Deciding which SEO agency is right for your company can sometimes be a daunting task. However it’s going to be one of the most important choices you make as a start up or small business. After all, SEO companies have the ability to take your business to the next level, reaching an audience and growing your brand more than you could have imagined. On the other hand, they could tarnish your brand and ruin the reputation you’ve worked so hard for.
Before we begin dissecting the considerations you should be making when hiring an SEO company, I highly recommend checking out the amazing video at the top of this post. Watch as Maile Ohye, Developer Programs Tech Lead at Google, walks you through what makes a good SEO agency and what you need to know before engaging with them.
An SEO’s potential is only as high as the quality of your business or website.
So, how do you decide which agency should essentially join, or in some cases, be your marketing team? Well, there’s no easy answer to that question – but here are some crucial things to keep in mind when speaking with any agency.
There is no quick solution
If the SEO agency makes any sort of guarantee they will rank you #1, super fast cause they’re the best and somehow have the golden ticket that nobody else has – run for the hills. In this industry, there is no get-rich quick scheme – it takes a lot of time for your SEO efforts to kick in, and it totally makes sense as to why it has to take time. I will dive into more detail about how and why sites get high ranks on Google in my next post, but be wary of these companies that make promises they won’t be able to keep.
Watch the Language
If the SEO company is worth their salt, they’ll tell you in plain English what they’ll be doing, how they’re going to do it and why. If the meeting seems to be focused around a lot of SEO jibber jabber that you don’t really understand, ask them to show you real-life examples of what they’ll be doing for you. If there is any hesitancy on being transparent – there is no way a business relationship can form. The SEO company doesn’t know your business like you do, any success that comes from SEO efforts has to be aligned with the interest of the business at its core. Therefore, you should have a full understanding of how their efforts are going to benefit you. Remember to ask questions, get a sense of how engaged and interested they are in what you do and what your goals are.
Proof is in the Pudding
Although Google doesn’t provide an exact guide, they do release definitive snippets of advice to rank higher. When meeting with an SEO agency, ask them to show you where your site is deficient and how their going to tackle it – along with corroborating documentation from Google supporting their claims. In SEO, there’s no big secret – agencies should be able to provide a clear cut strategy that has your businesses best interest at heart, while staying true to Google recommendations. Remember that this is a crucial decision for your business, be sure your thorough and take your time.
Trust your gut
Having been in this industry for nearly a decade, I’ve seen the good, the bad & the ugly. I’ve seen startup websites become local kingpins in their respective industries. I’ve seen established websites lose rank they earned themselves (with no agency) after engaging what seemed to be a very reputable SEO agency. It can be very hit-or-miss in this industry, which is why I think it’s important to only go forward with a company if your gut feeling is a good one. After all, the Google bots are only here to serve us humans, which is why I think it’s important we trust our human instinct.