So if you are a fan of the Apprentice you will know that this year the winner will be starting a search marketing company and the general consensus among the industry experts was that Search Marketing has become a congested market place and you really need to stand out from the crowd if you want to succeed. So that leads us on to the question – what do we need to look out for when looking to choosing a search engine optimisation company?
It is understandable that people can get confused with so many companies out there and who is going to be the right choice for you. We will have a quick look at what to look out for and what to avoid, so you can make the right choice for you and your business.
“We can guarantee you are going to be No.1”
If they do, I would seriously doubt there credentials, after all Google issued a statement regarding this very matter, saying you shouldn’t deal with anybody that guarantees listings. Unfortunately there are companies that use the ‘dark arts’ but Google is against this and you may find yourself at number one for a limited time before Google hits you hard, and believe me they are not afraid to throw their weight around, after all this is a company that fined itself.
The Quick Fix
A good search engine optimisation company will developed and maintain a campaign over time. If a company is offering to get you up the ranks quick, I would be very sceptical, they are obviously not doing what they should or they are using techniques which, in Google’s eyes, will not see you ranking well for long. A good search marking company will look at all areas of your website and online marketing not only from a technical stand point but also from a user’s perspective.
Recommendations from friend or business partners
Word of mouth is a very power full marketing tool. We have all told people of our experiences, whether good or bad. Don’t be afraid to ask your friends or business partners what their experiences are, who they have used etc. This is a good way to investigate the credibility of companies. We are more likely to use a company that has excellent endorsements from others.
‘Google’ the company name
Sounds simple but you can find a lot of information on line about your prospective service provider. If they have a poor history or plenty of negative feedback, chances are you will be able find this online. If you do find some information I wouldn’t base my whole decision on this, however it is another medium to take in to consideration.
Check out their Website
You would expect a search marketing company to have a fully optimised website and if they haven’t then this should set the alarm bell’s ringing. Look at their Page Rank and domain authority, do they practise what they preach? If they aren’t taking pride in their own website, what are they going to do with yours?
Investigate their Portfolio
It is reasonable enough question to ask to see previous work, sites they have optimised etc. If they don’t want to disclose this information, why? What are they hiding? I would be very perturbed if they would not let me have access to this information. A good search agency should have a visible portfolio of their clients on their website.
Buy cheap, buy twice
It’s unrealistic to expect to pay very little for a healthy long term search marking campaign and whilst the cheaper option may seem attractive at the time, we have to consider why they are so cheap. Usually you need to look for reasonable prices and find out what you services you will be getting for your money. There are three major factors which underpin SEO – technical optimisation, content and link acquisition; all are vital to a successful campaign and you should be looking for all these areas to be discussed in any SEO strategy.
Hopefully this has helped provide you with things to be mindful about when choosing a search engine optimisation company. With so many companies in the market for your business, it is always good to take the time to investigate and choose a company that is reputable, established and above all is offering a healthy long term plan to success.