With many companies out there who claim that they’re a so-called “reputable” SEO company or agency, how can you be sure which one to choose?
According to the stats, by 2020, businesses in the US will be spending as much as $80 billion on SEO services. No wonder why in recent years, many small and big agencies have emerged.
In this article, I will guide you through 5 things to look for when hiring an SEO agency for your business, without being scammed.
1. Look out for price tag
As the saying goes, “you get what you pay for”. SEO generally is quite expensive, especially if you need white hat SEO. From content creation to link building, it involves a fairly large amount of work, energy, and money.
An average SEO expert charges around $500 to $1500 per month. If any company offers you something lesser than that, and claim to rank your website on the first page with a pure white hat technique, then that’s something you should consider re-thinking.
2. Un-realistic promises
Setting goals are crucial to any business’s success, and when hiring an SEO agency, you tend to get many promises. For instance, an increase in ranking for this keyword on this page to this page in a certain period of time.
Or a particular number of conversion rate in this much amount of time. Sure, knowing what you’re about to achieve sets up an expectation and can help you decide whether to choose a particular company or not.
However, as far as SEO is a concern, nothing is certain, especially when you’re dealing with something that’s not under your control, like the search engines’ algorithms, where they are constantly changing. What works today may not work tomorrow.
Ranking your main keywords on the first page and guarantee that your website will convert should be the only 2 things that any SEO company should promise. Anything else, for example, ranking on the first spot or driving any fixed number of traffic per month can seem to be unrealistic and over-promising.
Worse than that, any over-night success is impossible with regards to SEO. It generally takes a minimum of 3 months for any SEO campaign to start showing some positive results. So make sure you decide carefully. Ask as many people as you can as to what they get and how long, so you can have a clear idea on your mind.
3. Experience & certifications
With tons of agencies out there, and many new ones are coming up every day, choosing the right one can prove to be a tedious job.
One thing that you can use to distinguish between a good and a bad SEO company is their experience and certifications. It’s a good idea to look at how long the company has been in business. This doesn’t mean that any new company is bad, but generally, the longer the company has been in the game, the higher the level of their experience, hence the better work quality.
SEO requires experience to know what works and what doesn’t. This is as mentioned above, nothing is uncertain and more experience means the company knows what exactly they need to do in order to succeed.
With regards to certifications, there’s no “SEO certification”, per se. However, some standard certificates like Analytics and PPC, which involve some knowledge about search engines can prove that they somehow know about how to drive conversion from search engines in general.
4. Case studies and examples
As mentioned above, the experience is one of the best metrics to evaluate the right SEO agency.
However, a new company can deliver incredible results as well, and we can judge this by their case studies and examples. Having proof that the company has successfully ranked and brought positive results to their clients is a great way to showcase expertise and knowledge, even if the company has just been in the game recently.
When choosing an SEO company for your business, having a solid proof is one of thing you should take into consideration. Any service provider can say that they know how to deliver the work, but how many of them have actually successfully done it, that we can evaluate from their actual work.
5. Reviews and testimonials
Last but not least, before taking any services, you should have a look at their review and testimonials. In fact, this point is deeply rooted in our instinct. The more social proof or review a company has, the more trustworthy it is.
However, make sure to keep in mind any possibilities of fake reviews. Analyze carefully whether to trust a particular SEO company or not. Check for any fake or bad reviews, both online and offline. Try contacting any of their past clients and verify whether the company is the legit one or not.
That’s all for the 5 things to look for when choosing an SEO company for your business. With the rise of many agencies, choosing the right company can be a difficult job, especially if you don’t have any knowledge about the field.
So first and foremost, my advice is to get yourself acquainted with some basic knowledge about SEO so you can understand what the companies are saying and that you should trust them or not.