What to Look for When Hiring an SEO CompanyJuly 12, 2019 No Comments
Featured article by Luca, Co-Founder and COO at NPOINTSEO
Hiring an agency to do search engine optimization for your brand is something you should take very seriously. While they are one factor that can amass large profits and new clients, they can also become a major budget sink if you’re not careful.
We’ve compiled a list of tips you can follow when looking for a trustworthy agency.
Without further ado, let’s see some of the crucial factors to look for when hiring an SEO Agency.
Define Your Needs
Before you even start browsing for SEO companies, take a good look at your business plan. What does your company need the most right now? What will be the purpose of SEO? Because essentially, you can go one of three ways:
1. Hiring an SEO Consultant – when you only need professional advice on already existing SEO, or decisions you want to make when it comes to SEO marketing.
2. Hiring an SEO Company – for a larger scope of work, whether it’s for your entire brand or a specific project, usually done under a short-term contract.
3. Forming an in-house SEO team – for when you want a long-term solution, and have specific milestones and marketing plan in mind.
You should handle the hiring process for each of these differently. But in the following sections, we’ll cover general tips that you can apply on either of the three.
Tip #1: Previous Experience
When scanning for positive references, sometimes it’s enough to go to an SEO agency’s landing page and find the list of companies they had worked with.
But as business owners, you have the luxury of going a step further. Once you have someone in mind, ask around. Go to your business partners, acquaintances, mentors – even competitors – and ask what they heard about the agency.
A word of mouth is an invaluable insight, and any SEO company worth their weight will be known in certain circles.
Tip #2: Find an Agency That Won’t Jump in Headfirst
When interviewing, ask whether they give guarantees on search rankings, search traffic, and ROI. Any experienced company will know they can’t guarantee anything. Google’s algorithm is a fickle beast, and true SEO experts know they would have to take a look at your website first.
They should ask to assess your website first, and take an informed opinion on whether you have good foundation for SEO. They’ll also ask for your target keywords and marketing aims before guaranteeing anything at all.
Any agency to provide guarantees from the get-go is one that already raises many red flags.
Tip #3: They Should Fit your Company
This goes without saying, but not everything is about rankings increase. An effective SEO company can be a good fit for your business plan, but not your workplace.
Make sure you hire an SEO company that respects proper correspondence. They reply in a timely manner, report regularly, troubleshoot and brainstorm with you. They also take the time to build trust with and educate the clients. When it comes to expanding your brand name through digital marketing, you can’t afford lone wolves.
Explain how your company works, and see if the atmosphere and company culture suit them.
Tip #4: Look for a Favorable Contract
Make sure you don’t lock yourself into a twelve-month contract with an SEO firm. Why?
Usually, it takes around three to six months to see the effects of their online marketing efforts. If an agency’s methods turn out to be wrong for you, it means you will be paying six more months for their services.
A reputable SEO agency will be aware of this. They will not ask for a long-term contract unless you are satisfied with the results.
Tip #5: An Agency that Focuses on Metrics, not Rankings
Look out for agencies that boast great rankings, and push everything else aside. While search engine rankings are a great early-bird indicator of your brand gaining momentum, they can only take you so far.
True professionals will put forward examples of their conversion rates, social media engagement, bounce rates, and long-term traffic. These are the people who know that “rankings” is often just a buzzword. They focus on real results and look at the bigger picture.
Tip #6: Important Questions to Ask
In addition to these tips, here are some of the questions to ask when hiring an SEO firm:
- “What are your link prices?”
There are numerous SEO agencies that offer dozens or hundreds of backlinks for an “affordable price”. They have an automated backlink generation that gives average to good links, usually for spamming. A quality backlink can cost from $20 to $100 a piece. But, they will pay off much more than a hundred average ones.
- “Who is/was your longest client?”
Usually, shorter contract work means the agency takes riskier approaches, or simply doesn’t provide needed results. You want a company that has had a few longer, stable contracts.
- “How do you work around Google’s algorithm changes?”
A professional SEO agency needs to have reliable link building tactics, and Google analytics should be their second home. Google has frequent algorithm updates that suddenly throw a lot of SEO methods in the water. They know they have to stay on top of these updates, and should be able to explain their usual procedure when the algorithm changes.
- “Which tools do you use and how? Do you have some examples?”
A deeper dive into google search will give you an understanding on which tools are the best for legitimate SEOs and social media marketing. Ask them to explain how their tools help businesses like yours. Also see if they have examples of SEO copywriting and content marketing you can look over.
- “How you report website changes to your clients?”
The SEO agency will need to access your website to make necessary changes when optimizing it. However, things can go wrong, and you need a clear line of communication with them. Not a company that will rapport too late to address the problem, resulting in loss of conversion.
These are just some of the multitude of questions you can ask. When conducting an interview, you should also get your in-house SEO expert to help, or hire a consultant.
Finding the right SEO company can be tiring, especially when you want to ensure you got the best of the lot. If possible, don’t conduct the interview alone, because another pair of eyes and ears will notice things you miss. But if there is no other way, then do thorough research and learn the basics of SEO. The more you know, the lesser are the chances someone will rope you in a bad contract.
About the Author
Luka is the Co-Founder and COO at NPOINTSEO. His main jobs are directed towards supervising and enhancing the current company’s systems as well as arranging SEO campaign progression for the firm’s clients. He overlooks the agency’s business affairs and ensures the company has effective operational and financial procedures in place.SOCIAL BUSINESS