When you decide to hire an online advertising agency, it is only natural that you want to partner with the best SEO company out there. The truth is, however, there is not merely one agency that is better than all the rest. Rather, there are several reputable firms that will collaborate more successfully with some businesses than others. Choosing an SEO company that is right for your business requires careful deliberation. Examining the following factors will help you select one that will help you fully realize your goals.
- What size companies do they usually work with? Multi-national conglomerates and local small businesses have disparate goals and needs. You want to work with a firm that can effectively promote your business now and in the future. Look for an agency that represents businesses of your size and ones that already have grown into what you aspire to become. Otherwise, you could become lost in a sea of unreasonable expectations and ill suited strategies. Picking a firm that understands your company’s current position and can usher it into a new stage of continued growth will result in consistent branding and development.
- What industries do they seem most comfortable with? While it is important to work with an agency that has a diverse portfolio, you also want one that fully comprehends the challenges you face and appreciates what you do. Do not become myopic, however, and focus only on your particular industry. Be on the lookout for those in related industries who share certain attributes. For example, travel, handbags, and wine are very different, but they could have luxury branding in common and face similar economic pressures. You want a firm that has a balanced perspective of the marketplace and can identify how areas of intersection can benefit you.
- What do they envision for you? All great collaborations require listening and imagination. You want an agency that will listen to your ideas, expand upon them, and propose initiatives that sound promising to you. If they disregard critical pieces of information or try to pressure you into a direction you do not feel comfortable with, walk away immediately. SEO is a long-term project. There needs to be mutual respect and a genuine dialogue between client and agency.
- What is their reputation? Most agencies will happily cite their outstanding campaigns and provide a list of references to help you make a decision. While that should carry some weight, you need to do your own homework, too. Plug your potential agency into a search engine and see what you discover. If something concerns you, ask them about it before drawing your final conclusions. Online reputation management is an important part of SEO. Any issues you stumble across should not be a surprise to them, and they should be able to reassure you. Of course, if you still have qualms or find something that could never be acceptable, move onto an agency without any potential issues. This can also work conversely, and you may discover that they are an even better choice than you had hoped.
- Are they an ethical white hat SEO firm? The contrasting worlds of white and black hat SEO often meld into varying shades of gray. For example, it is not always easy to distinguish the line between keyword stuffing (black hat) and relevant keyword integration (white hat). In fact, most SEO tactics can become white or black hat depending upon how they are employed. The best way to assess whether you are about to engage the services of an ethical SEO firm is to follow your instincts. If something sounds shady, looks spammy, or operates more like a trick or quick fix, it probably is. If it sounds relevant, the content is high quality, and you can see the value of it, then you can rest easy. After all, ethical SEO is about creating premium user experiences that bolster your brand and make your company more visible.
For your part, you must balance your desire for results with patience. Remember that the agency you hire is blending expertise with data and creativity, and there are no guarantees. They may hit it out of the park on the first try, but it is more likely you will see gradual sustainable growth over a prolonged period of time.
Choosing the best SEO company for your business is a matter of asking the right questions and thoughtfully examining what an online advertising agency has to offer. Like most business decisions, you need to combine knowledge with instinct and select the team that will operate in an ethical, collaborative manner. Choose wisely, and your business will reap the benefits for many years to come.
Choosing The Best SEO Company For Your Business Requires Careful Deliberation. Determine If An Online Marketing Agency Is A Good Fit With These Five Questions.