Since launching Tony Enterprises, I’ve had the privilege of partnering with a range of companies from Mom & Pop to companies running aggressive national internet marketing campaigns. During the initial phases of discovery, 7/10 typically express being burned my a previous SEO company or simply seeing little to no results.
Contracting a company to assist with growing your business is tough enough, but to add another layer of complexity, not many business owners are “in the know” when it comes to SEO or How to Rank in Google.
Many owners or employees assigned the task to find an SEO company have a “general idea” websites work, but the hurdle of knowing what to look for in an SEO Company is still one that many organizations. Here is a guide of 10 Musts that should be done before hiring an SEO Company:
Question #1: Has your company had success with driving leads and moving sites up to Page 1? Examples?
Unlike hiring other contractors, its tough to gauge the success of an SEO company unless you were referred by a current client of the firm.
So how you avoid falling for the trap of them Over Promising and Under Delivering?
As them to provide examples of clients getting leads or have them provide you keywords of their current clients that drive business and are on page 1. Also you can ask them to connect you with a current client that will vouch for them (many businesses shy away from this but it this is the best indication of what they can do and if they have good standing relationships with clients. Most happy clients will be happy to do so).
When looking at the websites they suggest they manage, make sure to look for any marker or links that confirm that company manages their SEO (most companies still put at the bottom of sites “Managed by XXX”.
Question 2: How long before you think we can see results and leads coming in? Time-Frame?
Setting realistic expectations is key when it comes to SEO. There are many factors that contribute to a site moving up the rankings. Most SEO companies will take the approach of first analyzing the sites current state.
**Just like mechanics do with cars (60 point inspection), an SEO company should do a preliminary check on the following:
- review their links
- on-page content
- site structure
- meta titles/descriptions
- review of competitors sites
- site speed
These 6 points should provide an SEO company a good foundation for what needs to be improved and the overall health of the domain/site.
Quick Note: If a company automatically begins to provide you cost estimates before this phase, many times they are simply looking for a quick buck and tie you down to a 6 month/12 month contract. Companies really looking to help you grow will do their homework and ensure they are able to get you out of the mix you may potentially be in.
Expectations for New Websites versus Existing Websites
Just like a new brand that has hit the market, it will take some time for a New Website to index (or find its place in Google). Depending on the size of the website it can take up to 3 months for the site to finds it home among the competition. In some instances, things will move quicker, but a lot of depends on the size of the site, submitting a sitemap via Google Webmaster tools and several other factors.
Unlike New sites, google has probably already indexed your site and has a relative idea as to what you offer/service. Depending on what your site may be lacking, some initial changes may result in some movement in the search engines, but if your site suffers from a google penalty the climb back up may take a bit longer.
Question 3: Does your Company Outsource its SEO Responsibilities?
This is one of the most important questions as many companies will cut corners and simply outsource link building and a majority of the day to day task to India or other parties overseas. While many companies are forced to do this because of time and cost, the reason you should know this upfront is there are many cases these 3rd party companies that they have contracted do not have your best interest in mind.
What do I mean? From experience, many Indian companies charge extremely low prices to provide SEO services because they provide poor/low quality links. The preferred method is to have an SEO company that understands the value of getting industry relevant links and is willing to do outreach or networking or purchase a link.
Question 4: Does Your Team have technical knowledge and the ability to make changes to my Website?
While a good percentage of SEO can be done without making drastic changes to a website, there will be cases an SEO company will need to make changes to the website. For the chances they do, its best if they have someone on staff make the changes so its seamless and its exactly what they are needing done.
I’ve had clients have issues with past SEO companies that requested changes to their web developer and only a several things were done. In return, the hired SEO company was at mercy to the web developer because they didn’t have someone internally to make those changes and inevitably slowed down the entire SEO process.
Question 5: How will we communicate and how often?
Too many times I hear from new clients that they never heard from their SEO companies and only heard back when it was time for the client to cancel. An SEO company should be reaching out atleast once or twice a month based on the level of involved they have with your website/SEO campaign.
How Can Tony Enterprises Assist?
Our company is equipped with trusted and personable SEO experts that are happy to review your website and provide you a Free Quote to turn your website around and make it a revenue generating platform. Most importantly we will walk you through your where your current site is at and realistic expectations as to when you can see an increase in traffic and showing up for keywords that align with your companies product and services. Learn more about our SEO Services
Have a question? Contact us today at 850-543-6119 or Fill out our Contact Form