You’re fresh from building a website for your business, and you’re eagerly waiting for traffic to come pouring in. You can’t wait to see an uptick in page clicks or your online shop’s sales or even signups to your weekly newsletter.
But after a few days or even weeks, you notice that you’re not getting that anticipated increase in numbers. Only a few netizens (aside from the people from your company) are visiting your new, shiny website. And you’re feeling a little discouraged.
People left and right are telling you to invest in SEO. This will make your website easier to discover, they say. You won’t be able to get the results you need if you skip on it. But you simply don’t have the manpower for a project that huge.
So you decide to outsource and hire a good SEO firm.
Now the problem is, how do you know which company is the best fit for you and your business?
#1 – Consider your goals and budget
Before you dive deep into your search for the best firm, you should first determine what you want to achieve and how much you’re willing to pay.
Use the SMART (Specific, Measurable, Action-oriented, Realistic, Time-bound) approach in order to come up with clear, concrete objectives.
Think about what results you want to eventually get.
Is it an increase in revenue?
Do you want more visitor conversions?
Or do you just want more traffic to your site?
Your goals will define the amount of work that an SEO company needs to do, plus the strategies that they will recommend. This will also determine the areas where you should pour money into, whether that’s search ads on Google, quality blog articles, or social media content.
Remember, though, that there is no one-size-fits-all approach in SEO costing. Every business and website is different, so a good SEO company should be flexible to your budget and needs.
We’ll talk more about requesting quotes later on, but right now, you should be able to define a range of the cost you’re willing to put in.
If you’re looking to work with a company long-term, don’t forget to take into account monthly retainers and possible termination fees as well.
#2 – Research their reputation and work
Once you’ve determined your budget and goals, you should work on a shortlist of companies. If you only want the cream of the crop, visit reputable agency rankings like BestSEOCompanies.com. Then, with a list in hand, be prepared to find out everything there is to know about these potential firms.
The first thing you should do is check their website. They should have something to show here: a Google partner badge or other certifications, case studies of their previous work, or even testimonials from past customers. The important thing is that they have a proven track record.
Here, you should also be able to get a sense of their language and vision. Consider whether these align with your company and brand.
If you want to get even more information, you can ask around online or go to online forums and discussion boards.
#3 – How they interact with your company
So now you’ve set your sights on a specific company. That’s great! Your next order of business is finding out if you and the firm would work well together.
Take a look at the way they communicate. How long does it take for them to respond to you? Are they professional and friendly? Chances are, you’ll be working with an SEO firm long-term, so good communication is key.
You should also schedule a consultation with them. This will give you a more comprehensive idea of their professionalism and the way they work.
During the consultation, keep the following in mind:
- A good SEO company should know what they’re doing. They shouldn’t hesitate to talk about optimal SEO processes and techniques.
- Results shouldn’t be guaranteed. Legit SEO companies know that results can vary from company to company, and campaign to campaign. They won’t be able to ensure overnight rankings, instant leads, or a certain number of backlinks, so beware of those who promise to do so.
- The firm should be interested in your work and what you do. If they are serious about planning and implementing an effective SEO strategy, they will want to learn more about your company, brand, target keywords, and audience.
- It’s OK if they request to do an audit of your website and online presence. This is recommended, even. An audit will allow them to prepare a proposal and quotation. Just remember not to give them full access to your CMS and analytics. A successful audit will come back to you with recommendations, action points, costs, and timelines.
Like any other partnership, your search for an SEO firm should be done carefully and thoroughly. After all, you don’t want to waste time and resources on a subpar company that might do more damage than good (not to mention maybe even result in a Google penalty).
Just make sure to keep the tips above in mind. And as much as possible, go into the search armed with knowledge. The more prepared you are going in, the more informed your decisions will be.
Have more tips to share about choosing an SEO firm for your business?
Don’t forget to sound off in the comments below!