Finding a reputable SEO company is important for any business looking to improve their search engine rankings but it is probably even more important for start ups. Unfortunately, SEO as an industry is rife with shady and unscrupulous companies offering cheap services and guaranteed results that will not only hurt your site’s performance in the search engines but may lead to your site being black listed from Google’s results pages.
So, how do you tell the difference between shady SEO companies and reputable ones?
Things to Keep in Mind When Looking for a SEO Company
Search engine optimisation has no guarantees, it is a long continual and complex process. Any company that can offer you “guaranteed” page one results in any sort of time frame are best avoided.
SEO Awards or Badges
Many SEO companies display badges and awards prominently on their homepage such as the “Google partner” badge. These badges are in no way indicative of a superior or a reputable SEO service and shouldn’t be looked upon as a source of credibility.
In fact, the Google partner badge mentioned above has nothing to do with organic SEO, it shows that that particular company has ” demonstrated AdWords skill and expertise, met AdWords spend requirements, delivered agency and client revenue growth, and sustained and grown their client base.”
Search Engine Position
The logic seems pretty sound, I am looking for a company to increase my position on Google so surely, the best company to contact is one that ranks on the first page of Google for “SEO company” or similar search terms. Unfortunately, the more reputable SEO companies don’t always appear on these results because the best SEO companies that always do great work don’t need rank on the first page. They always have plenty work via referrals from other companies and so ultimately, don’t have as much time to work on their own site.
Choosing the Right SEO Company for You
Every business is different, a brand new company with a new site will have different goals and needs compared to an already established business with a few years under the belt. This means the best SEO company for you may not necessarily be the best SEO company for someone else.
Setting Out Your Goals
Before you start reaching out to potential SEO companies, you should sit down and figure out what your goals are for your website. Do you want to rank on page one for certain search terms or do you want to increase traffic to a particular page, such as a landing page for example?
Any Other Important Criteria?
Do you have certain criteria for your business that might be important for a SEO company to possess? For example, if you are a local company wanting to focus on Manchester, then it might make sense to look for SEO companies based in Manchester as they would be familiar with that specific region.
Or if your business is in a very specific or unusual niche, it might be important for your SEO company to have dealt with that particular niche before.
Never discount your gut instinct, if you meet with or phone a potential SEO company and you have an uneasy feeling or if it doesn’t quite feel right to you, walk away. Often, SEO companies require you to sign a lengthy contract before SEO work commences, so it is important that you are happy with your decision and that the SEO company fits well with your style and way of doing things.