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8 tips on choosing a reliable SEO company

SEO or Search Engine Optimisation is an amazing tool to help grow your visibility and your rankings on all the major search engines. It is vitally important that SEO is completed on-site and off-site. There are a huge number of SEO companies out there that promise the world to get you to number 1 but there are some important tips to consider when choosing a reliable provider for SEO work that you can really only achieve with a little bit of insider knowledge.

1. Identify how they operate

Firstly, there is something you should know about SEO, there is a good and a dark side to it. In SEO these are referred to as white hat and black hat SEO. White hat SEO refers to the body of search engine optimisation tactics and techniques that are approved to further improve a website’s rankings on search engine results pages, or SERP. Black hat SEO refers to disapproved tactics that do get very quick results, but do not benefit the human users of the website. Simple things like keyword stuffing can get better on-site SEO results, but as a consequence leaves users reading keywords without any context, and thus provides a worse overall experience.

2. Check their promises

Another thing to note is how much they promise to you, what kind of timelines are you working with, and if they’re sounding too good to be true. One thing to note about SEO and getting good organic traffic is that it does take time. If a salesman is telling you that they’ll get you results in a week with SEO, chances are something dodgy could be going on. SEO is a longer road than paid search advertising. It requires dedication and knowledge on how to boost keywords and rank higher without cheating the system. Be sure to keep your expectations in check and be wary of SEO companies that may promise too much too quickly, they could be running Black hat tactics which could result in negative impacts to your site’s rankings and visibility.

3. Check their reviews

One thing to help you join with confidence to an SEO company is going to be their portfolio. Ask around to previous or existing clients, check google reviews and see if anyone you know has used that service. It is important to make sure that the company is legitimate and that they know what they’re doing. Finding references for that company is a great way to get an insight into what they’re like professionally and how well they operate.

4. Ask questions about SEO for you

One of the most important things to be aware of with SEO companies is that some may try to keep you in the dark. The tend to be secretive with how they do their work, and can be a bit sheepish when you ask about how certain things work. If an agency is unable to get back to questions you may have because they cannot divulge their secrets, be very wary. All SEO works to a set framework and methods found within white hat SEO. There’s never really any big secret, or specific IP that gets used within SEO. It’s all available, so there should be a good amount of transparency available to you as a client.

5. Goal setting and achievements

One important aspect for your working relationship with an SEO company is going to be goals. Having your goals clearly presented to an SEO company assists them a lot in getting you what you are striving for. Be sure though that when you discuss goals, which that company is prepared to tell you how they will help you achieve that goal through SEO. If they give you a monologue that dances around the question with fancy words, but never answers the question, be cautious and try and get them to answer straight. If they can’t it’s a sign they probably don’t know what they’re talking about.

6. Ask about you and your website

An important aspect of SEO work is that it will be quite unique to you and your website. These search terms may be similar to other search terms for competitors in your industry, but it is important to try your best to get as much information as you can that goes away from a salesman’s pitch as possible to make sure that you aren’t just getting a basic treatment for your campaign. Having some basic answers prepared is something that any agency should do when you plan to have a meeting with them. So being able to ask about your business and site specifically and getting tailored answers is a good sign that that SEO company knows what they’re doing, and is able to take on your SEO campaign.

7. Do your own research

An overused phrase, but a very important one. When choosing an SEO company to work on your business’ website, it is important that you have considered your options. Try your best not to be dictated by price here, as getting your SEO campaign correct the first time will be a huge time and money saver in the long run. SEO is a long and complicated process that doesn’t bring you big wins in a night, and there are more SEO companies now than there have ever been. Be sure that when you select a list to consider that you are able to compare and discuss what they can provide for you.

8. How well do you and the SEO company co-exist

Finally, this isn’t so much as a tip, as it is a rule for life. Ask yourself after your initial meeting, ‘did I get along with them?’ If the answer is yes, then that is a great sign you should consider that company. One of the things a lot of businesses forget when considering working with partners to help their business grow is, ‘are these people good to work with?’ It is important that you and the SEO Company in question are on the same page about the campaign and the working dynamic.  You are the client and they aren’t there to take your money, they are there to help you. It is all well and good to support someone else’s business, but if they aren’t genuine about their role then they. May not be the right fit. Hopefully, these 8 tips help you make an informed decision when trying to choose an SEO company to work with.

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