What to Look For When Hiring An SEO Company

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) can make or break a website.  What is SEO? SEO is a form of marketing geared towards growing your website’s organic or non-paid search results.  Of the search engines, Google has around 65% of the searches followed by Bing and Yahoo. Studies have found that the Google top search result gets around 35% of the traffic, compared to 15% for the second listing. How does it work? After someone searches for a term, the search engine crawls the web for the most relevant and popular content. Optimizing your website for search engines will help your site appear higher in the search results for various searches or categories.

Providing quality keywords for the engine are more important than quantity. Many of these keywords are not just present in the content on your visible site, but also in the backend of the website – which some site owners do not know how to access. However, anyone can see the code of a website by right-clicking on the website and viewing the source code. To edit your own, you would need the admin login to your website and an understanding of HTML.

Now that you know what SEO is and how it works, how do you find a good SEO company to optimize your site? Unless you are a large company with an in-house SEO team, you’ll likely be outsourcing this to an external agency or freelancer. Since SEO is so important and has the ability to bring a lot of traffic to your website, it’s important to not cut corners to get it done on the cheap. Here are a few things to consider when shopping for an SEO agent:

  1. Look at their website. Was it easy to find? How is it setup? What keyword did you use?
  2. Portfolio. Ask to see their work and what websites they’ve worked on. Check search engines to see the traffic to those websites – there are some free tools out that can help you get this information. Ask which client they’ve had the longest and for how long.
  3. Ask them how many years of experience they have.
  4. Ask how they will improve your search engine rankings. A good agent or company will have a SEO process.
  5. Ask them the price per link, other fees and payment terms. Some sites sell links cheaply, but that isn’t an indication of the quality. Remember, a search engine will look for relevant information and links. This page will give you a range of what to expect for costs.
  6. An SEO agent will need to have access to your website. They will make changes and updates within the site. You need to be able to trust they have the proper skills and knowledge to make these changes without disrupting your site.
  7. Ask how they measure the success of the SEO work. Also ask what reports and updates will they provide to you, the client.
  8. Make sure have all details clearly spelled out in your contract. Review it thoroughly. Make sure to address items such as: early termination, who owns the content created, and what is the standard procedure for parting ways should that occur (does all content and work remain in place).
  9. Regardless of who you work with, make sure you have your website backed up in case anything goes south.

As you can see, real SEO for your website is a big step for small and medium sized business. Do your own research ahead of time and familiarize yourself with basic terms. You want to be able to understand the kind of work your chosen SEO agent is doing and if they are doing it well. Remember, SEO is a long-term process and don’t expect to see results overnight.

DCA Virtual doesn’t do SEO but reach out to us if you want to get connected to one of our SEO/PPC partners.