Choosing an SEO agency to help you project your desired web presence is an important decision and we’re here to help you do it the right way. First thing’s first: Not all SEO agencies are created equal. For this reason, you must practice your due diligence to protect the digital health of your business. We’ll go into some detail as to what that looks like for you in your search for an SEO agency.

How to choose a good SEO company

As with any important decision, you shouldn’t rush the process of finding a full-service SEO company. That is a whole project on its own, and finding a good one is even tougher. Make sure that your search is guided by the expectations and goals that you have set for your company. Consider aspects of partnership you value, like communication especially. Before we get into the more granular details, there are three things that we advise you not to do.

First, don’t be cheap. You probably understand the importance and value of good SEO, so budget accordingly. For reference, businesses spend an average of $750 to $2,000 per month on their SEO strategy. Second, don’t limit your search based on your location. Digital conferencing applications like Zoom are bringing down the cost of doing long-distance business. Finally, do not fall for a black-hat SEO agency for short term gains.

What is black hat SEO, exactly? Black hat SEO refers to using certain practices to increase a website’s or web pages rank in search results through means that violate the search engine’s terms of service. If you use black hat SEO, Google will eventually penalize you, and that’s harder to recover from.

SEO takes time. Typically, websites need an average of three to six months before seeing growth. A reputable firm with ethical practices will always be the best decision. If you’re being told your page views will increase “immediately,” beware.

Look at the SEO agency’s past performance.

If you’re wondering where to start, it’s best to read through a company’s reviews and case studies. Which websites have they worked with before? What did their results look like? Can the company provide you with examples of quantitative growth as a direct result from their SEO strategy implementation? These case studies, for example, are extremely insightful and can help you formulate goal-crushing plans.

Aside from solely hearing a company’s pitch, you should connect with past customers or seek referrals for their services. Ask review questions regarding service quality, customer service, and communication. These particular points will be of major importance to the success of your arrangement.

Meet with all of the agencies on your shortlist.

It is always important to meet potential partners face-to-face before signing any deals. Going beyond the logistics, you also want to get a feel for their company culture and connectivity. A company may indeed provide a great service, but if their culture isn’t a match with yours, it could lead to trouble down the road. In these preliminary conversations, lay out your expectations and get your prospect’s feedback. Compare your notes on each meeting and let this information be a part of what informs your final decision.

Choose an SEO firm that communicates effectively.

Though you should have access to the tools they’re using to measure your KPIs (such as SEMRush, Google Search Console, Google Analytics), it’s probable, you don’t have time to dive into all that data. For this purpose, you need an SEO professional team that works for you in terms of communication and nurturing trust. Keep in mind that SEO is a process so you could be working with this firm for years. Ultimately, meeting your organic website traffic goals takes time, patience, and a constructive working relationship.