When using search engines, 75% of users never scroll past the first page of search results (Search Engine Journal).
The higher your search engine ranking, the more traffic your website will receive.
So yes, you want to be on that first page – but how do you get there? You can get there by improving your search engine optimization (SEO).
Some individuals hire companies that specialize in SEO and see tremendous results. Although, just like anything you invest in, you want to make sure it’s worth the money. There are many SEO firms that focus on getting quick cash without delivering long-term SEO benefits for their clients, and others that tend to focus on making false promises. Here are some things to consider when hiring an SEO firm:
Ask for current and past clients.
Just like reading customer reviews before buying a new phone, you should find out other clients’ experiences when looking into working with an SEO firm. Find out how successful the SEO firm’s past work has been by asking them to provide you a list of past clients. Read customer reviews, testimonials and case studies. The last thing you want is to blindly commit to a big contract.
How experienced are they?
SEO is a fast-changing industry. You want to hire an expert who is able to adapt to changes and is knowledgeable about the latest developments and trends in SEO. Keep in mind that you should look for quality in their experience and how successful they have been rather than focus on how long they have been in the industry.
Does their website have good content?
Think of it this way: You want to ensure your prospects and clients that you are a knowledgeable and up to date. You do this through content marketing; by writing about topics that are relevant to your industry. Just the same, you want to make sure that the SEO firm you hire is knowledgeable and current in their field.
Paying someone to optimize your website without having any real gains (conversions, new leads, new clients, etc) is as good as nothing. There are many questions you should be asking to establish better communication throughout the process like:
- What areas will you focus on to improve my websites’ SEO?
- How often will I be updated with analytics and your progress?
- How will you improve our search engine rankings?
- Will you inform me on all changes you make to my website?
You want to always be on the same page as your consultant and the best time to do that is before you agree to any contracts.
Are they making you unrealistic promises?
One way to set apart an SEO salesmen from a legitimate SEO expert is what promises they are making to you. Many SEO salesmen tell prospects that with their work, your website will rank #1 on search engines. Rankings alone are a bad metric for overall performance. It’s more important that the search results drive relevant visitors that take a desired action – such as signing up for a mailing list or making a purchase – once they land on your page. Making these kinds of statements are fishy. This could mean that the SEO firm may be using illegitimate ways to get you to #1 such as Black Hat SEO techniques.
What happens post-contract?
Who maintains ownership, of the optimized web content that you paid the consultant to provide, once your contract is up? Make sure to come to an agreement with the SEO firm that once you part ways, they will not remove any of the content they have added, modified, or optimized on your behalf.
If you choose to hire an SEO firm to better optimize your website, be sure that it is legitimate. A bad or inexperienced SEO firm can have a negative impact, in the long run, on your business’ online presence and search engine rankings.
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