Every business looking for a top SEO company to improve their rankings should know that just as a good company can make your business thrive, a bad one can make your traffic crash and burn. With so many SEO companies offering their services, choosing the right one can sometimes turn into a real minefield. Fortunately, we’ve compiled a list of tips that will help you navigate it and ensure you always pick the right SEO company for your business.
What to Look for
Many high-quality SEO companies will have similar features that make them stand out from the crowd. These can help you identify when an SEO company is a good match for your business.
They Have Specific Ideas
A good SEO agency will treat the work they do for your business as a partnership. This usually means that they will suggest improvements you can take to increase your ranking, but you will have to be open to suggestions and actually implement these changes.
These suggestions will hopefully come in the form of concrete, fleshed-out ideas. An SEO company will often ask you to add or improve a part of your business website. And if you’ve chosen the right company, following these suggestions will see your organic traffic and ranking increase.
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There are a number of things a good SEO company may recommend:
- Opening social media accounts and integrating them into your website
- Adding a blog section
- Adding or altering content on your homepage
- Creating a network of internal linkbacks
- Optimizing the SEO performance of your content
- Improving site speed and performance
- Doing a link audit and removing spam links
They Use Transparent and Proven Methods
The first and most important thing you can ask a prospective SEO company is exactly how they will improve your rankings. Even though you’re basically asking them to describe their whole job, the answer should still clear and concise.
A good SEO company will answer in a way that describes all the things they will do, how and why they will do them, how long it will take, and what results you can realistically expect.
They Deliver Concrete Results for Known Clients
As mentioned above, a good SEO company will be able to show you the results of their work. Even though that work won’t always be amazing (remember, even the best can’t really offer any guarantees), their work should show a clear impact on their clients’ rankings.
Here are some of the things you can expect to see from a good, well-prepared company:
- A list of sites that can add backlinks to your webpage
- An audit of your website with actionable suggestions for improvement
- Recommendations for new content
- Regular reports with clear results of their work
In addition to this, be sure to ask an SEO agency for a list of their previous clients. Although you shouldn’t expect to get their entire contact book, they should be able to name a couple of high-profile clients on the spot.
What to Avoid
Of course, all SEO companies weren’t created equal. Sometimes you’ll run into a company that simply isn’t the right fit for your business. Any of the following points could be a huge red flag and you should avoid a company if you spot them.
They Offer Bought Linkbacks
Touching on what we mentioned earlier, if an SEO company offers a pitch containing a ‘secret method’ they use, you should look for someone else. By now, SEO is mostly a level playing field, where the best practices are widely known and are based on Google’s search algorithm.
Mentioning a secret method is usually just an evasive way of saying the company uses ‘black hat’ methods. These are the methods that go against the Google algorithm’s rules and include things like buying a large number of backlinks. Sure, you may see a temporary increase in traffic, but eventually, Google will catch up to you and your site will get penalized.
Also, Google is under no obligation to regularly report on any changes they make to their search algorithm. This is simply a time-saving measure since they can make as many as two changes per day. Therefore, the SEO company’s ‘secret method’ could very well become obsolete tomorrow.
They Don’t Ask for Your Website Info
Every good SEO company will do their prep work and ask for access to some of the vital information about your website. This info will let them identify strong and weak points and let them for an SEO strategy to increase your rankings.
They will usually ask for things such as the credentials to view or edit your Google Analytics, Google Webmaster Tools, CMS or social media accounts. An SEO company might also ask for a list of target keywords or reports and audits done in the past.
If an SEO company asks you for access to this type of info, it usually means that they’re taking the work they do for you seriously. On the other hand, if a company asks for complete admin access to all your data, logins and reports, beware. They might be trying to trap you by holding your data and credentials hostage in order to keep the contract going in the long term.
They Guarantee Top Results
No SEO company worth their business can guarantee you the top spot on the Google search results page. The ones that do are either flat out lying to you, or are simply exaggerating the fact they can get you on the first page of a Google search.
The Google algorithm is an ever-changing math equation devised by a machine learning AI that analyzes our searching habits. This very fact makes it so no one can guarantee to get you to the top spot of the results page. And if they do, you should give them a wide berth.
Hopefully, the tips above have helped you on your journey to finding that perfect SEO company that will unlock your website’s full potential. If you know any useful tips and tricks we may have missed, please post them in the comments below.