A good digital strategy is as important as a good web design if
you want to reach your customers. With millions of people using
search engines, social networks and other tools to find the right
business that fulfils their needs, it is now more important than
ever to develop the proper
SEO strategy. But how can you choose a provider? How do you
know that the company you contact is the best for you? Just follow
this simple advice.
What should I look for in an SEO company?
Google the company’s name to find about
previous projects. If they did a poor work, chances are there’s
some bad reviews out there.
Check the Domain authority of their own site
using tools like Open Site Explorer and
make sure it’s optimised. Use this tool to compare different
companies’ websites; the higher the domain authority, the better
they are optimising their own site, and the more likely they are to
do a good job on yours.
What should I ask my SEO provider?
What’s your past experience?
You want to know if they have experience with businesses similar
to yours and the results they achieved. This will give you an
indication of what to expect from them.
Do you outsource the work?
You want to know how much control they have on
the process. This will come in handy if you are not happy with
their work and need them to change something.
Do you offer subscription services?
SEO is not a sprint, it is more of a marathon, so make sure to
contact a company that includes post-optimization
maintenance. You might not want it at the moment, but you
might, eventually, and dealing with a company that offers that
service will save you time and money.
What should I expect from your work?
This is a tricky one, but a trustworthy company won’t promise
impressive pageviews in a week –if they do, they are either lying
or using black hat tricks, and you definitely don’t want to mix
with them. As I said before, SEO is a marathon, not a sprint, and
it tends to take a few months to achieve SERP
results. Therefore, a good service provider will help you
set short and long-term priorities. They will ask
you which pages or services are the most important for you, and use
them as the starting point for your strategy.
How often will I talk to my account manager?
Regular communication is crucial to know how
the SEO strategy is affecting your business. Mutual trust and
respect are essential.
What results do you expect?
This is a tricky question, because it’s really difficult to
predict exactly what would happen. As a rule of thumb, don’t trust
anybody that ensures you the first position with your keywords.
Don’t trust those that cannot set specific goals
either. The goals must be SMART:
Do you do benchmarking?
Competitive analysis is essential to know how
to target your competitors online, so make sure the company checks
what they are doing and responds accordingly.
How will you choose my keywords?
First of all, Google’s last algorithm change, Hummingbird,
means that the search engine is less focussed on keywords
themselves and more in user intent - the “overall meaning” of a
search. Therefore, it’s not enough to get a list of keywords
anymore, but your SEO service should provide you with word
combinations and suggestions on how to create content to
enrich your website and offer what your users are actually looking
for. That’s what will make the difference.
Secondly –and this is really important-, it is the
company that chooses the word combinations, that’s what
you’re paying them for. They can ask if you have any suggestions –a
starting point-, but they should respond with many more ideas.
Finally, it is very easy to be found with really specific
(obscure) word combinations. What you want is to get a better
ranking with combinations people are actually going to type, so use
common sense and keep questioning the SEO company if you
are not sure about their choices.
Will the optimization include a general analysis of your
As I said, SEO is not only about keywords anymore, it’s also
about improving the overall user journey and UX. A
good SEO firm should be able to provide recommendations on other
areas of your site like design, navigation, coding, content,
incoming links or conversion optimisation. Every part of your
website counts, and everything needs to perform at its best.
How do I choose the right SEO service?
In the end, choosing an SEO and Google analytics provider is
like buying a good pair of shoes: make sure you feel
comfortable, choose quality over price, and make sure you
won’t get blisters after a few days. So ask questions and if you
don’t like the answers, just look for more options; the right
provider for you is out there, so just keep checking.