omit some elements of the SEO process? Good agencies can charge you slightly above or below average but it shouldn't look like a suspicious bargain.
Discuss the format of reporting
Some agencies would show you only the numbers. Others would interpret them as well. The second variant is much more preferable. If the contractor just sends you a print screen from Google Analytics without explaining anything, it hints at a lack of professionalism.
Hopefully, now you have a better understanding of how to choose a good SEO company to scale your business. Scrutinize the portfolio, ask about the ongoing work and glance through customer reviews. Make sure all the details are transparent, discuss the format of reporting and stay away from the professionals who provide guarantees. Last but not least, avoid looking for either too expensive or too affordable services.