Congratulations! You have done your due diligence about SEO optimization, and now you’re absolutely certain (as you should be) that you want to hire a SEO firm to help build your business. You’ve even started gathering names of a few companies.
Now… How do you choose?
This is where it can get confusing. After all, you’ve just gotten to the point where you have a very basic grasp on the whole concept, and now you are supposed to feel qualified to judge which companies are SEO experts and more importantly, you’re supposed to be able to choose between them?
For your convenience, SEO Service Crew has assembled some commonly-accepted guidelines about How to Hire a SEO Firm, gathered as a list of key questions that you should be asking every company that you are considering. The company that gives you the right answers – and asks YOU the right questions – should be the company that you hire.
“What is your opinion of my website’s structure, content – both on-page and off-page – and the link profile?”
A good company should be able to elaborate on each of these. These are the three critical factors that have a profound influence on your site’s organic SEO visibility. Link-building is especially important.
“How will you change my website, and how noticeable will those changes be?”
A good company will talk about both the on-page changes (inclusion of specific keywords and phrases throughout the webpage) and the off-page changes (changes to your meta data/meta descriptions).
“I’ve heard about the importance of a good incoming links profile. How will you bring additional links to my website?”
A good company will talk about both the quality and quantity of additional links. They should talk about balancing your link profile by connecting with other leading websites, guest articles, high-quality directories (both free and paid), your supply chain, and local governmental and educational websites.
“What keyword phrases need to be on my website?”
A good company should be able to list some of the most common keywords in your industry, as well as discuss the level of competition. Words you want to hear are “buy”, “find”, “get”, “deals”, and other such power words.
“How much should I expect traffic to my website to increase?”
A good company should tell you to expect between a 50-100 percent increase in “quality” traffic within a three-month time frame, if (1) there are no technical issues with your website and (2) the site’s content is both original and of high quality. If your site was performing particularly poorly before this, the increase could be substantially higher.
“How much experience do you have doing SEO?”
A good company will have a bare minimum of three years of professional optimization experience. When you put this question to a large number of SEO firms, you are going to receive answers all over the map.
“How many people do you have working for you?”
A good company should be large enough to handle multiple clients and keep up with the latest trends, yet small enough to produce personalized SEO work, rather than using a “one-size-fits-all” approach. For that reason, you should be especially cautious about hiring either one-person firms or large conglomerates.
“Who should be working on MY project?”
A good company should assign fully-qualified optimization experts that have a minimum of three years of professional-level experience. Bear in mind that the person you are speaking to may not always be the person who ends up working on your account.
“May I see any relevant examples of your work?”
A good company should be able to show you numerous recent examples of their successful work. Do not put much faith in “good references”, because no one will ever give you a bad reference on themselves.
“There are literally thousands of SEO firms out there, so tell me… Why should I hire YOU?”
A good company should be able to confidently give you their “best shot” at this point. If they falter here or seem unsure of themselves, then they are not the right company for you.
After all of this, if they are still in the running, you are dealing with a good company. However, you’re not at the finish line quite yet. The best SEO firms will also have a number of clarifying questions for you, showing their interest, insight, and understanding of both your needs and your particular industry.
But the one question that the very best SEO companies should always ask you at some point in the process is this –
This time, it’s your turn to be prepared…