Hiring an SEO company can help improve your website’s visibility in search engines like Google. However, with so many SEO agencies to choose from, selecting the right one for your business can feel overwhelming. Follow this guide on the key things to look for when hiring SEO services.Set Realistic Expectations
Understand that SEO takes time and is an ongoing process. Avoid agencies that guarantee immediate first-page Google rankings. Top rankings take months of work and depend on many factors. Set goals focused on organic growth over quick wins.
Research Their SEO Approach
Learn what SEO strategies the agency uses. Ethical SEO focuses on long-term solutions like improving website content and technical SEO. Avoid agencies that use spammy techniques which can get sites penalized.
Evaluate Their Specialized Experience
Search for SEO companies experienced in your industry. For example, law firms have different SEO needs than ecommerce stores. Experience shows the agency understands nuances that improve relevancy. Ask for case studies for websites like yours.
Interview Multiple Agencies
Talk to at least 3-5 SEO agencies before deciding. Have a list of questions prepared focusing on their processes, reporting methods, and any past successes. Get a feel for their expertise and see if they understand your business goals.
Review References and Testimonials
Ask for references from past clients with websites like yours. Contact them and ask if they achieved the expected results. Search online for agency reviews and testimonials to evaluate customer satisfaction.
Understand the Pricing Models
SEO agencies often charge monthly retainers, project rates, or performance-based pricing. Make sure expected costs align with your budget and seem fair for the services provided. Ask what is included and know exactly what you pay for.
Check for Transparent Reporting
The agency should provide detailed, regular reporting on the SEO tactics performed, Google analytics growth, keyword rankings, and explanation of results. Reporting shows the value you gain for the money spent.
Key Takeaways When Hiring SEO Services:
- Set realistic expectations understanding SEO takes time
- Research their ethical SEO approach focused on long-term solutions
- Evaluate industry experience and proven successes with similar sites
- Interview multiple SEO consultants before deciding
- Check references and online reviews from past clients
- Understand monthly or project-based pricing models
- Review detailed reporting on growth and rankings
Hiring a qualified and experienced SEO agency provides immense value in improving website visibility and traffic from search engines. However, take the time to thoroughly research multiple consultants, evaluate their specialization and strategies used, check references and reporting methods before committing. This helps find an optimal fit aligned with your business goals.
Frequently Asked Questions
- How much do SEO services cost on average?
SEO costs vary widely from $500 – $5,000+ per month based on agency size, location, services included, and customized strategy. Define your budget and goals first when requesting quotes.
- When will my site start ranking higher with SEO?
It generally takes 3-6 months to see significant improvements from SEO. Agencies promising immediate rankings often use risky short-term tactics. Focus on steady, long-term growth.
- What makes a good SEO company?
Ideal SEO agencies have strong online reviews, specialized experience in your niche, proven examples of success, documented reporting methods, fair and transparent pricing aligned with value delivered.
- What SEO tactics should agencies avoid?
Avoid agencies using spam backlinking, keyword stuffing, sneaky redirects, copied or auto-generated content, buying links, tactics violating Google’s guidelines. This leads to penalties.
- Should SEO focus on local or national rankings?
It depends on your business goals. Local SEO improves visibility among nearby customers searching location-based phrases. National SEO builds relevance for broader industry keywords in the entire country.
- How can I evaluate an SEO proposal?
Review proposals in-depth to understand the specific SEO tactics used, areas of website focus, competitiveness research done, monthly deliverables, results reporting methods, and all included costs with no hidden fees.
- What SEO results should I expect in the first 3 months?
In 1-3 months, you can expect detailed site audit and recommendations, initial on-page optimizations, indexation growth, gradual traffic increases over time. Be wary of overnight ranking promises.
- When do I need to hire SEO services?
If your website lacks technical optimizations, needs content improvements, doesn’t rank well organically, or has declining traffic and leads, professional SEO can help get it back on track.
- How can I track my SEO results?
SEO agencies should provide monthly reporting showing your Google Analytics growth trends, ranking improvements for target keywords, traffic sources breakdown, conversions tracking if ecommerce site, and analysis.
- What SEO skills should in-house marketers have?
In-house SEO success requires skills in writing optimized content, conducting keyword research, building backlinks, analyzing site performance in GSC, creating semantic architecture with HTML markup. If lacking, outsource to an SEO expert.
- Can I cancel my SEO contract if unsatisfied?
Check the agency’s cancellation policy in your contract. 30-60 days notice is common. Communicate openly about any concerns first for mutually beneficial solutions.
- Is longer SEO contracts better?
Generally, 6-12 month SEO retainers provide the trust and time needed to drive results. Month-to-month contracts indicate uncertainty. Have an exit option if unsatisfied but commit to a reasonable duration.
- How important is localized SEO?
If you rely on foot traffic or compete on a local level, prioritizing localized SEO is critical to outrank other area businesses for geography-based search queries. National SEO has wider competition. Leverage both.
- What SEO company size is best?
Larger national agencies boast extensive resources but may lack personalized service or niche expertise. Boutique local firms specialize deeply in specific industries with tailored focus but have limited scalability. Find the ideal fit.
- Should I hire an in-house SEO expert?
For organizations with sufficient workload to justify a full-time role, hiring an expert in-house marketer solely focused on executing your long-term SEO strategy can be hugely advantageous over outsourcing fragments of the process.
- What SEO certification should consultants have?
Reputable SEO certifications include SEMrush’s SEO Toolkit, Ahrefs’ Certificate of Achievement, Moz’s Associate or Professional levels, HubSpot Academy courses, Google Analytics Individual Qualification.
- Can SEO increase my Google AdWords performance?
Yes, organic and paid channels complement each other. SEO increases visibility for your ad listings, while paid ads gather data on high-intent keywords to optimize for driving highly qualified traffic to convert at lower costs.
- How Can I Check if a Company Really Does SEO?
Ask for access to their Google Search Console and Analytics accounts to evaluate previous work. Review rankings reports and audit documents. Have them walk through technical implementations on your site revealing expertise.
- Should I Focus on SEO or Paid Advertising?
Balancing organic SEO and paid ads together creates optimal visibility and cost-efficient conversions. SEO establishes domain authority and passive income over time, while paid ads target buying keywords delivering fast volume through active investment.
- Why Does SEO Take Several Months to Show Results?
The Google ranking algorithm filters out sites attempting to “game” results, so it cautiously monitors positive ranking metrics like traffic, links, on-page quality over consistent periods to verify true value before bumping your position upwards through multiple index refreshes.