SEO is a very dynamic industry. There are hundreds of thousands of SEO companies almost in every city of the world. If you run an online business or plan to launch one soon, SEO is something you can’t ignore. There are multiple SEO tactics that can be used to improve the rankings of a website or blog in search results for more lead generation and profits. A good SEO company knows how to boost the rank of a site in Google, Yahoo or Bing search results. However, it’s not easy to identify a good SEO company – one that’s just right for your business needs.
Let’s first have a look at these statistics:
- 57% B2B marketers say SEO has the biggest impact on lead generation.
- Search is the #1 traffic driver for websites and blogs.
- 60% of organic clicks go to the organic top 3 searc results.
- Local searches lead 50% mobile visitors to visit stores in one day.
There are tons of statistics that prove SEO is essential for online business success. If you’re really serious about the growth of your web-based business, you’ll need to work with an SEO company sooner or later.
But you have to be careful!
There are lots of bad SEO companies that don’t only game clients but also search engines. If you want real results and business growth through search engine optimization, you should be able to avoid abusive SEO companies. Whether you plan to hire an SEO professional or an SEO company, it’s crucial to have the knowledge which enables you to tell the good from the bad.
What Does an SEO Company Do?
First and foremost, you need to understand what exactly an SEO company or SEO agency does on a day-to-day basis. Infact, this is the very first thing you would want to know about an SEO company before you hire them. Since SEO could cost you several thousands of dollars, you should have a detailed look at the activities that your hired SEO comoany or agency will perform.
To understand the activities of an SEO company in a crystal-clear manner, you should know what SEO primarily refers to.
Chiefly, SEO involves –
- Creation of content
- Generation of links (or backlinks)
- Performance analysis and improvement
While many SEO companies may claim to perform all these tasks for your business website, it’s easier said than done. Creation of content means creating high quality, relevant content on a consistent basis. Likewise, links that an SEO company generates for your site should be high quality. Most importantly, the SEO company you hire should have extensive experience in SEO analytics and reporting so that results can be improved over time.
But then, that’s just the tip of the iceberg! A reliable SEO company performs a wide range of essential activities to analyze the current SEO of your website, develop an effective SEO strategy, implement it and then keep a close watch on the progress and tweak the strategy as required for better results.
So, this is what a good SEO company will exactly do –
- Conduct an SEO audit
- Perform a competitive analysis
- Research keywords
- Initial optimization
- Link building/monitoring
- Ongoing reporting/analysis
To make their tasks easier, your hired SEO company will also use a wide range of online (free or paid) tools. It’s important that your SEO company or SEO professional keeps you regularly in the loop and up-to-date with everything that goes on your site on a daily basis, on-page and off-page.
Different Types of SEO Companies
Every SEO company that you come across or that approaches you isn’t a good one. In today’s industry, different types of SEO companies exist. And the SEO results will only depend on who you choose to work with.
The Company That Resells: These SEO companies don’t actually focus on SEO or have SEO as their core services. What they actually do is close deals with you and then outsource the work to their partners. Since they don’t do it themselves, it creates a lot of issues throughout the process. And you’ll never know who you’re actually working with and what their expertise is.
The Company That Thrives on Buzz: They act like big SEO companies. You’ll find them on a lot of listing websites or directories out there. All they focus on is making good profits by showing short-term results.
The Company That Lacks Up-to-Date Knowledge: There are many SEO agencies that will have a number of SEO reports to showcase. These providers are actually larger in size than those that thrive on buzz. They will have a list of some clever SEO tools to show you. But the minus point with these SEO providers is that they are not up-to-date with the latest industry trends and algorithmic changes.
The Company Next Door: These companies continue in business because of their links with larger SEO firms. It’s due to some key marketing tactics that they keep on attracting clients. In reality, their knowledge of SEO is limited.
The Company That You Should Work With: This type of SEO company believes in working according to a well-structured strategy. So, they’ll create a specific, clear-to-understand SEO strategy for your website or blog. They’ll provide you with real case studies and reports along with references from real clients. They’ll keep you in the loop right from the beginning while being flexible. They strictly follow the webmaster and search engine quality guidelines and are always up-to-date with every new industry trend and change in a search engine’s algorithm.
Warning Signs of a Bad SEO Company
Hiring a bad SEO company can be detrimental to your business website or blog. Bad SEO doesn’t only fail to generate traffic, but it can make your entire site go down. When choosing an SEO company, you should proceed with extreme care. There are some warning signs that can help you identify a bad one.
These warning signs include –
Guarantees: Google updates its ranking algorithm on a regular basis. For any good SEO company, it takes time to deliver results. If any SEO company promises that they’ll double organic traffic to you site in 3-4 months, you should quickly get suspicious. Likewise, any agency that guarantees a #1 ranking position for a highly competitive keyword overnight is probably trying to sell you a lie.
Lowest Price: Modern-day SEO isn’t child’s play. Achieving success at today’s SEO takes extensive research and planning. If the cost/month an SEO company is offering you for their service is incredibly low, you should take it as a warning sign. There’s no such thing as ‘unbelievable deals’ as far as SEO is concerned.
Vague Explanation: It’s extremely important to keep yourself up-to-date with what your SEO company does to improve the SEO of your site. Most importantly, you should have a clear understanding of all the activities being performed. If your SEO company fails at explaining what they’re doing or give you an explanation that’s not clear, you should suspect their activities.
Things You Should Remember
When you’re looking for an SEO company and planning to invest in SEO for long-term business growth, you should always keep a few important points in mind. It will help you make the right decisions.
SEO isn’t Just a One-Time Investment: If you think you’ll do SEO once and the results will be visible for months and years, you’re mistaken. Organic search traffic falls down over time due to multiple reasons – search algorithm updates, outdated content and increasing competition. SEO is a continuous process, and you should keep working at it for long-term success.
SEO isn’t Cheap: Hiring a good SEO company isn’t cheap. Five or ten years ago, you could easily get a boost in your site’s rankings by stuffing keywords into the meta tags and content and submitting to 1000s of directories. Today’s SEO requires a completely different approach and adherence to Google’s quality guidelines. It’s the age of content marketing and natural link building. If an SEO company provides SEO services for as cheap as $200 or $300 a month, you can imagine how much time they’ll be devoting to your site or SEO project.
Search Rankings Change: No matter how great your website looks, it won’t bring you enough business if it’s difficult to find via search engines. Every business website is in need of good SEO for increased visibility. If you think your website can do without SEO, you’re only helping your competitor’s business make more profits. Understand the potential of good SEO and invest in an effective SEO strategy so that your website can be easily found by your customers.
Hiring an SEO company is Best: Even if you have good knowledge of SEO, you may not be able to devote the time that successfully planning, executing and managing an SEO campaign requires. Hiring a good SEO company will ensure a higher quality of services and a greater ROI.
Now that you understand what an SEO company can do for your online business and how to tell good ones from bad ones, you should not make any more delay in hiring a good one for your specific requirements. It’s time you stopped asking yourself whether or not you need the services of an SEO company. Instead, you should decide how much you’re willing to spend. As long as you choose a good SEO company, you can be sure of getting an incredible return on your investment.