It’s natural, in our current digital age, to want to use the Internet to take your business to new heights. Whether you run a traditional brick-and-mortar operation, have a combination of in person business and an e-commerce website, or are completely digital, search engine optimization (SEO) can help you increase traffic and by extension, your customer base.
An SEO strategy can be the gateway that allows thousands of customer to learn what it is about you and your business that makes you unlike the rest. In 2019, using a search engine is the most common way customers conduct research, which means that you are losing out on people who are actively looking for you and your business when your website is buried on the twentieth page of Google.
That’s exactly why so many businesses have already decided to invest in services from an SEO company, and you can to. Although SEO offers a number of benefits, not every SEO company is one and the same. Some specialize in on-site optimization (or on-site SEO), off-site SEO, a branded content strategy, social media marketing, pay-per-click advertising, or a number of other online marketing tactics for search engine optimization. If you know that SEO is a part of your company’s future, but you aren’t sure how to find the perfect company to help you with this mission, here are five things to look out for:
SEO companies should cater to your needs
A good SEO company will provide services and a strategy for you while also allowing you to take the reigns. Maybe you need content marketing, social media help, on-page SEO, off-page SEO, pay-per-click advertising, or a mix of everything. Ultimately, they should be willing work with you to accomplish your own vision for your company’s website, rather than deciding what’s best for you on their own.
Maybe you want to establish a brand strategy and connect with your customers through SEO-friendly content on your blog. Perhaps you have a very specific tone that you want to maintain in all of your internet marketing. A good SEO company will not try to steer your company onto a different path, and will instead work with you to drive more traffic while keeping that unique spark that makes your business so special in the first place, to build you an SEO-friendly website and a great marketing strategy.
Keywords Matter–But So Does Content
With some companies, everything is about keywords, keywords, keywords. After all, knowing and using the keywords customers are actually using to find businesses is the most valuable SEO tool.
However, the truth about SEO-friendly content is that finding your webpage on Google is really only half the battle. No matter how niche your products and services are, the chances are high that your customers have a lot of competition to skim through. If your website is littered with unprofessional grammatical errors and poorly written content, then chances are, they won’t want to stay on your site too long.
A great SEO company understands that keywords are about being found but great content is about being convinced. Optimization services will hire talented writers who are able to adapt to your specific tone and style, and great professional, easily readable content that will entice potential customers and help build genuine connections. In this day and age, a big part of content creation is reputation management.
A Proven Track Record
Supporting a newer startup can be a rewarding experience, but you don’t want to end up being a fledgling company’s patient 0, either. Even newer SEO firms should be able to present you with detailed case studies from former clients. They should be able to break down the exact SEO packages and services they provided, the results, and how it transformed past businesses.
At the end of the day, you deserve experience and expertise, and if your SEO company cannot prove their credentials to you, it may be a sign to keep on searching.
SEO should save time, not waste it
Why should you have to pay anyone if you end up doing the bulk of the work anyways? Some signs that your SEO company is wasting your time include:
- You have to spend hours of your own time editing and revising their work
- You are constantly sending back work with revision requests, because they did not listen to you in the first place
- You experience long waiting periods, without many updates
- You are constantly having to remind them of your unique goals, style and branding
Remember, passing off your SEO responsibilities to another company or SEO specialist is supposed to make your experience easier, not harder. Obviously, paying for SEO marketing services will be a financial investment, but it should not be a major investment of your time, as well.
If it feels too good to be true, it probably is
If an SEO company is feeding you something that feels implausible, it likely is. Listen to your gut, especially if you feel as though you might be being tricked by snake oil salesmen dressed as SEO professionals.
There are generally two ways a shady firm might sell you a too-good-to-be-true narrative. Firstly, they might promise outlandish results or brag about high-profile clients and unbelievable success stories. On the other hand, they might offer prices that seem suspiciously low.
It is always important to remember that you get what you pay for. If you are wondering how a company could possibly profit from the hours of labor that you expect from them, then chances are they are not actually planning on putting in that labor. Additionally, you should always ask to see in-depth case studies. Name dropping huge brands or confusingly technical language is not enough. If they cannot provide evidence of their success, you should move on and find someone else to work with.
Additionally, you should not feel afraid to reach out to past clients. Although it would be nice to believe that a company would never lie about their successes or clientele, unfortunately, sometimes you just never know.
At the end of the day, the search for a great SEO company will be worth it once you are enjoying more web traffic than ever before. It might take a while to find the right company for you, but it’s important to remember that the wait will certainly be worth the results.