Published October 05th, 2016 by

Strategic Steps to Take in Choosing Your SEO Company

Strategic Steps to Take in Choosing Your SEO Company

One may argue with, why would you need an SEO company when there is social media? The question actually points to the idea that SEO and social media are methods that can be used to achieve online visibility and web presence. This is true, but for SEO, that is just the “skin” or the surface that you can only see about its real purpose. SEO can actually go beyond the traffic and  visibility that social media can create; it actually attracts traffic and visibility that converts to a more important actions such as revenue, a credible brand reputation and loyal clients.

SEO companies help businesses to align its online engagements to drive quality and high conversions out of the traffic that it generates. With its exposure and experience with different industries, or a specific industry, it should be able to recognize the factors that can positively influence your online initiatives, and consequently apply it to your online endeavors. It should focus on building your online reputation by incorporating relevant content and optimize your site and other online information through white hat link building and strong keyword optimization. All mentioned are rather ideal characteristics of a good SEO service provider, and is not easy to distinguish one from a sea of options that are branding themselves as the “best” or “top”. While the benefits of getting SEO services are undeniable, one should be wary in choosing the right one for your unique needs.

Identify the Cost of SEO Services

In a 2014 Search Marketing Daily report, 57% of respondents mentioned that the lack of dedicated SEO resources is the major barrier they experience in implementing SEO strategies. And there are many factors that contribute to this, including company budget, time or expertise. All of these can be addressed by a reputable SEO company.

To some, they SEO services are generally expensive. But with today’s advancements, and with the SEO market that continues to welcome more vendors and freelancers, the costs are actually more competitive and flexible. There is no excuse in locating an SEO firm that can work with what you have and what you need.

Be Wary of These Signs, Though…

The internet is a welcoming community, even to the unscrupulous scammers. While everybody else is trying to be “smarter” in utilizing its technologies, others are taking advantage of those who are ignorant of these black hat schemes lurking in the corner. Before an SEO scammer pounce you when you are off guard, here is a guideline of the signs you should be wary about when looking for the best SEO companies:

  1. Giving out “guarantees”

It is illogical to actually achieve a guarantee of results when it comes to any endeavor online. The search engine platform algorithm, the market behavior and the nature of online trends are ever changing and quite unpredictable for long term, that is why it is almost impossible to reuse the same set of SEO strategies and stay effective all the time to call it a “guarantee”. Be wary of SEO service providers that promise the “moon and the stars” to you. Instead, look for the ones that will take time to explain different case scenarios in which you can maximize set of strategies, so that both of you can collaborate on setting up realistic expectations.

  1. Promising instant results

A true SEO building is a long term process of applying strategies to stay relevant with the latest trends and tweaks in the market. Be wary when an SEO company promise you immediate results, because it can only mean that they will be using black hat promises that might hurt your online reputation. Remember that search engines like Google are continuously putting the best efforts in improving its algorithm to be more sensitive with these scams and black hat promises through search engine algorithm updates. One cannot know when an update will be released, so therefore, no one can count on instant results for SEO in any way.

  1. Saying that they can make you “Number 1” in Google SERPs

Well, this is definitely a “Wow!” thing, and is achievable, yes, but you might want to let them elaborate further on how an SEO company can actually achieve that for you, given the competition and the other companies that they serve, which might actually happen to be one of your competitors.

Another thing is it is actually possible to be number 1, but the odds are not that great when it comes to organic search. If you want to achieve it, though, you may want to consider getting a PPC service instead.

  1. They are offering rock bottom prices

This is rather a subjective matter, and for the benefit of the doubt, an SEO company startup might actually lower the prices for its initial service offerings. But a low price cannot guarantee the service itself, much more like with those who charge higher isn’t the best option as well. What is important for you is to discover the driving price offered, and if it will be able to justify the risk and the package for your business.

  1. Unscrupulous link building strategies

It is important for you to know that the dark side of link building is real, and there are still some that do practice them. What it offers is quick and guaranteed results faster than other SEO campaigns. But what is missing is the implementation of the best practices, which may render your efforts and investments to nothing if detected, which is always possible. Adhering to these black hat practices may also hurt your online reputation, which can impact the way you do business online or even offline. Make sure that the SEO firm you will sign up to use ethical SEO practices and have a handful of white hat strategies to implement in terms of link building, which they can present and prove to you.

  1. They claim to be the top SEO firm

With the ever-changing nature of SEO, the game isn’t about being the “best” or the “top” anymore, but who can deliver what they preach, who keeps on learning and updating its strategies and who will work the hardest, to address your need with your budget. Recognizing these qualities is challenging in itself, but one can start by doing exhaustive research on how SEO companies you shortlisted live up to the expectations of the market. Seek advice’s from your business colleagues, read online reviews of SEO companies from feedback sites like, or check out forums of professionals. Just when somebody claims to be the best doesn’t necessarily mean you buy the self recognition. Do your homework and you just might discover better companies apart from your list.

  1. Telling you that they use “proprietary” methods

Everything you need to know about SEO is always within reach by scouring over the hundreds of SEO articles in the internet. There is no such thing as a “secret ingredient” for successful SEO campaigns. When an SEO firm mentions you that they have it, be doubtful right away. It can only mean that they will use unethical methods that will put your site and even your online reputation at risk.

The “Best” SEO Company Checklist

Knowing the right SEO agency to work with must start from  knowing the qualitative and quantifiable criteria to have something to compare with. Include these signal indicators to assess which services are the ones you should be getting:

  1. Request case studies of actual clients to know how an SEO company, particularly strategized given an industry or scenario. The most reputable SEO firms actually publish some in their website to add to their credibility and portfolio.
  2. Ask for testimonials from clients, which you can do from performing your own background check, or by asking from the SEO company itself because they might have let their clients sign Non Disclosure Agreements (NDA).
  3. Talk to their clients, the ones they include the logos on their own websites, and let you decide for yourself if their best practices and industry specialization is your best match.
  4. Check their online reputation and profiles in search engines.
  5. Carefully study how they present information on their websites. The way it is constructed actually reflects the level of their professionalism. It also contains the company’s mission, vision and values which should be aligned with your own.
  6. Do check their own SEO ranking and the factors that affects it like keyword optimization, back links, domain authority, NAP, information diversity, content relevance, etc.
  7. Check their visibility and reputation in the industry they are operating in.
  8. Specifically ask for the methodologies and fundamental practices that they use and follow.
  9. Ask how they respond to the gray areas of SEO, and see if these align with potential issues and needs of your business.
  10. Inquire about the tools and techniques that they use, and other contract specifications, like non disclosure agreements, data retention and use, terms and duration of the contract, etc.

Choosing the right company to work with should not be as stressful as it seems. Check out reviews of SEO companies at CrowdReviews.comto gain firsthand insights about how tools and providers are faring when it comes to performance and result delivery to its actual clients.

Keith Moore

Keith Moore has worked with several leading Android development agencies to build customized mobile apps enabling businesses to extend the use of their services to smart phones and mobile devices.

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