If you plan on optimizing your business’s online presence, you have two ways to go about it: you can either do it yourself, or you can hire an agency that provides SEO services. Many companies go for the latter because they want to benefit from an SEO agency’s expertise. But if this is also what you want to do, how can you ensure that you’ll hire a company that can efficiently handle your SEO needs and help you achieve your business’s goals?
While there are many SEO companies out there, it can be challenging to find the right one for you. That’s because many agencies offer numerous services at varying price points. If you’re unfamiliar with the best SEO practices, plus what kind of SEO strategy will actually work for you, it can be difficult to know for sure if you’re making the best choice.
Fortunately, there are a few reliable indicators that can help you determine whether the SEO agency you’re considering is a reputable one. From how well the SEO agency optimizes its own site to how transparent they are about their processes, look out for these green flags before hiring them.
They Offer Realistic Results
When reaching out to an SEO agency, pay attention to the results they guarantee. If they’re quick to promise that your website will rank a certain place in the search engine or attract a particular number of visitors, it’s better to look for other options.
SEO is an ongoing process with search algorithms changing all the time. This makes rankings beyond the control of any agency. In addition, search engines don’t allow payment for higher rankings. That being said, any promise of overnight ranking improvements isn’t a good sign, and it may even be an indicator that “black hat” or deceptive SEO tactics may be at play.
Instead, you’ll want to hear the SEO agency offer realistic results. For example, they should commit to staying on top of all the search engine updates and adopting the latest changes in their search engine optimization process. These types of actions are definite green flags.
They’ve Created Positive Results for Themselves
Aside from what an SEO agency can offer for your business, check out the results they’ve created for themselves. Is their website successfully optimized for the search engines? Does their website show up in searches for keywords relevant to them? If the answer to these questions is a resounding “yes,” then you can be certain that they can help your business too. Chances are, they can recreate the same success with your website and help you develop an excellent online presence.
They Have Plenty of Experience
The number of years that an SEO agency has been operating is a good indication of its level of experience. As such, you should look at how long the company has been in business. Several years of experience and engagement typically mean that an SEO agency has a clear idea of what works and what doesn’t. If that’s the case, you can be certain they’ll bring that same insight into crafting an effective SEO campaign for you.
You should also find out about the clients the agency has served in the past. It would be good if they have experience supporting businesses in various industries, particularly those that match yours. This can mean that they have a good understanding of what you need and how to best help you.
They Have Good Reviews
It’s also a good idea to look for customer reviews and testimonials on the agencies you have in mind. Many SEO agencies have these on their websites, and they’ll give you a glimpse of what it will be like to work with a particular company. You can also search for comments about them online, for example on a social media group related to the SEO industry or adjacent industries. Whether the SEO service provider has a positive or negative reputation, you’re bound to find people talking about it online.
The company’s social media profiles may also give you an impression of how they work. Here, you can find out about their online interactions and get a better feel for their work culture. This will help you make up your mind about whether you’d be compatible with them for future business ventures.
They Use Ethical Techniques
Before you hire an SEO agency, inquire about the strategies they use. Have them explain these strategies to you in terms you’re familiar with. If any of their techniques seem unethical or if the company seems hesitant to share any further information, it’s a source of concern. They may be practicing black hat SEO techniques or have unethical standards for the work that they do.
Remember, companies using ethical practices won’t hesitate to answer your questions. They will share their processes and explain why they do things in certain ways. They may even teach you the finer details about SEO, how it works, and how results can be realistically achieved. Transparency and eagerness to substantiate are green flags, while secrecy and a desire to circumvent conversations about methods are red flags.
They Provide In-Depth Monitoring and Reporting for Your SEO Progress
Apart from an agency’s process, you should also know how they’ll monitor and report results. SEO campaigns involve tracking metrics such as impressions, average position, and visits. But these elements can still vary depending on the campaign goals you require and how you measure your business’s ROI. That said, the SEO agency must offer goals that can substantially influence your business through meaningful conversions.
At the same time, the SEO agency should be able to provide comprehensive reports indicating the results of your campaigns. They must offer an in-depth analysis of the progress your site is making, along with what’s working and what’s not. The best SEO agencies are careful about interpreting the data they gather and making tailored suggestions based on what they find.
Choosing an SEO agency to help improve your online presence is an important business decision to make. It’s totally within reason to be critical of your options. Do your research, ask questions, and think your decisions through before you finalize anything with an SEO provider. This list of green flags should help you narrow things down and find the right SEO service provider for your business.