Selecting a firm to handle your search engine optimization (SEO) and internet marketing activities can be quite a challenging and difficult task. Firstly, because there are so many firms to choose from and secondly, all of them claim the same thing or offer the same services. In this myriad of short listing the ‘best’ SEO firm, we often tend to forget a few very important points that one should keep in mind when selecting a firm to handle its SEO activities. In this article we have attempted to list all these points which will help you in finding the ‘right’ SEO firm;
1. Ask for Past Experience
This is one of the most important tips – ask the SEO firm about their past SEO campaigns and review samples of past work or case studies with their results. Reviewing this can help you understand how helpful their services will be and what methods they use to achieve top rankings. If the firm you’re reviewing doesn’t provide samples of past work, move on to another firm which does. It is important to verify expertise and credentials of the people you’re planning to work with.
In fact you can go an extra step of getting in touch with two or three past clients of the company you’re reviewing. Ask them about their satisfaction with the SEO consulting firm.
2. Learn about the SEO methods
Before interviewing any company, make sure you have some idea about SEO methods and practices. Stay away from firms that use unacceptable SEO methods (Black Hat SEO). Here are a few questions you should ask an SEO firm;
- How will the SEO firm determine which keywords will be used? – You will get to know if the firm is performing proper research.
- Will the optimization plan include an analysis of your site’s design, coding, content, navigation and links?
- Will they perform a competitive analysis?
- What on-page/off-page tactics will be used to optimize a website?
3. Avoid firms that promise Number 1 rankings
An SEO firm MIGHT achieve a number one ranking, but the search engine rankings change every day so you probably won’t stay in the top position (or any position) for too long. For that you need to keep updating your site and adjusting your strategy frequently. Some firms promise a top ten placement in the search engine rankings, but no guaranteed can be mad as far as a timeframe for results is concerned.
4. Avoid firms that promise strong results in a week or two
SEO is long and continuous process that begins with website analysis and never ends (if you want your website to rank forever). SEO strategies need to be changed constantly, so reputable and trustworthy firms will tell you that it can take anywhere from a few months to a year or more to achieve good rankings.
5. Price quotation
Always ask the firm about the amount of work that will be done at the price quoted. Beware of freelancers/companies who offer services for extremely low costs. They might succeed in ranking your website high for some time but that won’t last forever. A price of an SEO campaign is generally decided on the amount of experience the firm has.
This is often forgotten by many people. How will a site be monitored and maintained over time and what reports will you receive to measure your progress. Also, the frequency of the reports is important. Make sure you ask the SEO firm about this.
Use this article as a checkbox and make sure you select the right SEO firm because not choosing the right one can have serious consequences such as getting your website banned altogether from the web.