Choosing the right search engine optimisation (SEO) firm and online marketing company is the most important phase in your business website’s existence. It is important to align yourself with a company that are good at selling products and services online in order to ensure you reap the benefits that SEO can truly deliver. Using in house SEO staff is often flawed so when a business makes the decision to choose an external source for their online marketing solution then I always encourage the company to do a lot of research on the potential firms.
As search engine optimisation (SEO) requires expertise the first thing I suggest is searching on Google for “SEO” and “Online Marketing” in your regional index and taking note of the top 5 companies for each search result set. Compare them. Then make a list of the companies that are repeated. The reason I suggest searching on Google is that
– Google holds over 85% of the search market in Australia. I am not sure on other regional areas in the World but as far as I am concerned Google dominate and they have the most advanced search algorithm.
– Any company that can successfully market its own products – SEO and Online Marketing, and be placed in the top 5 results are very good at online marketing and as these terms are very competitive it is the cream of the crop being listed.
So, now you should contact each of the firms that are repeated in the list and ask to make an appointment with them to discuss how SEO can best benefit your business website.
As long as you have done the searches above then there are several questions I like to ask at this point.
1. Where do they place in the search engine results pages for their own products? – SEO and Online/Internet Marketing?
2. Do they have at least 10 examples of SEO clients in comparable industries (B2B/B2C) that they can show online marketing success with? – look for traffic graphs and keywords being searched on to get to the website.
3. How many staff do the SEO firm have?
4. Does the SEO company have 24/7 support and phone contact?
5. Are they professional and expert in their handling of your questions and delivering clear honest answers?
6. Read some of the SEO firm’s testimonials.
After these questions have been answered then you will generally have a very good idea of how good the company actually is. What their philosophies are and whether they are a good fit for your business website objectives.
There are several things I would also consider very strongly.
– Never trust a company that is willing to make any kind of guarantees on results. There is no way that an SEO company can know for sure that your website is going to be listed in the top 10 in the search results. If they do make promises then it is likely they will be optimising your website for less than optimal keywords that are uncompetitive. For example you sell “Blue widgets” and you would like to be listed in the top ten for blue widgets but it is very competitive. This dodgy company says they can get you in the top ten, but they don’t say for what keywords and they do deliver but it’s for a keyword phrase like “blue widget with flowers in Melbourne Australia” – this is completely useless and will not sell any more of your products!!
– Never choose an SEO firm on price. Trust me when I say this – You get what you pay for! Aligning your business website with the best SEO firm, which may be more expensive, is going to get you a lot more traffic than a lower ranked SEO company. A more experienced SEO firm is likely to have many, many testimonials and graphs of clients to show you. Align with the best SEO Company and you get the best results it’s as simple as that – there is no doubt in my mind on this.
Now that you have narrowed down the list, take a day to go through all of the information gathered. Assess everything on its merits and choose wisely. As I said above, never choose based on price, you pay peanuts and you will get monkeys. Graphic design and coding the building of a website make up about 20% of the success of the website, the other 80% is getting people to come to your website and buy your product or service. A similar comparison is opening a shop. You can make it as plush and nice as you want inside but if no one is coming through the door then it really doesn’t matter how nice it is does it? You could well have a warehouse and market more and you would likely be far more successful. In summary, align your business website with the best SEO firm that you can find.