Choosing an SEO AGENCY or SEO Expert to the do the important work of search engine optimization of your website can be a much easier process when you empower yourself with a little knowledge. This checklist gives you that power and saves you time and money.
How To Choose An SEO Agency or SEO Expert
First: do the obvious: go to Google and type in these keyword phrases:
(Fill in your city) Greeley SEO Expert
(Fill in surrounding cities) Fort Collins SEO Expert or Loveland SEO Expert
(These are the cities I live in and do business with, so, as an SEO Expert, I’d better walk my talk!)
Take note of who shows up in the top search results.But PLEASE: don’t stop there.
Next: click on each search result and read a few pages of the websites to make sure the SEO Expert or SEO Agency is CREDIBLE and TRUSTWORTHY. The content should be college-level reading and not sound repetitious. There should be enough information that allows you to make a good decision. To see an example of this, check out one of my pages: Get Found in Google.
Do the sentences make sense or are they nonsense? You’d be surprised at how many people and companies write content that is solely for the purpose of fooling Google’s algorithms into thinking they are legitimate pages of valuable content. That’s why Google periodically runs filters, in addition to its algorithms, that rid their data of what it deems as spammy and/or not very valuable content. If you worked with a Search Engine Optimization Agency that linked you to bad neighborhoods (spammy websites) just for the sake of having a link to your site, you’ve probably suffered a drop in your search results.
Check if there’s a blog with helpful and easy-to-understand articles about SEO and other online marketing and visibility tips – that’s a really good sign this person is knowledgeable. No blog? Hmmmm…. you might want to skip that candidate.
Check to see if the SEO Expert has testimonials and/or examples of clients they have successfully placed in TOP SEARCH RESULTS in Google and Bing. Some SEO professionals are protective of their clients or have client confidentiality agreements but should at least state in their websites that they can supply references and actual live search results when you call or meet with them. There should be some proof that the SEO Expert has gotten results for their clients – especially in Local Search. The SEO Expert or SEO Agency should be dominating its local search (city names and the state you live in). If she or he can do this, then they should be able to do it for you, too. And just like you would check online consumer reviews of a restaurant you would spend $20 bucks in, you’d better do the same thing with an agency you’re about to invest thousands of dollars in: Google the name of the business and see how many positive search results there are.Take note of anyone who has more than one search result on page one in Google. That’s a Badass SEO Expert and you should definitely interview that person in your final list of candidates.
Ask: Is the SEO work done in-house or is it “farmed-out” to a foreign country or even another agency in the U.S.? It’s important to work with an SEO Expert who has the time to pay attention to the details of YOUR project, rather than overseeing hundreds or thousands of their clients. Find out who is going to take care of you. Is that person an expert or an intern?
After you’ve narrowed down your list to three candidates, make an appointment to interview each one (also, see how timely their response is). During the interview, the SEO Expert should be able to explain how she or he gets results for their clients; show you actual live search results; and be able to explain their SEO work in such a way that you can understand. Similar to an auto technician fixing your vehicle: you should be shown what’s going on with your engine (your website) and parts (code); be informed how the work will be done (what’s on-page optimization and what’s going to be done off-page for optimization – more of that in Part 2 of this article); who will do the work and then you should be shown the work when completed. More importantly: be shown the results, after a realistic amount of time. If someone says the words “we guarantee we’ll get you on page one” be wary. No one can guarantee that. Not even a Google engineer. There are so many algorithms, filters, on-page optimization and off-page optimization (social media profiles, directories, blogs), strategies and other factors that are beyond control of one person, that on no one can guarantee top search results-unless referring to Ad Campaigns in which you pay Google for top placement. And even then, this type of work takes talent and experience (and a lot of YOUR money) to get the top PAID ADVERTISEMENT for a popular keyword for you. And some of your future customers completely ignore those ads. They simply prefer the organic search results because the perception is that your company must be good because here it is on page 1 in Google in natural search results.
Now you have some helpful tips to empower yourself as you choose who will be your SEO Expert.
Next week, in Part 2 of this article, I’ll share other critical things you should be sure to check before you sign that contract and give your credit card information to that company. Today’s tips will empower you to make a much better decision than had you not known about them.
What questions do YOU have as you search for your Search Engine Optimization Expert? Please share your question or comment below.
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