In our post 5 Signs You’re Working with the Wrong SEO Company, you learned red flags to look out for in SEO companies. But, wouldn’t you like to know how to make the right choice instead of not making the wrong one? Who wouldn’t? However, choosing a great SEO company involves many different factors, and isn’t a simple decision to take lightly by any means.
First, Let’s Cover Some Background Information
The simple fact about SEO is that you never know who is doing it, or what his quality of work is. Okay, so maybe you do if you’re working with one of the big-time companies, but they also have high prices. The truth is that you can be working with some guy who does SEO in his basement, a company in a small office, or a large company of many employees.
Additionally, you don’t know their quality of work, except what you might have heard on their website, and they can say whatever they want on their website. So, the truth about the situation is that you don’t know the truth until you get experience working with the company. But, to work with most companies, you have to sign a contract or hand over some money – a large risk to you.
Even more troubling is the fact no one can guarantee you results. Google is too complex to be predictable – all that anyone knows is that you can increase your rankings, but that it will take a certain amount of time. What that length of time is however, could be anywhere from 4 to 12 months.
So How do You Choose a Great Company?
If I were in the situation where I had to choose an SEO company, here’s what I would do:
- Get a referral from a trusted contact. Finding a great SEO company is just like finding someone to fix your home or work on your plumbing. Often, you get to know who the right person for the job is by learning from a trusted source. But, nobody is perfect, and it could happen that the SEO company does a great job for your contact, but then not so good when it comes to you.
- Make sure risk is shared. SEO companies do and do not work with contracts – it depends on who you work with. If they do use contracts, make sure you read them over carefully to see how things will work. Make sure all of the risk isn’t shifted to you. Make sure you don’t have to pay the monthly fee in full before work begins. Work out a deal where you can pay in installments as you see results. Or, if you’re really lucky, you’ll find a company that wants to earn your business and doesn’t require any payment until you experience beginning results.
- Ask the company how they handle situations that go wrong. Ask it right away. What if you sign a contract and the company doesn’t offer results within a reasonable period of time? But, be reasonable yourself! SEO is unpredictable – sometimes it takes longer than anticipated to get your site ranking. If you aren’t satisfied, it’s important that they have a reasonable method for you and them to part ways. Do they offer a full or partial refund? Some companies offer none at all – be sure to know how it works in advance.
- Business-grading organizations. In the United States, we have the Better Business Bureau (BBB). It rates how well companies serve their customers. If you aren’t in the United States, learn which standards-making bodies oversee businesses. If you see the company listed with a good rating, you’re in good hands. However, the qualification to this is that many SEO companies are very new and aren’t listed with a standards-making body yet.
These Tips will Help, but It’s Always a Risk
When it comes to SEO, no matter who you are working with, you are taking on a risk. But, by following these tips, you can minimize your own risk.