WHAT TO LOOK FOR WHEN HIRING AN SEO COMPANY

Matthew Carter
Hello friends, my name is Matthew Carter. I’m a professional link builder for a large SEO agency in New York City.

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The business success can depend on well-developed SEO marketing strategies. It may cost a high amount to create an in-house SEO (Search Engine Optimization) team. So, it is better that you hire an experienced and reputed web agency with advanced SEO approaches to help you to achieve your business goals.

Communication is another most vital tool to track the progress rate regularly. You need to ensure how frequent your communication process, and how will the tone of your communication be.

An SEO audit is not free, but many web agencies offer an SEO audit at an affordable price. You can ask about an approach which SEOs use to audit a client’s site before you pay them your money. If an SEO agency prefers to use third-party SEO tools to audit a site, don’t waste your time.

SEO audit.

It is no different to hire an SEO company than appointing other employees for variant services associated with your business development process. It is necessary to enquire the right questions and assess whether the company is right for your business. You cannot afford to hire an SEO company only based on their promises. Instead, you must be sure about their real-time efforts and hard work. You must know where you are investing your money. Here, we present some critical factors to guide you in hiring an SEO company based on the following features.

Cost is a significant factor. No one wishes to cross the budget range. Therefore, quotes from different companies will help you in this matter. But don’t look for the cheapest SEO services. You need to understand the value for money. Even an SEO agency from the Philippines would not provide advanced SEO services for $150 per month.

After SEOs complete the case study, you must know the work plan to proceed further. An experienced SEO company always intends to deliver the advanced SEO services for your company and has brief discussions with you concerning each step.

The professional SEO agency is transparent and communicative.

An SEO agency has to follow the search engine guidelines to avoid manual actions and other penalties for your site. On the other hand a professional SEO company never follows SEO myths.

To fix some SEO issues your website may need a lot of changes in the navigation, content, UX design, etc. You need to ensure that you entrust your project to the right hands. The SEO company has to have experienced web developers and UI, UX designers, who are able to handle the changes. F5 Studio website development agency provides the full range of web services, including UI UX design and professional web development.

Communication.

You need to ensure that you own all the links and contents throughout the SEO services. If the contract terminates midway, you must have the proper agreement documentation as they cannot make further changes after the bond is over.

A high ranking in search results does not imply high traffic. Numerous companies guarantee you #1 Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs). Never fall into this trap. It is just a way to lure your mind to grab the number one position without any security. You must remember, SEO is a long-term game that takes much time and effort to succeed with SEO Services. One needs to set parameters to track the growth. Bing and Google webmaster tools bring out results for different searches. You need to ask the SEO consultants how they will enhance the conversion.

Content comes under one of the most significant SEO services. You must know how the SEO company you hire will audit and change your content. If they decide to create new content, you need to ask them about their content creation process to ensure language fluency and content quality. Also you must as well ask the SEO agency what on-page changes they will make and why.

Search engines have developed and improved with the passing time to solve many problems. Algorithms like Google Panda and Penguin protect the search process from spamming websites. Yahoo and Bing have also been updated with gradual changes.

SEO guidelines.

The application of targeted and right keywords is one of the most vital factors. Till date, different agencies offer SEO services with only a fixed number of keywords. Now is the time for the company owners to learn some new trends to deal with the keywords correctly.

Also, avoid SEO agencies that offer SEO packages that include the number of backlinks or the number of blog posts, ranking keywords, etc.

Google presents a list of businesses of a specific area when someone searches for a keyword or a business. Local SEO will help searchers to find the top companies in a particular region. Local SEO services benefit local business people. Generation of organic results takes more time and effort. The process is uncertain as well. This is why you should hire a search engine optimization company with valuable experience in local search if you own a local business.

First you need to assess why your website is not performing well on search results. Ask the SEO company for an SEO audit and find out the drawbacks. Depending on your niche, market, and location get an idea of the difficulty to get as much traffic as it is possible. It will also help you to evaluate your marketing strategy. Is it a good strategy? Does it meet the needs of your target audience? Do marketing messages trigger your visitors?

The most important thing is the SEO marketing strategy. It is the base of a workflow. If a SEO company keeps anything hidden from you, you must not get into business with that company because they may harm your website with the spam strategy like using Private Blog Networks, spam links, and content spam.

9. What are your fees and payment terms? You need to know how much you’ll be charged, of course, and also whether the consultant gets paid hourly, by retainer or by project. Project-based payments are the most common in the SEO consulting industry, and they can vary widely, depending on a project’s size and complexity. Most contract projects ranged between $1,000 and $7,500, according to Moz’s 2011 pricing survey of more than 600 SEO firms.

These references can help you gauge how effective the candidate is, as well as verify that the person did indeed work on specific SEO campaigns. Clients may not provide specific analytics, Fox says, but they should be able to at least tell you if they saw a positive impact on their search ranking, especially in conversions and in gaining an audience, as a direct result of the consultant’s efforts.

