Hiring an SEO company? Ask these important questions

If you are looking into hiring a company to help you with your SEO, ask these important questions to make sure you get the right deal.

When you run a business these days, it’s important to establish a solid online presence. One of the hallmarks of a strong online presence is search engine optimisation or SEO. This allows your site to be found by the search engines and, in turn, by potential customers. Unless you are well-versed on how to optimise your site yourself, it’s advisable to hire an SEO company. Companies like Kamil Web Solutions can help you to get your site noticed, drive traffic to your site, and boost your business.

The trick is to align yourself with the right company. A reputable company will be able to utilise optimisation techniques to boost your site’s visibility while staying within Google’s guidelines. The wrong company, however, could utilise black hat techniques that will get you in trouble with the search engines, defeating the purpose of optimisation and working to damage your reputation instead of establishing it.

So, how do you determine which company to work with? The most important thing is to ask the right questions before you hire a company. Think of it in much the same way you would if you were hiring an employee for your company.

Here are some of the questions you should ask an SEO company before hiring them.

Do you have references?

This can be a tricky one. In some cases, an SEO company will say they can’t provide you with information from their previous clients because of confidentiality. In some instances, this is the case, but it’s also often a way for companies to skirt the issue of references. A reputable company will generally be willing to connect you with some of their previous clients (perhaps without revealing their identities) because they want you to know how good their services are.

Be wary of a company that won’t provide you with references. When you contact the references, always ask them for what they liked AND what they didn’t like about working with the company. This will give you a fuller picture of what you can expect, instead of going into the process with rose-coloured glasses.

What kind of results can I expect?

The goal of any marketing campaign is to get results; SEO is no different. Although no company can predict the future and give you an accurate prediction of the results you can expect, a reputable company will be able to give you a general idea of the amount, for example, of increased site traffic you might experience based on their experience with other campaigns. Be wary of companies that make grand promises that seem too good to be true. They probably are.

When will I see results?

This is an important one. A good company will be able to deliver great results, but they won’t be able to promise you overnight success. Be wary of any SEO companies that make big promises of being able to triple your traffic rate in two weeks, to use an extreme example. A reputable company will under promise and over deliver.

What kind of services do you offer?

A reputable company will have no problem outlining exactly the services they plan to use to optimise your presence. Transparency is important, so you know exactly what tactics they will use. They should be able to also outline a timeline for the services they will use, too.

What strategies they use out of the gate shouldn’t be the same as they plan to use six months or a year down the road. Ask for specifics, such as how many landing pages they will create over a 30-day period, how many SEO optimised articles and backlinks they’ll provide over a set period, and how many hours they will dedicate to your campaign per month. The more information you can get upfront, the better.

How do you plan to optimise our content?

It’s not enough to simply know that your content will be optimised. You have to get specific here, too. Ask things like:

Will you work with our existing content, or create fresh content?
Are your content creators professional, English-speaking writers?
Do you use only white-hat techniques?
What if we aren’t happy with the content?

Most companies will gladly offer you rewrites on the content they create until you are happy – but it’s a good idea to get this in writing just in case. You don’t want to pay for content that isn’t exactly what you want. It’s important that content fits within your brand and voice, otherwise it won’t seem authentic.

Hiring a professional SEO company brings with it many benefits. But it’s important to be sure that you are hiring a reputable one. Your company’s reputation depends on the success of your SEO campaign, and if you use a company that is less than above board, your reputation can easily take a serious hit. In the extreme competitiveness of the online market, it’s very hard to rebuild a reputation once it is damaged.

There are so many choices out there for consumers, and if they lose their trust in you, they’ll simply move on to the next guy. Ensure that doesn’t happen by using a reputable company who will put their skills, talents, time, and effort into optimising your site, creating great content and driving traffic to your site so you can get the exposure you need. From there, it’s your job to convert visitors to customers by having a great product that meets a need.

If you can do that, you’ll be very successful.

Further reading on SEO

Owen Gough, SmallBusiness UK

Owen Gough

Owen was a reporter for Bonhill Group plc writing across the Smallbusiness.co.uk and Growthbusiness.co.uk titles before moving on to be a Digital Technology reporter for the Express.co.uk.

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