The next big step after building a website is identifying and implementing the best SEO tactics. The goal of applying SEO strategies is to ensure that a business or an individual’s website appears top of the search engine results for specific search terms. Achieving this goal requires much time, effort, and knowledge in SEO. Many business owners do not have time and knowledge to optimize their websites. Some outsource everything about their website from design to optimization, which is a wise decision for owners without the required skills.
Some fraudulent services thrive on the website owners’ need for the latest SEO tactics. The services promise to help business owners improve their website rankings but fail to keep their promises after receiving payments. Hence, you must be careful when hiring an SEO company for your business or personal website. Here are some questions you must ask before hiring any SEO expert.
1. Do You Have Any Testimonials or Case Studies of Your Previous Work?
Reviews from past clients are a good place to start when assessing a company’s ability to improve your website rankings. A genuine and qualified SEO company should have many positive reviews from past clients. Do not rely on the reviews on the company’s website. Search the internet for reviews of the company’s past work or relations with its clients. Most dissatisfied clients post their complaints online, especially on forums and discussion groups. You can also check reviews from the company’s employees. For instance, before hiring The HOTH, you should check reviews from people working at The HOTH first. Ask the company for online case studies of other websites that are ranking high after contracting its services. Confirm the ranking on Google and other search engines as well.
2. What SEO Strategy Do You Intend to Apply to My Website?
If you do not have much knowledge and experience in SEO, do a quick research on the best tactics. The information is available online. Even if you do not understand the terms and how each strategy works, you should have basic information on what works. Ask the experts to explain their strategy in optimizing your website. The company should give at least five or more strategies. Effective SEO is based on a combination of many strategies. A fraudulent service is likely to cite two major strategies like link building and content analysis. Go for a company with a comprehensive plan that includes all the latest SEO tactics.
3. Have You Failed in Any of Your Past Projects?
Most companies advertise their services based on their successes. Rarely do they talk about their failures or dissatisfied clients. The truth is that even the best SEO experts fail in some projects. SEO is a broad field and one plan does not work for all companies. Each company requires a customized strategy based on its current ranking and target online audience. A good SEO company should be open about past failures and give reasons for the failure. The purpose of asking such questions is to test the company’s honesty. If they are dishonest about missed goals, they are likely to be dishonest about other promises as well.
4. How Do You Analyze the Progress of the Optimization Process?
An honest SEO expert will tell you that you cannot move from the back and rank high overnight. Even the best experts in the industry need time to analyze your past tactics if any, and identify ways of improving or replacing them. If you built your website without thinking about SEO, the process will take longer. While you understand the process takes time, you cannot wait until the end to determine if the company’s strategies worked. The company should provide some measures of assessing the progress. You should hold regular meetings or briefs to review the progress, especially after applying a new tactic. If you hire the right company, you will get monthly reports on your rankings, conversions, and traffic flows.
5. Will I Be Involved in the Process?
The purpose of outsourcing SEO is to allow experts to handle the function while you focus on managing and building your business. You save time and avoid making obvious mistakes for lack of knowledge and skill. However, you cannot allow a third party to handle everything about building your brand reputation online without your input. You know the message you want to send to potential clients about your business and its services or products. The right company should involve you and seek your input before implementing new strategies. The purpose of asking for reports or reviewing the progress constantly is to ensure that the company is representing your brand accurately. This calls for constant and open communication between you and the SEO company.
6. Do You Offer Any Ranking Guarantees?
Here is the ultimate test to identify an honest SEO company. Ask them if they can guarantee results within a certain period. For instance, ask them for guarantees to improve your ranking to the first page for certain keywords or search phrases within a given period. If they offer any guarantee, you have the wrong company. No SEO experts can guarantee results even with the best tactics. Search engines change their algorithms at any time. SEO companies cannot master the true science that works in search engines. In addition, SEO tactics are dynamic. The tactics that work one year do not work the next. Go for a company that promises to apply the best tactics that suit your business without offering any guarantees for specific results.
Hiring an SEO company to help you improve your website ranking is a great idea. Working with experts is always easier, better, and faster if your business can afford to pay for their services. However, you must be aware of rogue companies that promise the best results for the paycheck. Some of those who advertise SEO services have no expertise and experience in the same. You must do your background check first before signing any contract. The questions outlined above will help you narrow down your options to the best company. You can tell if you are working with experts or not by their willingness to respond to your questions and their responses. Take your time and follow your gut until you identify the right company.