If finding an SEO company is on your to-do list for the year ahead, you may already have a few ideas on how to find help. Whether you have had a few referrals, done a couple of online searches, met a few search engine optimisation specialists or even considered a pitch or two, choosing the right SEO company is not always as simple as picking what appears to be the best candidate.
How Not to Choose an SEO Company
In this mini guide, we share some tips on how not to choose a potential SEO expert. Keep reading to find out which things you can afford to compromise for the sake of your online growth.
When considering your prospective SEO company shortlist, make sure that you never proceed without the following:
Without a strategy
There are many reasons to invest in an SEO strategy and no reasons to think that you will get anywhere without one. Strategies are not there to look impressive. They are there to guide your actions over the course of each year so that you are able to get the best results. Without a strategy, the company in question will be winging it, at best, and risking your potential growth and reputation at worst.
That does not mean that newer companies do not have value to add. Experience, however, is something that cannot be replaced by skill, insight or even strategy. It can be especially useful to look for companies who have experience in your particular industry, but at the very least, make sure that they have successfully run a few campaigns. This is the only way to be sure your budget will not go to waste on experimental strategies that have no hope of succeeding.
What sort of reporting will be provided? If the answer to this is vague or non-committal, how will you be able to track your results? You cannot rely on the word of your SEO agency to tell you that you are ranking for your top terms. You will need to see those metrics in order to know that you are on the right track. This should be non-negotiable – only the most lightweight of SEOs will not be able to provide metrics.
Finally, something that many people forget about is the bigger picture. Can your SEO expert assist with other areas of digital marketing as well? Can they assist with SEM, for example, along with social media, lead generation, email marketing, and ecommerce marketing? Or, is SEO treated as a once-off stand-alone service that has no impact on the rest of your digital presence? If the answer is the latter, approach with caution. Multi channel marketing is still the most effective way to position your brand, in the search engines and beyond.
Now that you have a better idea of how not to choose an SEO company, you can also read our tips on what else to avoid when selecting an SEO specialist.