“Eeny, meeny, miny, mo” is a perfectly acceptable method of fairly picking kickball captains and deciding between two equally nutritious options from the executive basement vending machine. But when it comes to really important decisions, like picking an SEO company, you need a better decision-making strategy.
And the best strategy we can offer is Be Informed. Before selecting an SEO company, know about them—what they do, how they do it and what kinds of results do they get. Let’s break that down…
What They Do
Perhaps this is a good time for review—what is SEO? Why do you need it?
SEO = Search Engine Optimization. It’s a multi-faceted process to get your website to rank high in the Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs). It’s a balancing act that requires your website to be equally appealing to a human reader audience and an algorithmic “crawler.”
You need SEO to drive organic traffic to your website. That means getting people who are typing in, say, “hair salon albuquerque” to see your salon at the top of their Google search results.
To appeal to human and non-human readers, SEO requires a broad platform of services, including:
- Web Design
- Link Building
- Other SEO Tactics
And, once your website is live, SEO requires constant monitoring so that your site is responding to changes in search engine algorithms, social trends and your customers’ feedback.
So, the first thing to look for in an SEO company is a company that offers all the services that go into building and maintaining an effective website. If you think about it, one person really can’t manage all of the components of good SEO well. You need a team of experts.
How They Do It
Because SEO does involve some mathematical stuff that “normal” people don’t understand, there is the possibility that an SEO company is using some of the industry’s “black hat” practices to get better SERP rankings. Sure, black hat SEO works for a while, but high rankings don’t last long and these practices can get your site penalized or removed from ranking consideration in the search engines.
So, when you’re choosing an SEO company, you also want to make sure that you are choosing a company that adheres to industry best practices and high ethical standards. How will you know?
One of the best indicators of an SEO company’s SEO ethics is their assurances. If a company is promising you #1 listings on all major search engines, that’s a red flag. No one can promise that…even Google’s Matt Cutts can’t promise that. Instead, look for a company that assures the quality of their work, an SEO campaign in accordance with Search Engine Guidelines, a company that expresses a commitment to your satisfaction.
What Kinds of Results Do They Get
Just because an SEO company won’t promise #1 rankings on SERPs doesn’t mean your website won’t rank there. But, what are the results of their existing clients? A good SEO company will provide you with a list of clients they’ve helped. Google these companies yourself—where do those sites rank? What do those clients have to say about their SEO company? Ask them. Some testimonials may be available from the SEO firm, but you may also want to directly contact a client of theirs to get the real scoop.
Another way to evaluate an SEO company’s results—their renewal rate. How many clients have kept their services and how many have fled for a better SEO provider?
For Your Information
When looking for a good SEO company, there’s no substitute for making an informed decision. You’ll have to do your research—a lot of web browsing, phone calling and maybe even interviews. Although, your research may be significantly simplified if you start here: https://www.sonicseo.com/. (Hey, it’s our blog. We can use our website to shamelessly promote our outrageously successful SEO services if we want to.)