What to look for in SEO services

5 min read
Vinita Malu

Search engine optimization (SEO) increases the quantity and quality of traffic to a website or a web page by positioning it on the first page of search engine results. While anyone can make the necessary adjustments to their web pages to achieve a Page 1 ranking, many busy entrepreneurs opt for SEO services provided by an external team.

Trust the pros at GoDaddy to move your website up in search rankings.

By hiring an SEO professional, you can be sure the work is done right. It will also free you to focus on keeping the business running.

4 things to ask before hiring an SEO agency

Hiring anyone, regardless of the service they provide, must be done with great care. Here are the things you should ask all SEO vendors you consider.

  1. What is their experience with SEO?

  2. Customer case studies.

  3. Which SEO practices do they use?

  4. Request a technical audit.

To avoid the frustration of learning you’ve hired an amateur, follow these four steps.

How to choose an SEO professional

SEO Services Saris
Even if you don’t sell on your website, drawing more people to it will bring them in your doors.
Photo: paulhami Flickr via Compfight cc

You must be very careful in selecting the SEO agency, as incorrect or shoddy SEO practices could have a negative impact on your search ranking. Let’s look at a few steps to consider before making a selection.

1. What is their experience with SEO?

SEO is a fast-changing industry, with Google frequently updating its algorithm and thereby changing the terms of success.

When looking for SEO services, you’ll want to be sure the firm you choose has the knowledge and experience to stay in synch with the latest developments.

A company that has been running for a long time and has many happy clients is ideal.

Also, look at an agency that holds an SEO certification or standard certifications for analytics and PPC (pay-per-click). Every search engine — Google, Yahoo, Bing, etc. — will have their own certifications. Companies that hold these certifications will have good knowledge of that search engine’s advertising platforms.

2. Customer case studies

There are many companies that claim to provide SEO services. Hence to select one that really knows SEO, it’s important to look at their work.

Be sure to ask for reports that show the increase in traffic to sites they’ve optimised.

Case studies are evidence of a company’s ability to provide positive results. A good SEO team will definitely have them on hand and should be quite pleased to present them to you. The customer case studies should not only highlight their work but showcase their performance, expertise and skill through positive outcomes.

3. Which SEO practices do they use?

There are many SEO services that use fake or dishonest methods known as black hat practices to achieve rankings. At the beginning, the results will be encouraging, but as it’s this practice is unethical, the websites will be soon punished and their results will disappear from the search results.

It is crucial for you to confirm if the SEO firm practices white hat methods. This can be done by asking the agency what type of strategies they use. If you feel any strategy is manipulative or unethical, then raise an immediate concern. Ethical companies will never have a problem answering questions and explaining the details of their strategy.

4. Request a technical audit

By now, you have probably eliminated those companies that didn’t have the right experience, good case studies or that use unethical SEO practices. The next step is to look for the companies who show curiosity and interest in your business.

Ask any firm you’re seriously considering to do technical and search audits of your website.

In a search audit, the SEO firm will evaluate the site and its rankings and will pinpoint any issues that are causing the site to not rank as high as it should. The technical audit is an evaluation of all technical aspects of the site relating to SEO, including:

  • Internal linking issues.
  • Crawlability (refers to how easy it is for search engines to scan and index).
  • URL parameters.
  • Consistent and sufficient server connectivity (a function of web hosting).
  • Response codes.

A good SEO services company will explain each issue found during the audit. They will also provide some recommendations and ways to resolve these issues and increase the website ranking through white hat SEO.

Related: How to perform an SEO audit

Now select the best firm

After following the above steps, you should come out with a clear winner. The selected company will be one that you feel confident about, knows what needs to be done and should have the ability to do it within a reasonable timeframe and budget.

Small business owners and startups can benefit from professional SEO services even with a limited budget. However, make sure you don’t fall for cheap SEO services that charge less and promise to give more, as expertise comes at its own cost.

SEO services can put your business on the map

With 80 percent of people looking on Google or another search engine before making a purchase, now is the time for small businesses to engage SEO services. SEO plays a fundamental part in the success of any online business. So optimise your website to start enjoying the benefits now … and for years to come.

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