Are you in the process of choosing an SEO company? If you’ve been in the market for SEO services, you’ve probably read the articles detailing the warning signs of a bad provider: pitches or prices that seem too good to be true, buying links, and guarantees of #1 rankings top the list. But while many red flags are obvious, it can be harder to determine what makes an SEO company good, or even great. How do you know if they have the skills to meet your particular set of needs? What should you be looking for? To make your choice easier, we have outlined four signs of a good SEO company.
They demonstrate their expertise.
Anyone can claim they’re a good at SEO, but a truly skilled company will be able to back it up. If you’re considering hiring someone, there are things you should look for to verify their competence:
SEO companies who have done good work will want to brag about it. A well-written case study will outline the work done, the results achieved, and customer testimonials. It’s also important that case studies are fairly recent (in the past several years), so you know the provider is using up-to-date SEO strategies that reflect current algorithm updates and search engine guidelines.
Many websites offer industry “certifications,” that vary in value. When evaluating an SEO company’s certifications, look for recognizable names in the digital marketing industry, like Google Partners or Microsoft Advertising Partners.
Other companies like HubSpot offer courses and certifications in SEO that can provide a strong foundation of knowledge but do not necessarily equate to SEO expertise or experience.
Search Google My Business, Facebook, Yelp, and other review aggregators to see what kind of feedback the company receives. The Better Business Bureau is also a good place to look.
For a clearer picture of how an SEO company operates, you can also ask to speak directly to a client.
They’ve worked in your industry before.
Every website has its own challenges when it comes to SEO, but different industries seem to struggle with different issues. Ecommerce sites, for example, tend to have duplicate content problems, while higher ed websites are often plagued by outdated pages.
Check to see if an SEO provider has experience in your industry and is familiar with its more common SEO problems. An SEO company that has only worked with small, B2B clients may struggle when tackling a sprawling ecommerce site, and it’s best to know their experience upfront.
They actually communicate with you.
While technical knowledge is crucial for an SEO provider, you also want to be sure you’re getting good customer service. Be sure to ask how quickly they typically respond to emails, how many projects are on their project manager’s plate, and how often they generate reports. This will give you an idea of what to expect if you have any questions, and how often you’ll be updated on progress.
They’re transparent with their methods and results.
A company that takes the time to understand your goals and has SEO expertise should be able to produce good results and prove it. Look for companies that prepare client reports, provide metrics, and explain it all in a way that makes sense. While a less-trustworthy SEO company may be vague about its progress, an honest one will keep you in the loop and have the cold, hard data to back up what they’re saying.
Choose the right SEO company for you.
The four traits we listed above are a great starting point to help you find the right SEO provider for your needs. Ask yourself how the companies you’re considering stack up in these areas. And then consider which team you’re most excited to work with. Personality fit may be somewhat intangible, but it’s worth extra consideration when choosing an SEO company that’s a good fit for your business.