Once seen as a benefit to the growth of your digital business, effective search engine optimization (SEO) strategies have become a necessity to survive the era of e-commerce.
At one point or another, businesses will find themselves looking for the top expert SEO consulting firm. But what should you look for when hiring an SEO firm? For instance, if you’re a Georgia-based business, how do you choose the best SEO Agency in Atlanta? Here are six tips to follow:
- Specify Your Goals
Never hire an SEO consulting firm with the vague objective of ‘increasing your organic traffic.’ There are various kinds of organic traffic, and increased traffic doesn’t necessarily mean increased revenue. For instance, ranking first for women’s dresses won’t do much for your bridal gown business.
To avoid ambiguity, you need to outline exactly what you want to accomplish with SEO. For example, do you want to increase your site’s conversion rate or reduce your bounce rate? Do you need to rank on specific keywords to boost product sales? Are you looking for services beyond basic SEO, such as creating sponsored content or building a social media following?
Make sure you’re clear on the results and goals you’re looking for and what services you’ll need. This should help narrow down your options in finding the best SEO partner.
- Look For Experience, Knowledge, And References
The best SEO firm will have years of experience in implementing successful SEO strategies for its clients. Anyone can set up an SEO firm overnight and instantly call themselves the SEO experts. However, it doesn’t mean they know what they’re doing and can successfully help their clients.
Thus, you must thoroughly research the company. Ask for a list of their past clients you can interview to be appropriately informed if they can indeed help your business. A reputable and confident SEO firm will have no trouble providing references to past or current clients to show you how they meet their client’s satisfaction.
Other ways to get an unbiased opinion about a company are reviews and testimonials. You’ll often find these reviews on the company’s site. However, please note that no business will dare showcase even a slightly negative review of their website. So, for the real reviews, check out sites like Yelp, Google, and Glassdoor (see what their employees have to say about the company).
- Consider Transparency And Communication
You want a highly organized SEO firm that provides transparency and good communication. A reputable firm should clearly and openly answer any questions and present case studies that show consistent and successful results.
There should be a clear deliverable on what you’re getting from your investment, and you should be able to track the progress easily. Partnering with an SEO consulting firm shouldn’t feel like there’s a black hole sucking out your business budget to nothingness.
In addition, a reliable company should also regularly communicate with you and always be available whenever you need help. Finally, when you work with them, ensure that you’ll be getting regular and ongoing updates about your SEO progress—whether these are achieved milestones or minor hiccups that arise.
- Learn HowTo Spot Red Flags
To make it easier for you to narrow down your choices in finding the right SEO consulting firm for your business, you should also learn to spot red flags.
One of the biggest red flags to watch out for is overpromising. If a company is promising first-page results in a matter of weeks, then cross them out of your list. SEO is a painstakingly slow process. There’s no way they’ll achieve those results unless they’re using black-hat SEO strategies, which is still not beneficial since it’ll cause your site to be flagged and penalized.
Another red flag is a one-size-fits-all offering. Every business is unique and will need different SEO tactics to succeed. If the SEO firm asks you to choose a non-customizable package, then walk away. Instead, a good SEO consulting firm should learn about your business and niche, your competition, and your customers to develop customized strategies to help you dominate your industry and achieve the best results.
Lastly, some SEO agencies will bait you with their cheap services. While it can be tempting, especially for small businesses and startups, you need to hold your ground. Reliable companies will offer competitive pricing since they know they don’t cut corners and are confident in their services. After all, proper SEO is always labor-intensive, so it shouldn’t be cheap.
- Set Your Budget
Speaking of pricing, before you invest in an SEO consulting firm, don’t forget to plan your budget ahead of time. This ensures you don’t pay for services you don’t need.
It’s a good idea to ask about package pricing and deals early on to see if their services fit your budget range. Most SEO firms will offer monthly packages to make your life easier, while others allow you to customize and choose the services you need.
In choosing a package deal, make sure to refer to your original goal and see if the package will help achieve your goal.
- Build Your Basic SEO Knowledge
Before you start talking to an SEO firm, you first need to understand the whole SEO process better. First, what are the critical SEO terms, and what do they mean? Second, what’s the kind of strategies used in today’s digital world? Finally, what are the basic things that an SEO firm can help you achieve?
With at least having the basic understanding of the guiding principles of SEO, you can rest easy that the company you’ll be interviewing won’t be bogging you down with confusing jargon or talking in circles. Also, by learning about the current SEO trends, you’ll ask more relevant questions, weeding out the non-experts right from the start.
It takes a fair amount of patience, effort, and time to find the best SEO consultant for your business. However, doing thorough research will be worth it. Partnering with only the best SEO consulting firm will help deliver fantastic results that’ll truly benefit the growth of your business.