For example, will consultants add new title tags to your existing HTML code or modify the existing ones? Will they provide additional copywriting content highlighting your products and services to beef up the number of visible, on-page keywords relevant to your potential customers? And do they plan to redesign all or some of your website navigation or add new pages to your site?

Make sure the candidate’s proposal includes an initial technical review of your website to weed out any problems that could lower your search engine ranking, including broken links and error pages. Consultants also should provide “on page” optimization, a process to make your website as search engine friendly as possible. It involves improving your website’s URL and internal linking structure, along with developing web page titles, headings and tags.

Bing and Yahoo also post webmaster best practices that consultants should confirm they follow.

1. May I have a list of current and past clients? A reputable SEO consultant should be open to sharing a brief list of current and former clients and his or her contact information, says Vanessa Fox, author of Marketing in the Age of Google (Wiley, 2012) and founder of Nine By Blue, a Seattle-based SEO software provider.

5. Are you experienced at improving local search results? Appearing in the top local search engine results is especially important to small brick-and-mortar businesses trying to attract nearby customers, Rand says. You’ll want a consultant who has expertise in local SEO techniques.

The study also found that the most common retainers ranged between $251 to $500 a month on the lower end and $2,501 to $5,000 a month on the higher end, while the most common hourly rates ranged from $76 to $200. Fox said consultants who specifically serve small businesses often charge less per month and hour.

Here are 10 essential questions to ask when considering prospective SEO consultants:

#insert related here# 3. Do you adhere to search engines’ webmaster guidelines? You want a consultant who strictly abides by Google’s publicly posted webmaster best practices, which specifically prohibit 12 common SEO tricks, including automatically generating spammy content and adding bogus hidden text and links. If a candidate doesn’t follow those guidelines, your website could be relegated to a dismally low search results ranking. Or, worse yet, Google could ban it from search results altogether.

Be sure to ask how often they plan to share these important analytics with you and how they would use the data to continually improve your search engine rankings and website traffic.

Also, ask consultants if they provide “off page” SEO strategies to raise awareness of your content on other websites, often via blogs, social media platforms and press releases.

7. How do you measure the success of your SEO campaigns? To gauge the success of SEO efforts, you must track exactly how much traffic is being sent to your website and where it is coming from. Consultants should be experienced in using Google Analytics to track improvement in your site’s search engine rankings, the number of links from other websites driving traffic to yours, the kinds of keywords searchers use to find your site, and much more.

8. How will we communicate and how often? SEO consultants’ communication styles and customer service standards vary. You need to find someone whose approach best fits your needs. Ask if the candidate prefers to talk in person or via phone, Skype, texting or email. And find out how often will he or she reach out to you with status updates.

Consider it a red flag if the candidate claims to have an insider relationship with Google or any other search engine that will get you priority search results rankings. Only Google, Bing and Yahoo can control how high or low websites appear in their search results.

2. How will you improve my search engine rankings? Steer clear of SEO consultants who won’t freely discuss their methods in detail, cautions Rand Fishkin, founder of Moz, a Seattle-based internet marketing software company and co-author of The Art of SEO (O’Reilly, 2012). They should explain the strategies they would use to drive up your website’s search engine ranking, as well as estimate how long it could realistically take to achieve the SEO campaign goals you agree on.

Other important payment-related questions: How often are invoice payments due — every 30, 60 or 90 days? Is there an interest charge for late payments?

4. Can you guarantee my website will achieve a number-one ranking on Google, Bing and Yahoo? If the candidate answers yes, Fox warns, “Turn and run in the other direction as fast as you can.” Although it’s impossible to guarantee a number-one ranking on any search engine, she says, some unethical SEO consultants do make such bogus guarantees.

If your website is optimized for what’s known as “local SEO,” it should appear when someone nearby is searching for keywords that are relevant to your business. To achieve that, a consultant should add your business’s city and state to your website’s title tags and meta descriptions, and get your site listed on Bing, Google and Yahoo’s local listings, which are online directories of businesses that cater to a specific geographical area.

But what if you lack the time and technical expertise to improve your site’s search engine ranking? It might make sense to hire an experienced, reliable search engine optimization (SEO) consultant.

10. What happens when we part ways? When your contract expires or if you terminate it early, you should still maintain ownership of all of the optimized web content you paid the consultant to provide, Fox says.

If your website doesn’t show up on the first page of search results on Google, Bing or Yahoo, your potential customers might not even know you exist. Better search engine visibility can be critical to boosting visits to your website, which can lead to increased brand awareness and higher sales and profits.

6. Will you share with me all changes you make to my site? Search engine optimization will most likely require a number of changes to your existing web page coding. It’s important to know exactly what adjustments the consultant plans to make and on how many web pages. If you would like the candidate to get your permission before accessing and altering your website code, be sure to say so.

Accordingly, you’ll want to make sure the contract states that when you part ways, consultants will not change or remove any of the content they added, modified or optimized on your behalf. You also should ask consultants whether they charge any fees for early contract termination, and if so, to specify them in the contract.

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