How to Find the Right SEO Service for Your Small Business
Every website needs SEO services to secure high rankings in search engine results. To make the most of this type of activity, it would be wiser to hire a dedicated agency rather than entrust this task to your in-house team. In this article, we’ll explain how to find the best rated SEO company for you.
Don’t Limit Yourself to the Most Well-Known Brands
In most cases, the largest and the most famous service providers live up to their reputation. They’re genuinely professional — but they tend to charge much more for their work than the market average. Plus, they always have many projects in the pipeline and might make you wait for months.
If you opt for a smaller-scale agency, you might be able to benefit from the following factors:
- Opportunity to begin the work quicker
- Affordable pricing
- More personalized services
- Greater flexibility
- Better understanding of your local market if the SEO agency is situated in your area
Smaller companies don’t invest huge funds in ads. Instead, they get most of their clients through referrals.
Glance Through Client Reviews and Testimonials
It’s not enough to read the testimonials on the agency’s website because all of them will be positive. Check independent websites that publish people’s impartial opinions about businesses and services. Search for reviews on social networks, forums, Reddit and Quora.
Even the best service providers may get negative reviews from time to time. The main thing is that the number of positive ones should be much higher. Pay attention to the reasons for criticism: how severe are they? For instance, if the agency asked the client to pay $100 on top of what was written in the initial contract, it might be unpleasant but it’s not a big deal. If the company resorted to black-hat tactics and Google stopped ranking the client’s website, this reveals a complete lack of professionalism.
Investigate Case Studies
Testimonials rarely go deep into details. Case studies enable you to explore in detail what the agency does. You’ll quickly see the strong and weak points of the chosen service provider.
Check the Specialization of the SEO Agency
According to a stereotype, top professionals are versatile and can handle any type of task with equal efficiency. In fact, if you want to get the best results, find an agency that precisely meets your requirements:
- Has worked with customers from your industry
- Knows the specifics of SEO in your geographical area
- Can draft an efficient SEO strategy for your budget
Top keywords for the same niche can vary considerably from one territory to another. Some industries are much more competitive than others.
Opt for an Agency That Educates Its Clients
We don’t mean to say that the SEO company should organize seminars or webinars for its clients with the aim of delegating some part of the workload to them. (However, if it does, that would be interesting). Agencies can educate their customers by providing detailed answers to their questions as well as sharing industry trends and research results with them.
Ask the service provider to send regular reports to you. Ideally, this can be done once or twice per month. An agency that is not too enthusiastic about education will provide only figures. A company that is eager to spread knowledge will explain the meaning of these numbers and teach the client to obtain data-driven insights from the statistics.
Explore the Payment Opportunities
Most probably, the SEO company will offer you several plans to choose from. If there is a free trial, that would be great. If not, start with the plan with the shortest time span, such as one month.
It’s impossible to deliver impressive SEO results in just one month. On average, it takes around half a year to achieve the desired positions in search engine rankings. However, during the first month, you’ll be able to evaluate the agency’s speed of work, communication skills and overall reliability.
SEO needs to be an ongoing process. After you achieve the desired results, it’s necessary to maintain them. That’s why agencies offer annual plans, which tend to be the most lucrative.
Ask for a Personal Consultation
Before you sign the contract with the team of SEO specialists, you’ll have an online or offline meeting where you’ll discuss your collaboration. Compose a list of questions to ask the agency representatives:
- Which communication channels will you rely on?
- How frequently will you communicate with each other?
- Which tools will the agency use?
- Which results can it deliver for your website and within which time frames?
- What are the conditions for canceling the contract earlier than expected?
- Has the agency ever worked with clients from your industry? If yes, which were the results?
Most important, you should establish a good rapport with the service provider and feel that you 100% trust them.