What makes for the best search engine optimization company, and how do you know if they are the right company for you?
Determining which company fits your needs isn’t always easy. The guide below will help you get off on the right foot in your search for the agency that will take you to the top of the search engines.
Ask for SEO Case Studies & Client Examples
Ask for examples of websites that they have optimized and keyword rankings they have helped these websites achieve. Ideally, you’re looking for examples that are current and showing good progress right now, not a year ago; however, due to client confidentiality, many companies may not be able to provide you with data to date.
Nonetheless, keep in mind that the older the case study data an SEO Company provides you, the less relevant of an indicator it may be that the company is on top of current SEO trends.
Ask that the case studies provided be for sites for whom the primary strategic goal is similar to yours. While it can be helpful to see examples from the same business space as you, this isn’t as important of a demonstration as sites that have the same type of goal conversion you do.
That means if you’re an eCommerce company, with the ultimate goal being online sales, the case studies you receive should be for eCommerce companies, preferably with a similar size product catalog to yours.
On the other hand, if your site doesn’t sell directly, but instead generates incoming leads for you, request examples of similar lead generation sites. Check out our eCommerce SEO guide or read about our eCommerce SEO services to learn more about eCommerce-specific search engine optimization services.
When looking at results, realize that “results” can come in many forms, so it’s essential to watch what metrics are being offered to you or emphasized as a demonstration. If all the SEO company talks about is rankings, but doesn’t lead the conversation in the direction of thinking about actual sales and conversions, chances are they may not be operating with the big picture in mind.
Rankings and traffic are, of course, key SEO performance indicators, but in the end, it’s increased conversations (aka Sales and/or Leads) that should be your primary goal. Again, client confidentiality may be an issue in being able to see actual sales data for a client, but they should be able to share percentage growth, at a minimum.
Think Beyond SEO
In general, companies that focus on actual sales and conversions as a key performance metric likely also have a skill-set in Conversion Optimization. Once your site is receiving healthy traffic, Conversion Optimization is the process of continually improving the website itself to get the most possible sales or leads from that traffic. It’s a critical component of any advanced SEO Campaign, so it only makes sense to ensure the company you choose also has a strong knowledge and track record for improving sales percentages related to incoming site traffic. Learn more by reading 11 ways to improve your conversion rate.
Conversion rate optimization within an SEO campaign usually includes AB testing of headlines, AB testing of button copy, AB testing of colors/element placement, and testing of landing pages. Multiple conversion rate optimization platforms are available, such as
Realize There Are Risks With a Low-Cost SEO Agency
The risk of choosing a low-end company to reduce your SEO costs is a real risk. Consider not only may you not get results, but the SEO company does have the ability to create long-lasting damage to your website and domain if they do SEO incorrectly. It’s not only about the results not being what you want, but the wrong company could damage your business for years by performing shady link-building practices, writing poor content, and more.
Visit With the SEO Company If You Can
At OuterBox we like to invite clients to come to visit our office and meet with the team. We feel any company that could say they are one of the best SEO companies should be willing to have you in their office.
When you choose an SEO Company, you’re choosing an extended partner in your business. Chemistry matters. The ideal company for your business will have a keen ability to relate to and understand you, your goals, and your business model.
Meeting in person, if even only for an initial meeting, can help start a great relationship and give you the peace of mind that you’ve made the right decision and actually like the team you’re working with. The team should consist of multiple, specialized members, not just an “SEO person” or two. At OuterBox we typically have over 10 people that will touch each SEO client’s project because experts are often required in different areas such as content development, link building, landing page creation, design, technical SEO, and more, which all go into the SEO process.
So, go visit. Get the tour and ask, “which team members will be working on my project?” Get to know them and ask what their roles will be. It’ll make for a more natural decision-making process. If you do choose that company, you’ll be a step ahead in the relationship-building process as well.
As the saying goes, “if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.” If an SEO company guarantees results, be suspicious. The best search engine optimizer will tell you: There is no exact way to know where your website will be ranked in the search engines after optimization is complete. Search engines do not reveal the exact way that they choose which website is better than another, so no one knows exactly what will place your site above another.
SEO Pricing & Value
As with web design services, it’s not always how much you’re paying but how much you’ll get in return. Paying $5,000 a month for search engine optimization that produces results, and ultimately sales is a much better value than spending $1,000 a month on SEO services that don’t increase your market exposure or sales. Read a full article on how much SEO services cost.
Just be sure that the company you go with can produce results. Search engines are powerful tools and your website will gain traffic and business if SEO and website marketing is properly executed!
Also, be sure to check out our articles on PPC Management Pricing if you are also interested in the instant-gratification pay-per-click advertising model available from search engines like Google.
Choosing the Right SEO Company
Remember, it’s not about finding the best SEO company, instead focus on finding the best SEO company for your website and its goals. In case you weren’t taking notes, we’ve summed up our 6 tips for choosing the best SEO company below.
Follow These 6 Tips For Choosing The Best SEO Company
- Ask for case studies and examples of successful SEO campaigns
- Think beyond SEO
- Visit the SEO company in person
- Understand the risks of low-cost SEO agencies
- Avoid SEO guarantees
- Familiarize yourself with SEO pricing models and establish an SEO budget