These days in the market there is a great number of companies offering SEO services, which makes it difficult to assess the quality of such companies, and even more difficult to make the right choice, moreover, if you have never worked with such companies before and nor have you ever dealt with SEO promotion.
In order to help SEO customers I have decided to share my experience as to what should be considered while looking for SEO providers and what should be clarified during negotiations.
This will significantly save you time and money, as website promotion is not very cheap, and experience with dishonest SEO providers usually costs customers too much.
1. The website of the SEO company
These days almost every company is present on the Internet. So the first thing I would like to advise you is that while looking for an SEO company, visit and study its website. Assess its design, usability, as well as (and this is probably the main thing) search engines ranking.
If the company makes low search results, or has no contact form on the website, all this should make you think how this company will be able to promote your website while its own website leaves much to be desired.
If the website is user-friendly and has a good SEO rating, then let’s proceed and look at the company’s portfolio.
2. Decent and credible portfolio
The company’s portfolio is usually found on its website. Besides, most SEO companies include their experience into commercial proposals. To evaluate the portfolio you will have to spend some time, but in the end you will be sure that you are making a deal with a trustworthy company.
Study the information about some company’s customers. Where are the customers’ websites? What rating do they have? To make sure the portfolio is reliable, try contacting some current or previous customers.
Besides, read feedbacks both on the website and on third-party on-line resources. It is better to double check the reliability of the references and examples, than to have low quality services delivered later.
3. Social networks and SEO companies
Checking the company’s profiles in social networks won’t go amiss. Pay attention to the way they are organized, the number of the page subscribers, the frequency of updates, the relevancy of the content. Social networks analysis will enable you to make conclusions as to how effective the company’s promotion strategy functions using the social media.
4. Promotional methods
Learn about the company’s promotional methods. Trust only those SEO providers who do not make a secret of their working methods. Professional, responsible and respectable SEO companies will not hide their optimization methods and will be using only legal search optimization technoloques.
It will be useful to arrange a meeting or a skype-call to specify the full list of SEO services and promotion methods, do not hesitate to ask questions, if the company is interested to have a new customer, its specialists will definitely share information with you and answer all your questions.
5. Lead time for SEO services rendering
Effective promotion should not be fast. A number of disrepute SEO providers promise almost immediate promotion, for which they use illegal promotion methods, thus causing the website to be finally banned by the search systems.
SEO forecast is unfortunately impossible. If somebody is trying to assure you that in two or three months’ time your traffic will multiply by X times, this should make you challenge this company and its methods. One should see the lead time for SEO promotion realistically and remember that search systems might behave unpredictably.
6. The cost of SEO services
One of the most important criteria how to choose a provider is the cost of services. And this is where you need to be careful. First of all, quality services are rarely cheap. Secondly, one should clearly realize what they are paying for. Lots of companies include only the cost of work into the price, at the beginning concealing the fact that later you will have to pay a lot more money, for example, for buying links, for writing relevant content, for placing this content on third-party resources, etc. If an SEO company offers you its services at a very low price compared to other providers, this should make you think carefully how trustworthy the provider is.
Before signing the contract you should also discuss all cooperation conditions in detail. Require an SEO estimate (a rough one) from the provider. Find out beforehand in what case or under what circumstances your expenses might be increasing. Thus, you will be able to understand what will make the invoice total, and protect yourself from unpleasant surprises and conflicts with SEO providers, should any unexpected expenses arise.
I would like to note that no promotion is ever done free. If you are planning a website promotion, be ready to invest a certain amount of money in the SEO-services. Read the article 7 Reasons Why Your Business Should Invest In SEO to learn about how important it is to invest in SEO.
7. Customer care
Quality service means more than just the project launch, but also further support, solving current tasks, prompt response to customers’ requests. Professional SEO companies who truly care about their customers will provide the customer with an account manager.
We hope you will find our tips useful and helpful while looking for a reliable SEO provider. If you have your own experience choosing an SEO specialist and you are ready to add your tips to our list, we will be happy to hear your comments.