Most business owners are aware that SEO is a great way to increase sales. In fact, studies show that SEO is the number one lead source for most businesses, especially those operating locally. However, what business owners don’t know, is how to determine whether or not an SEO company is capable of getting the job done.
If you’re wondering what do SEO companies do, we make it possible for potential customers to find your website on search engines when searching online for your products or services. While good, trustworthy SEO companies exist, many of them shouldn’t be trusted. To make finding an SEO company easier for you, here are 6 qualities your trusted SEO company must have.
They’re Battlefield Tested SEOs
Regardless of the many articles oversimplifying the process, SEO is a highly technical, philosophical craft that takes years of experience to grasp a solid understanding of how it really works. It’s much more than keywords and backlinks, as the internet would have you think, especially when determining the cost necessary to achieve your quality results.
If you want the best results at the best rate, you’d want to hire an SEO provider with tons of experience in the field. A provider who knows the ins-and-outs of on-page optimization, the creative usages of blogs for building backlinks and web influence, along with other ancient African secrets of SEO.
Don’t let a freelancer or agency’s nice website fool you into thinking that they’re good SEO providers. The reality is, anyone (with the knowledge, of course) can set up a nice website, read a few SEO blogs from Moz, and proclaim to the digital world that they’re the best agency in town. Truth be told, many SEO companies are operated by people who are good at business or sales, not SEO.
They’re Very Transparent
Often when I’m consulting with potential clients, I introduce the analogy that SEO providers are like surgeons: unless you’re in the field, you won’t have a clue as to what we’re doing behind the scene. Add that to the unfortunate truth that many website owners have been burned due to poor SEO services leaving them with a lack of trust in a cost-effective marketing channel that produces revenue-generating results when done the right way.
This is why trustworthy SEO companies or providers are completely transparent. In order to build and maintain trust, it’s important that SEO providers let you know what needs to be done to improve your SEO, why it needs to be done, and how it’ll be done. From initial meetings to regular reporting, your provider should keep you the loop regarding the happenings of your SEO campaign.
They Don’t Guarantee Rankings
Your SEO provider is not Google, nor do they know when Google will update their search algorithm. Despite the Google Partners badge, which simply means that the company or provider is Google AdWords certified, they’re not privy to information that the rest of us aren’t. With that being stated, it’s impossible to guarantee rankings.
However, a trustworthy SEO company can guarantee to consistently increase search traffic. Rather than trying to reinvent the wheel, implementing SEO best practices alone could lead to first page rankings or top 5 rankings for the most competitive of keywords.
They Don’t Lock You Into a Long-Term Contract
Beware of long-term contracts when searching for an SEO company. The last thing you’ll want to do is get locked into a long-term contract being forced to pay for crappy SEO services. While it takes about 3-4 months to see monetary results from SEO, low-level key performance indicators such as impressions, clicks and keyword ranking positions can be viewed after the first month.
Avoid contracts longer than 4 months to potentially save yourself a headache and dollars that you don’t have to waste. Only sign long-term contracts after you’ve taken the agency for a 4-6 month test drive and you’re completely satisfied with the results they’ve produced.
They Provide Regular Reports With Analysis
Whether weekly, bi-weekly or monthly, regular reporting is critical to determining whether or not your SEO company is producing results. A transparent, trustworthy SEO company knows the importance of keeping you up-to-date with your investment.
These reports should be extensive, yet easy to read. Additionally, they should come with a discussion, whether in person, over the phone or via webcam. To take it a step further, reports should also come with an outline of the next period’s tasks or todos.
They Don’t Brag & Boast About BS Rewards
The awards you may see on the websites of many SEO companies really don’t have much to do with the quality of their SEO services. For the most part, SEO rewards are either business awards or an element of a link-building campaign for some other brand. Speaking of which, I was recently awarded a badge for being one of the Top 200 Marketing Blogs on the web. Now, all I have to do is add the badge to my website with a link back to the awarder’s website (No, that’s not going to happen).
The only rewards that you should pay attention to are client testimonials. Testimonials are written or recorded statements that support a company’s credibility and level of expertise. Trustworthy SEO companies know the value of testimonials, therefore there’s a good chance that you’ll easily find these on their websites.
Hopefully, you’ll find these 6 qualities of a trustworthy SEO company useful as I’m sure they’ll save you a few headaches and wasted dollars. Additionally, you’ll know how to choose an SEO company that’s capable of helping you grow your business online.