Companies all over hang up shingles asserting to be a leader in the field of search engine optimization (SEO). The problem, however, comes in the fact that making the wrong choice can cost you both valuable time and money.
So how do you know whether you are partnering with the right agency?
Here are some simple pointers in helping you choose the right SEO agency.
Start out by searching and shortlisting SEO agencies that have been in business for as long as you can find. 10 years is a good benchmark to consider, given evolution of search over the last decade. Shortlisting companies with this background ensures that they possesses deep knowledge of their domain, as it’s very hard to be in business that long, trying to hoodwink your customers.
Are your shortlisted agencies meeting you expectations
As the next step, start defining what your ‘must-haves’ are. Some aspects you should look for in your SEO agency include:
Industry Reputation: The best avenues to determine and agency’s reputation is by getting hold of its blogs, interviews, press releases, etc. These sources help a great deal in verifying the credibility of any agency or business. You can also look out for what other people say about the company by going through their comments.
Negative SEO Activities/Remarks: You can ensure that the company is not involved in any negative SEO activity, by searching for complaints from customers on various social media sites and forums. The BBB is another great source of information, if the company is listed with them. You should also check if any legal action has been taken against the company.
Satisfied Clients &Success: Looking for how many times has the company been referenced across blogs, publications, PR pieces, etc., and comments against these will clearly define their success story.
Contact your Shortlisted Agencies
After you have shortlisted a few agencies that meet your expectations, and are aligned with your approach, reach out to them. Prepare a list of questions beforehand that are intended to get them to open up and share their real approach and their work ethics.
Asking basic, yet relevant questions, like:
- Define campaign success & metrics?
- Share industry experience and results
- Share References to cross-check
- SEO methodology
It’s important to remember, no single agency can be expert in ALL, i.e. Design, Programming, SEO, Social Media Management, PR.
We all need people with different skill sets, from time to time and your agency telling you that they are outsourcing certain aspects of some projects is far better than telling you they are perfect at everything. When you find an agency that is honest, open, and genuine, THAT is a much smarter way of choosing the right SEO partner.
The Bottom Line
SEO has always been a long-term initiative for the companies who are successful at it. However, in the SEO industry, you can never guarantee success, and the fact that a company is doing well today, does not mean it will continue to do that well when Google launches a new algorithm or penalty.
Search engines will continue to transform, shift, and become more sophisticated. The best way you can ensure that you will be successful for the long haul is by keeping up with the pace of changes taking place today.