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How to choose a Reliable SEO Agency

 Choosing a reliable company to do your SEO or PPC advertising is an important decision that can have a big impact on the success of your company. A bad marketing company can not only waste your time and money, but they can damage your online reputation and make it harder for you to get customers to your site. How can you avoid this situation? Here are things you should look for when hiring a consultant or agency to handle your SEO and advertising:

1. Being at the top of the search results doesn’t mean they are the best SEO agency

It seems logical that if an SEO company ranks well on Google, that they must know what they’re doing. However, this isn’t always the case. Many of the best companies often don’t need to put in the extra work needed to get top rankings for competitive keywords, because they already get enough business from referrals and other sources and are more focused on improving the rankings of their clients than their own. There are better ways to find a reliable SEO company than searching for “Best SEO Company Near Me” on Google – such as a referral from a friend or colleague. 

2. There is no magic bullet

A lot of agencies say they can get you huge results fast because they’ve found the  “magic bullet” or “secret sauce” to search marketing. The truth is there are no shortcuts in this work and if someone is promising you that they’ve found one they are likely telling you what they think you want to hear. Instead, you should look for an SEO service that has a clear strategy and a track record of success that is willing to put in the hours and effort it takes to for positive long term results. 

3. No one can guarantee a top search engine spot

It may sound counterintuitive, but if an SEO company guarantees that they can get you to the top of the search results, it’s almost always a bad sign. The truth is that SEO companies can only try to influence rankings, but only the search engine itself has direct control over how a link ranks. If they say they can guarantee top rankings, it either means that they don’t know what they are doing and think that they fulfill that promise, or they are using some type of black hat SEO techniques that may rig the system in the short term but can cause lasting harm to your site’s ability to rank well. Rankings are determined by an extremely complex process that some sources say considers around 200 different factors when determining its rankings. A reliable SEO company will be upfront about this. They’ll walk you through the strategies that have shown the best results  for them in the past and let you know based on their experience what they think is the best path towards success. Only time will tell what the real result of their work will be.

4.How do they build links?

Link building is one of the most important aspects of a good SEO strategy. There are many different link building strategies, and some are more effective than others. For instance, if the agency’s strategy is to post links to as many sites as possible regardless of quality or relevance, this should be a red flag. Like search rankings, you should also beware of anyone that can promise a set number of backlinks in a particular time frame. Instead, look for a company that offers you a comprehensive and targeted plan for reaching out to prominent sites within your niche, as this is how good link building is done.

5. Communication and Accountability are key 

Communication is essential with any SEO company you hire. It’s important that you find a company that help you  understand everything they are doing and why they are doing it. You don’t want to give them blind control over your business online and hope they will do a good job and faithly represent the best interests of your company. That doesn’t mean you need to micro- manage everything your agency does, but you need to know what they are working on and be able to check the results yourself. At the end of the day it’s your business, and you want to make sure everything they change to your website meets your approval.

6. How do they measure success?

Next, you’ll want to learn how this SEO company measures success. A good company will focus on more than just the volume of traffic or links you are getting to your site. Quality is more important than quantity in most situations, and a skilled marketer will help you get high-value traffic that converts to leads or sales. At the end of the day, all that really matters is getting a healthy return on your marketing spending. If an SEO company only focusing on a lot of technical metrics and not addressing the value you will get back from your marketing, this is typically a sign that you should consider another company. 

7. What Happens If You Stop Their Service? 

Let’s say your plans change in the future and you want to end your relationship with a marketing agency- what happens next? Will everything they have done remain in place? Can you end your contract in a timely manner, or will you get stuck paying for extra months of service that you don’t want? Even when working with agencies that have otherwise done a good job, circumstances may change in the future and require that the business relationship ends. need to end things. By knowing the answers to what would happen in this situation, you can not only make a better decision when it comes to choosing an SEO service, but you can prevent problems later on when you need to terminate the partnership. 

8. Who Will Be Doing the Work on Your Account?

When you start interviewing potential SEO services, you may meet some people who seem quite knowledgeable and capable in their field. Even if those individuals would do a good job, are they the ones who will be doing most of the work on your account? Some companies have a strong sales pitch but once they get the contract will pass off the bulk of the work to junior employees or interns who may not yet have the skills to do a good job. They may even outsource the work to another agency or contractor. While delegating work itself isn’t a bad thing, it’s important that as a client you make sure you know who is actually working for you and what they’re qualifications are. 

9.Can They Show Examples of Their Work?

This should be one of the first questions you ask. Any reputable company will have a strong track record of success with previous customers. Ask them to show you want their previous customers looked like before they came on board, and what the situation looked like after. If an SEO company is unwilling to show you examples of their work, they either don’t have any examples, or the work they provided was sub-par. 

10. Are They a Google Certified Partner?

As the dominant search engine in most markets, Google sets many of the standards when working in search advertising. This is why they offer the Google Ads certification program to help train individuals to use their platform. While they do provide some basic documentation for those that pass this certification, the only way you can verify it is if they work for a Google Certified Partner. Agencies can become Google Certified Partners if enough employees pass their Ad certification and if they meet certain ad spending and performance requirements for their clients.  When talking to SEO companies, see who at this company has this certification and see if they will be the ones monitoring your ad campaigns on a daily basis. 

So the next time you’re in the market for an SEO service, keep the above points in mind. They should help you to get thoughtful answers from your candidates that you can use to find the best agency for your needs. 

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