There are many search engine marketing and optimization companies that exist in our search engine space. Some are good, some are bad, and some are downright disrespectful so it is up to you as a customer to understand how to choose the right company that works for you. This company or person will be in charge of helping you grow your business so it is important that they understand your company culture and mesh well with your business philosophy. There are some things that you should look out for when speaking with a company that is going to help you with your SEO efforts.
Here are several ideas and reasons to hire an SEO company (please note, these are not the only reasons, but are some of the top ones that I could think of!):
They Explain Their SEO Approach with Great Details
If you are speaking with a person or firm and they tell you that their approach is a “secret sauce”, hang up the phone. SEO is a tough purchase for many as it is; let’s not make it more complicated. You should completely understand what a third party vendor is doing to market your business because one wrong move could cause you a search engine penalty or even a reputation management issue.
Your SEO Company is Easy To Reach!
Calling your search engine marketing company with a question should not be like calling your cable company, which is a complete nightmare. It should be relatively easy to get someone on the phone or respond to an email if you have a question or concern. It shouldn’t require spending 15 minutes going through phone prompts to get some human interaction.
SEO Outsourced Or Not Outsourced?
Depending on partnership details some work is perfectly fine to be outsourced, but where is it going? If you are a company looking to hire a firm to conduct SEO for you and your writing is being outsourced overseas to someone who barely speaks English it will reflect tremendously in your writing. If your core audience is in the U.S you need to have compelling writing for things to really move around in the search space.
Are They Friendly?
Not everyone is friendly in the SEO community. Some are really nice, some have chip on their shoulder, and others are just impossible to work with. Make sure that you pick a company that is courteous and friendly. Go with your gut when interviewing potential candidates because your gut is usually right.
Plenty of REAL Testimonials
It is important for a good SEO company to have happy client testimonials clearly visible on their website. If there are none it could be that they just don’t have them visible, which leads to another question; do you want to work with someone who doesn’t grasp the concept of how to properly market themselves? Testimonials are Marketing 101, especially for a service based company. If they can’t get that right, how will they market your business?
Are They Within Your SEO Budget?
Make sure that they align with what you want to spend. Don’t just go with them because they are very inexpensive because you do get what you pay for in this industry. Going with the cheapest isn’t necessarily the best approach. Take the time and negotiate with a company if they are right for you but a bit out of your price range. It doesn’t hurt to try.
Most SEO companies will have no problem with you calling on a reference where similar services where provided so that you can pin point the caliber of their services. Don’t be shy to ask for a few so that you can speak about how well the company worked with them.
Clearly Defined SEO Proposal
Make sure that you get a clearly defined proposal regarding all of the services that you will be receiving, either on a monthly basis or a onetime optimize effort. A search engine optimization company that is serious about having you as a client will outline everything that you need to know in the proposal.
Take a Look at Their Own Website
They should practice what they preach very heavily. Take a look at the structure of their website and see how it is optimized. Take a look at the content and the meta tags along with page URL structures to see how they go about structuring their own company website.
It is important to find a company that works well with you and your organization, otherwise you could be wasting your money and resources. Take the time to interview each SEO company prior to pulling the trigger.