Let’s face it: choosing a service provider, whatever the service, is a pain in the neck. A lot of factors come into play when one needs a job done, and needs it done perfectly. The fear of ending up dissatisfied is daunting, and can sometimes become a reality. In these cases, it is easy to blame the service provider for a job badly done; but in the same vein, it can also be argued that the client did not take care in choosing the right provider.
When it comes to choosing the right firm for Search Engine Optimization, most businesses fail to consider that SEO cannot conform to a “one-size-fits-all” approach. The needs and requirements of each business is unique, and organic SEO strategies that work for one business will, in all certainty, not work for another even if those businesses are within the same field.
With search engines continuously updating and modifying their algorithms and guidelines, it is imperative for a business to find a firm that can roll with the punches and stay on top of any changes that can affect rankings and traffic. To that effect, businesses need to have the means to vet potential SEO firms and find the one that fits right into their plan.
Here are some factors that businesses should consider before hiring an SEO firm:
1. Track Record and References: One of the first things to be considered is a potential firm’s recent performance and their success-rate. Most businesses start this process off by asking potential firms for a few references from recent clients that they have worked with. However, there is a slight risk with choosing a firm based on their references. In asking for references, understand that it is as good as asking the firm to furnish a list of clients that were immensely satisfied with their work. Remember that in order to get a good feel of who the firm being hired, it’s good to have a clear idea of both its successes and failures. Being specific about the kind of references you are looking for – such as those within a specific industry – can give the client the upper hand in this process.
2. Research: It’s always a good idea to do a fair amount of research into what SEO is and what should be expected before choosing your firm. This will give businesses a good idea of whether their potential firms are being honest or are attempting to pull the wool over their eyes. Google and other search engines have set strict guidelines for websites, and knowing these guidelines can be conducive to ascertaining whether an SEO firm’s strategy has seriously taken these guidelines into account.
Armed with this knowledge, prepare a list of questions to ask potential firms. A SEO company that truly values the quality of its service over pricing is more likely to be transparent with their answers regarding their strategies, successes, failures and results. Such firms will take the time to clearly understand your business expectations, by asking the right questions and providing clear-cut responses that are simple to understand. A company that truly cares will do everything it can to ensure that both parties are on the same page and each party is clear about what can and cannot be expected on both ends.
Hedging with replies and hesitating to give references are red flags. Additionally, companies that make guaranteeing top rankings and building links the focus of their pitch should also be given a wide berth.
3. Reporting: Reporting is a major vetting factor for SEO firms. An ideal way to ascertain this factor is to ask potential firms to do an SEO audit of one’s business’s website. The audit report can provide a great insight into the company’s work ethic and process. In addition, it can also help decide whether the firm has clearly understood the business’s needs, and is capable of tailoring their strategies to achieve exactly what you need.
However, even with these strategies in hand, clients and businesses can find the process of finding an SEO firm pretty daunting if they are unclear on where to start. While a regular Google search for SEO firms within an area seems like a good place to begin, it’s not always ideal. Even if a firm ranks high on the search engine result pages, it is not necessarily a guarantee of the quality of its service.
In order to give businesses a head-start into their quest for an SEO firm, sites like TopSEORankers aim at eliminating that first daunting step into the foray, and instead presents businesses with up-to-date listings of the SEO industry’s best firms. The site uses its own vetting process to evaluate SEO firms; the criteria for this includes the firm’s traffic rank, number of years in business, social media presence and engagement, client history, among many others. The end result is that businesses can easily expect quality services from the firms listed on TopSEORankers. With most of the grunt-work out of the way, it becomes much easier for businesses to find that one SEO firm that will give them the results they need.