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How to Choose an SEO Company: 3 Mistakes to Avoid

Similarly to any other field, you can either choose the right way or make a wrong decision. In this article, I’m going to discuss the mistakes that you should avoid making when choosing a SEO company.

Before getting into the details, I must mention that hiring someone for SEO is a critical decision. SEO holds as much importance to the business as marketing. When done right, it can have one of the most significant effects on the growth of the company. 

Let’s get to it. 

Mistake #1 – Relying solely on Google to find the agency 

Even though it’s a logic approached by many, it’s not the right way to do it. Think about it; a SEO company will know how to appear on the first pages for the keyword that you’re searching for. The first page will be full of SEO companies with a large budget or those that have paid Google ads. 

It’s unfortunate for competent SEO agencies with excellent referrals, consistently good work, and superior results. Our goal at the RankingBuddy is to invest in the latest tools and technology that we can use for our SEO clients. Furthermore, when you have a reasonable referral rate, you no longer worry about what page your website ranks.

You have to bear in mind that the companies that rank well for the keyword that you’re searching for aren’t necessarily good. They just did an excellent job of optimizing their website to get new clients. However, as long as you ask for their portfolio, you may sometimes find the right agency for you. Simply, don’t rely on finding them solely through this filter. 

Mistake #2 – Believing words such as “Best” or “Top.”

If you don’t have any experience of searching the right keyword to find the best for you, it’s evident that you’ll search something along the lines of “best remote SEO company” or “best SEO company in …”. This method is the wrong way to go about it.

The reason for this is because these businesses have purchased a website with those specific words. Such sites are there to rank for keywords like the ones that you’ve been searching for. Some companies would have bought the website domain and have sold it to the SEO company after ranking it to the desired level. 

But, you a consumer don’t know this. Some SEO agencies will spend up to $50k to get the domain desired. Thus, when you search on Google for the best SEO consultants, you will adequately come in contact with a brand that hasn’t earned its ranking through hard work. 

The way to avoid this mistake is by looking through reputable brands that offer a recommended SEO listing. Additionally, you can also ask around for portfolios on social media, Reddit, and LinkedIn. 

Mistake #3 – Believing exaggerated selling pitches 

To be able to sell something, you must have a vast vocabulary and say the right words at the right time. The companies that are desperate for new clients will tell you that there’s a particular recipe or if-I-tell-you-I-have-to-kill-you type of secret. There isn’t such a thing when it comes to SEO. This field is full of experts that do things their way, and it’s an open ground that you can try different techniques on regardless if they’re new or not. 

The way to avoid this mistake is by asking a simple question: how will you rank my website higher? If they say, “I’m sorry, I cannot reveal.” take your belongings and go. In other words, they’re telling you that they don’t even know how to approach your website. When you’re in discussion with such an agency, they must show you a clear plan on what they’re going to do with your site. You should never accept secrecy and should always claim full transparency from the SEO company. 

Below, I’m going to give you my recommendations at choosing. 

How to choose the right SEO company for your business

The very first step to take is to sit down with the board or those that are in charge. Discuss what you want from the agency that you’re going to hire and what are the end goals. Ask questions such as “Why do we need SEO?” “Do you need to rank higher?”.

After you indicate what everyone wants, figure out how you’re going to judge whether the SEO company has been successful or not. Below you will find some of the goals that you should have when it comes to this field: 

  • We need traffic from a demographic. I want to be in front of the competition for a specific group such as age, location, and gender. 
  • We need to find ways to boost revenue and increase sales-driving channels. 
  • Boost the sign-up forms or downloads. 
  • We’re trying to increase brand awareness and promote the good online reviews about the company. 

Since we’ve talked about the reasonable goals, let’s see what goals you should avoid: 

  • Traffic, traffic, traffic. Traffic means nothing without conversions. The visitors that come to your site need to be convinced to sign-up, create an account, or to purchase something. You need to have a clear idea of why you need to increase the traffic.
  • Rank higher. First of all, this shouldn’t be a goal. When an SEO company does its job correctly, you will inevitably rank higher. Stay away from the agency that talks only about this subject; it usually means that they don’t know how to create conversions. 
  • To be in front of the competition. Google and other search engines regularly update themselves. Thus, inevitably, one week, you will rank higher than the competition, and one week you will rank lower. 

Once you have a clear indication of what to do, it’s time to search. I recommend that you create a list of at least three and most five agencies. Whether you want someone local, a remote company, or a remote company that will fly to you whenever you need them, is up to you.

Don’t forget to always have your budget in mind when choosing the companies. Below you will find the right sources to search for when it comes to such an agency: 

  • Ask your personal and professional networks for recommendations 
  • Speak to the companies that are not of direct competition. By now, you should’ve already built such relationships. B2B relations are essential for businesses. Ask them who they use for SEO and whether they are happy with the progress. 
  • Social media. You should never underestimate the power of social media. Through these sources, you will find capable companies that are either a start-up or they don’t have a considerable budget for other marketing efforts. Always ask for their portfolio. 

When the list is complete, we recommend that you ask the following questions: 

  • What is the SEO process for our website? Describe to me in detail the methods so I can understand. 
  • How often do you report back to us? What metrics are you going to use? Why those particular metrics? How do we align those metrics to meet our goals?
  • How many people work for the agency? This question is essential to ask. If your company doesn’t have content writers or marketing strategists, you have to ensure the SEO company does. 
  • What techniques do you use when things aren’t going the way you’ve hoped? Try to get them to reply with specific examples. 
  • Am I offered performance guarantees?

Thank you for reading this article. If you’ve read everything and understood the content, it should be easy to find the right agency for you. Remember, you will have to have a medium-size budget for SEO to get efficient results. If you’re not quite there yet, you should wait until you have the right resources. 

The Author
Cristian Simion
Cristian is the SEO Manager at RankingBuddy, where he manages a talented team of SEO and Social Media specialists who help our agency partners grow their businesses using the power of the Internet.
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