Choosing between different SEO providers can be a daunting task. Because the industry is largely unregulated there are a lot of sharks, and different companies offer such different packages that it is often hard to compare.
We often hear from our clients about horrible experiences they have had with previous SEO companies. While it’s not easy to understand all the workings that go on behind the scenes in any digital marketing company, there are ways to gauge any potential SEO firm and compare them to other suppliers.
Below are some tips on how you can quickly and easily measure the prowess of any such company.
1. Ask if they have any clients in your industry or related industries, and ask for an example of some of the links they have built.
You don’t want to work with a company that is also doing SEO for one of your competitors for obvious reasons. However by working with someone who has experience with related or similar industries e.g. other service based businesses, businesses targeting the same sector but are not direct competitors, there are many advantages.
Find out if your potential supplier has worked with any related companies and get a rundown of how the campaign went. Ask them for example of some of the back links that were constructed during the campaign so you can see the quality of the work that they do. If you want to delve a little deeper you can use tools like Open Site Explorer to get a better idea of the variety of back links they may have built.
This can be done with any clients who your perspective SEO provider claims to be working with or to have worked with in the past. It can however be hard to tell for sure which specific company built any specific link, any potential suppliers about any questionable links that almost most likely claim that somebody else built them.
2. Ask what specific link building strategies will be used for your campaign.
Any credible SEO company will be able to tell you what strategies will be the core of your link building campaign. Find out in detail how they will attempt to garner links to your website and build your online network.
Asked for examples of similar types of links they have built for the clients. If you wish you can then do further backlinks research on any mention clients to get a better idea of the quality of work of said company.
3. Find out how the SEO company bills their clients.
Find out where your money will be getting spent. Does the company have an hourly rate for the work or do they charge a set price per link built? What most companies will measure things differently, having this information will help you compare between some of them.
If one SEO company is charging $200 per hour for services rendered and one SEO company is charging half that, you need to find out if the extra investment is worthwhile and why the former company believes that time is more valuable.
4. Take a look for reviews online and do your own research on the company.
When searching for information on the services of any company is best if you do your own research and don’t just read the testimonials on their site. Obviously if you ask the company in question for references they will only point you in the direction of people or reviews that show them in a good light.
Try getting in contact with some companies that you know have worked with your potential SEO supplier was asked one of the ones they suggest that you contact. A more objective view from a non-biased client or ex client will give you a much better idea of what working with the company is really like.
5. Don’t sign any contracts until you are confident in the work of the company and trust them completely.
While it’s true that SEO is a long-term marketing strategy is really shouldn’t be necessary for companies to lock you in to long-term contracts to force you to keep paying even if you are getting results. If you’re not seeing positive movement in your rankings across a range of keywords that are relevant to your business and get a reasonable amount of search traffic each month, you really shouldn’t have to keep paying. This is especially true if you spend more than three months with absolutely zero results.