Search Engine Optimisation – when it comes to marketing, SEO continues to force us to learn more as the latest search technologies creates the need for more expertise
This in turn creates the need for skills highly sought after in this increasingly competitive digital world.
SEO affects the visibility of a web site or page on a web search engine’s unpaid organic results – think Google, Bing or Yahoo! search results. In principle, the more often or further up the result list a website shows up, the more clicks and audience it gets. Meaning that visibility of that website is very high which will translate into more leads.
SEO then helps website owners to optimize their content to ensure that their websites are coming up as far to the front of the results page as possible. When hiring an SEO service company, I want to share some quick points to bear in mind before you choose a provider.
Unfortunately, there is a mix of quality and the temptation to always choose based on price may damage your site and brand reputation online.
Where is the company located
A lot of SEO companies don’t actually do anything, they simply outsource the work that clients provide and earn a commission. The result is a lack of quality at times, not always, in outsourced work if the supplier has not vetted their outsource properly. So always ask for past evidence of results, speak to a client about their work (usually you can find reviews).
Worst case scenario: You will find that none of your views or opinions are given any weight and you aren’t actually seeing any results.
If the work is being outsourced, this is not a problem provided you choose a firm that manages that outsource properly. Next to an in-house staff member, hiring a team can really build your marketing arsenal in your fight for target audience attention.
Avoid black hat marketing services. These are the guys still thinking a 1000 links in a day or a week is good for your site. SEO needs organic growth through months of careful link acquisition. Do not get blacklisted for employing black hat SEO tactics.
SEO needs organic growth through connecting with influencers in your niche via content NOT 100s of useless links from dead end sites. Make sure that you know the links diversity strategy of the SEO services firm: what types of links, are they relevant to your business? Otherwise, you get thrown at the wrong audience, worse still, your website might end up being blacklisted for employing black hat SEO tactics. This means not showing up on Google.
How highly are they ranked
An SEO company that is promising you very high search result rankings should have a website that is highly ranked as well; if they can’t achieve that for their own website than there isn’t much that you can expect from them. Search for different SEO service related keywords and see how the website is ranked for each of them.
Include searches by location e.g. SEO Cardiff, or SEO Swansea.
Find out what services they offer
Do not hire the first company you come across, first ask for the different services that they offer. Compare their services with a few other companies. Make sure you are comfortable with the people there as it is going to be a long term relationship and it is essential that you are able to trust them and are comfortable with them. Also make sure that the company only uses white hat SEO techniques.
Ask how they set up links and ask for an example of a typical report sent to you each month. Are the links relevant to the client? Are they targeting a careful keyword profile? Any competitor research? Are the links from sites with popularity or at least good metrics. Read this article to know quickly about metrics used by digital agencies when assessing the quality of a link to your site.
Make sure their promises are not too lofty
The purpose of SEO is to increase the visibility of your site and to push it up the search results list. But this is not something that can be achieved in a day or even a month. A white hat SEO company that is good at its job will eventually achieve that but it will take months and years. If a company promises that you will be at the top of search results in 24 hours or a week or a month then run and never look back. Something fishy is going on here and you don’t want any part of that. Mind you, it is not impossible to get to the top in a matter of weeks, but the tactics used in order to achieve that will invariably be black hat and the results will not only be short term, it could also ruin your website’s reputation.
Something fishy is going on here and you don’t want any part of that. Mind you, it is not impossible to get to the top in a matter of weeks, but the tactics used in order to achieve that will invariably be black hat and the results will not only be short term, it could also ruin your website’s reputation.
How good is the customer support
Every good SEO company will have excellent customer support. So, before hiring a company, find out how promptly they respond to your queries. Any reviews around like on Trustpilot or a forum for business advice. Google the SEO firm name followed by ‘review’ and see what you can dig out. As mentioned earlier, email a former client and ask if they received a good experience.
It is important to hire a good SEO company if you want your business to succeed, but don’t be hasty, do your due diligence before you enter into a partnership so that the results are fruitful for you.