If you have a website, SEO is an essential component you absolutely must ensure is working at its best. Otherwise, no one is going to find your site. Sadly, many companies have probably gone out of business for this reason while lesser competitors pulled in profits simply because they had better SEO drawing people to their site. Don’t let this happen to you. Instead find an SEO company to handle this important feature for you.
Set a Budget
There’s no end to the amount of money you could spend on an SEO company. Obviously, some will have minimums you need to spend as well. So at the very beginning, look at how much you can actually afford to spend on SEO and then don’t move from this. Later on, it might make sense to add resources to the budget, but right now be disciplined. Otherwise, SEO companies will have an easy time selling you countless features. Also, keep in mind what the prices will be for certain search markets. For example, a St. Louis SEO expert will be a lot more expensive than someone from Kansas City!
Do a Basic Search
This might sound flip, but start off by doing a Google search for local SEO companies. You absolutely do not need to go with a local option, but doing so does come with a few benefits. Face-to-face time can help a lot when you first start out. Many SEO companies will even provide you a free education of sorts just to help you better appreciate what they do.
Again, this isn’t essential. Another search to do is “SEO company + your industry.” So if you’re in the vending machine business, you’d want to find SEO companies that had experience helping people in your field.
Reach Out and Make Contact
When you contact an SEO company, you need to provide them with some basic information. This includes what industry you’re in, what you hope to accomplish and how much you’d like to spend.
The more information you provide, the better a consultation they can offer you and this is what you’re going to ask for at the beginning. You want these companies to sell you on their services and they should do this by explaining how they plan on helping you get to the first page of Google for popular keywords.
Avoid any SEO companies that don’t take the time to provide you with a custom consultation. Many will essentially cut and paste copy from their website. If they don’t have enough time to handle this step seriously, you shouldn’t expect that that will change in the future.
This step can be difficult, especially if you’re an SEO novice. But essentially what you want to do is gather the results you received from prospective companies and see where they differ—and they most likely will. As it turns out some SEO agencies or many midwest companies can be better than ones you have in your hometown!
Follow up with these companies and ask questions. Find out why one said to do x while the other recommended y. Be respectful, obviously, and don’t put anyone on the spot. But you’re planning on spending good money with these companies and that obliges you to do some digging.
Ask About Consequences
Some SEO companies may guarantee their work. The thing is SEO is more an art than an exact science. So it would be impossible for an SEO company to say, “we can put you in the number five spot on Google’s first results page for the keyword, ‘soda vending machines’ within three weeks.”
However, they should be able to give you some idea of the results you can expect. For example, a good SEO company will say, “in six months, we’ll have you on page one for that keyword.”
That’s great! But what if they fail? The company should have an “or else” clause tagged onto the end. Will you get your money back? Will you get some kind of discount? It’s important that there be some kind of consequence for them.
Along the same lines, you should favor companies that have shorter contracts. Month-to-month would be ideal and even worth paying a bit extra for at the beginning. This way if an SEO company just isn’t producing results, you can pick up stakes and move on without having wasted a lot of money (but hopefully a bit wiser).
Finding the right SEO company is a process that will require an investment of time on your part, but if done correctly, it will be well worth it.