Selecting an SEO firm -What to Look for

If you do not understand at least the basics of SEO, you will be hard pressed to know when you have actually found a quality SEO company versus one that is just very good at appearing to do quality work. If you fall into this trap, you will claw your way out of it 6 months later, disgruntled, bitter and finally armed with all the questions you wish you had known to ask 6 months ago.

The first mistake that you can make in the SEO company search is to choose a provider on cost. SEO is not a commodity that will be of the same value whether purchased at $100 per month or $1,000 per month. If you are only paying $100, you can be confident of $100 of value, no more, but maybe less.

Search Engines and the Internet – How does improve rankings with SEO ? 

It is time to start valuing SEO services at what they are worth. Expecting top rankings for competitive key phrases at $100 a month is like expecting brand new veneers from the dentist at the price of teeth whitening pack from the supermarket. 

So what are you paying for anyway?

You need to understand the scope of the work that will be done on your website to get an idea of what you are paying for. If you understand the rough scope of what needs to be done, then you are better positioned to understand whether you are being over-promised or quite plainly ripped off. 

If you have a basic, static website that has 10 pages and you are optimising for 5 keywords, this is not nearly as complicated as optimising a dynamic, gigantic website for a large number of competitive phrases. 
Understand what you are being offered, does the project include, on page optimisation, link building, content creation? How much time will be dedicated to your project on a monthly basis? If you are paying a $100, an hour of work and reporting on your site is generous! However, if you are paying $500 but are treated like a client that pays $100, there’s a problem.  

Ask questions

– Budgets are tighter than they have been in years. Now is not the time to be shy. 

– Ask for a comprehensive proposal and receive clarification in writing on any elements that are unclear. Does link-building mean 1 new link a month or 5 new links? 

– How many other clients does your account manager handle? Will you get that hour of work a month or will they get to it once you’ve complained a few times?

– What level of expertise does the account manager have? If they are relatively new to the SEO game, do they have a skilled supervisor?

– How transparent is the SEO firm? Do they build a clear roadmap of how they will go about the project or are they vague and hazy in their explanations?

– Is the work outsourced to other individuals that do not even work for the company in countries where labour is cheaper?

– What is their link building methodology? Is it ethical or do they go buy as many links as possible from the cheapest resource they can find?

Though remember, even after you have asked all the questions and received the proposals, at the end of the day, it is your budget that will ultimately dictate whose services you can afford. But you are paying for a service so even if you are spending $100 a month, make sure that every dollar is working for you. If it is not, perhaps the $100 could be better spent elsewhere?

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