With thousands of startups taking off each year and companies laying strong emphasis on their online presence, having a high website ranking on a search engine is extremely important. Its significance cannot be overstated. This is where search engine optimization (SEO) comes into the picture. Not everyone has knowledge in or experience of SEO. To improve your web presence in this case, it’s best to hand it over to the experts.
So how do you find the right SEO company for your business needs? There are certain important things to consider when selecting an SEO company to handle your website. This ranges from your requirement to their expertise. Let’s take a look at some tips to help you go about it.
Tips on How to Find the Right SEO Company for Your Business or Website
1. Don’t stick to Google
Ask around. Talk to people in your network and ask them which SEO company they are using, if any, for their business or website. Look at LinkedIn profiles too. The problem with a Google search is that you are going to look for ‘best SEO companies in Bangalore’ or ‘top SEO consultants in NY’ for example, and the companies that rank for these keywords typically aren’t the ‘best’ at what they do. If an SEO firm is very successful and loaded with clients, their quality of work is going to be much better than ‘top SEO company’. They might even be so swamped with work that they don’t have the time to rank their website for these keywords.
Not a solid suggestion, but it’s pertinent nonetheless. It’s always good practice to receive first hand information before hiring someone to handle SEO for your company.
2. Define your requirements
Define your expectations and requirements from the SEO company first. Most importantly, your budget. This helps you narrow down your options greatly, allowing you to choose from a pool of potential candidates. Secondly, are you okay with remote outsourcing or do you want to be able to meet them regularly? Do you prefer being able to meet them immediately or would it be okay if someone could fly down and meet you at a day’s notice or so? Thirdly, what do you intend to achieve through your SEO activities? More visitors? Better ranking? Overthrowing a competitor for keywords? When you know what you want, you can filter out options depending on what they offer.
3. Assess the portfolio
It’s always a good idea to look at some of the past work done by an SEO company when vetting them. Be upfront about asking for a portfolio of previous clients and work already done. Ask them what they did for these clients and what results they achieved. Go through their website to get an idea of the kind of companies they have worked with in the past.
4. Ask extensive questions about their process
SEO is a very straightforward and open process. There are clear guidelines and regulations; there’s no secret formula to getting results. If an SEO agency is telling you that they cannot disclose their process because it’s a secret, then that’s a red flag. On the contrary, an agency that gives out a detailed structure of their process knows what it’s doing and should be the better option to choose. If a company promises you, with utter conviction, that they can get your website to rank first across all major search engines, right at the top, then they are definitely the wrong choice.
5. Check their market reputation
Once you get a list of the companies that the SEO company has worked for in the past, go around doing some digging and find out what their reputation is in the market. Are people saying good things about them? Or do they have a negative image? Do they actually get results or is it more talk and less do? Conducting a background check always throws up information that the company is not going to give you upfront. At least the ‘not so good’ bits. Talk to people, search the internet. Get clarification for anything that is bothering you before deciding to go ahead with that company.
6. Shortlist a few potential candidates
It’s always important to remember never to get too attached to the idea of one SEO company. Don’t go with a company just because they look nice on the outside or someone trustworthy has recommended them to you. Do your own research. Good practice is to shortlist between 3-5 candidates before actually going into detailed talks with each one and selecting the right fit for you.
Making the final selection
To find the right SEO company for your business, there needs to be a match between your requirements and what the potential candidates are offering. A good SEO company will get your website or business on the virtual map without unrealistic claims. It will follow good SEO practices so that you gain followers and customers, thus increasing your revenue, and not just a website ranking that’s going nowhere in the end.
Atul is Founder & CEO at Xenia Consulting. He has over 22 years of experience in marketing, across corporates as well as SME,start-ups. Over the last 5 years, he has gained significant expertise and has helped several companies drive growth leveraging digital marketing