Deciding to hire an SEO company to manage your business’s SEO can be a big investment for many businesses. The trick is, with so many SEO companies and consultants to choose from (and throw in a few black hat SEOs just to keep things interesting!) how do you which SEO provider is the right fit for your brand? Will small or large firm handle your site better? Should you look for an SEO provider that also manages social media marketing? Would you better off working one on one with a consultant? It’s even harder to pick the right SEO company if you don’t have much experience with SEO yourself, so how do you know what you’re supposed to look at when deciding?
Here are 3 things to look at when hiring an SEO company:
1. What does their website look like?
There are a few glaring red flags that should warn you this SEO company probably isn’t the greatest because if they are willing to risk their own site with these tactics what kind of onsite SEO work will they do on yours? Some of these tactics include; too many ads above the content (an SEO company should care more about getting new clients, not making money through AdWords), a link exchange page (flat out banned by Google), poorly optimized content (do they have the same title tag on every page?), keyword stuffing (how many times do they really need to say “SEO company” on one page?), and a poorly designed navigation and internal linking structure.
If you wouldn’t want your website to look and feel spammy, why hire an SEO company that doesn’t invest in their own website?
2. Do they have an active content marketing program?
If the SEO company has a blog (which they should given how much a blog can impact a site’s SEO) when was the last time it was updated? A good SEO company should be producing content on a regular basis. What other resources does this SEO company offer? Do they have white papers and e-books available for download? Can you sign up for an on-demand webinar? Have they created any infographics in the past? Content marketing really powers SEO and a good SEO company should know how to create AND promote fantastic content that is educational in nature. You want to work with an SEO company that is committed to educating their clients and is willing to prove their expertise through their content.
Also check and see if this SEO company writes for any other industry sites or blogs. They might not be writing for the “big time” SEO blogs just yet, but they should be contributing great guest content other quality sites. You want to work with an SEO company that understands the power of content marketing and knows how to make it work for their own benefit, meaning they’ll know how to make it work for you.
3. What kind of social presence do they have?
They don’t need to have 1,000 Facebook Fans and 5,000 Twitter followers to have an active social presence, but they need to be doing something with social media. Are they promoting their own content? Do they share other industry experts’ content and ideas? Or are they treating social media as another advertising platform and just toot their own horn? Social signals are becoming increasingly important to SEO and a good SEO company should understand that.