Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) can get a pretty bad rap. With so many ‘black hat’ companies using dodgy link building strategies or outsourcing work to overseas companies, it’s no wonder why SEO that’s done badly scares a lot of people off. And it should – because SEO that’s cheap and ineffective can be harmful to your business, brand and website.
The good news is though, not every SEO company does business this way. As far as long term online marketing strategies go, the art of SEO is by far one of the most effective. It’s also the most complex – so it pays to find someone with the expertise and knowledge to do it right.
From a business perspective, hiring an SEO company is a really tough decision. Too many self-claimed SEO companies take shortcuts which may boost your rankings in the short term, but will most certainly be detrimental to your brand in the long run. To ease the process of finding an SEO company that’s reputable and trustworthy, we’ve compiled a few questions you should be asking.
1. Do You Outsource Work?
Because SEO is such a complex industry, it’s important you are using a local expert that understands the local market for your business. It’s not an easy process that can just be applied by anyone; effective SEO takes time, valuable resources, skilled knowledge and awareness of the local industry.
It’s important too, that you understand where your potential paid for SEO services are coming from. Because of its complexity, SEO is something that’s best done under one roof – not outsourcing work to every Tom, Dick and Harry in another time zone because it’s the cheapest and easiest thing to do. Sure, it’ll mean you get to pay less for the services – but you won’t be happy with the end results.
Reputable SEO companies will keep everything under the same roof, with a few content writing exceptions. Dependable sites like Get a Copywriter or ProBlogger can be used to find technical writers in order to give the clients the best possible services. Whilst a content writer will remain in-house, they’ll to be responsible for the bulk of the writing with assistance for more specialised articles from such services.
2. What is Your Knowledge of Content Marketing for SEO?
Content marketing is a core element of SEO so the company you’re dealing with should be quite the experts in it. One of the most important parts of SEO is understanding that you’re not just writing for robots, but actual real people too. Thus, you want content that’s going to appeal.
Your chosen SEO company should have a skilled team of content writers to produce high quality work on a consistent basis. Outstanding content is the backbone of an effective long term SEO strategy and boosts the process by becoming an established authority on a topic.
According to QuickSprout, content marketing is the new SEO and strategies like guest posting, social media marketing, relationship building and content writing need to be implemented in order to attract massive online attention and reach your audience.
3. What is Your Link Building Strategy?
There’s dodgy link building strategies and then there’s legit ways to get a backlink. How your chosen SEO company builds backlinks is so important to not only the effectiveness of your online marketing, but also the reputation of your brand and business.
To earn worthwhile links with trustworthy sites, your SEO company will have quality relationship building and outreach skills. No legitimate strategy is complete without it, and it’s an essential part in targeting sites that are high in authority. Stay clear of SEO companies that promise to increase your backlinks by a certain amount over a short time frame. A reputable SEO company will use a valuable content to drive backlinks, not spammy backlink tactics that can cause your domain harm. This article provides some great tips on how to identify bad links.
4. How Much Will I be Involved?
Whilst a good SEO company will be highly skilled in the art of SEO, content production, outreach and research and social media marketing, they won’t necessarily be specialised in your specific industry. Hence why client involvement is a vital part of the process.
Your chosen company should be transparent in their approach, provide fortnightly or monthly reports, progress and strategies to you. Simply put – you’ll want to be kept in the loop at all times.
5. Do You Guarantee Top Results in Major Search Engines Like Google?
The only answer to this question, from a reputable SEO company, should be no. According to the strict rules and regulations stated by Google, no SEO company can guarantee a top spot in search results. Companies that are authentic are not authorised to make these sort of promises, but instead offer ROI guarantees and client satisfaction.
Companies that do make these kind of promises simply cannot be trusted. Not only are they going against the code of Google (which can result in penalties), but it’s a factor that cannot be controlled by you or your SEO company – unless of course they’re doing dodgy link building strategies. Offering these guarantees goes against the idea of inbound marketing and this is exactly why the major search engines expressly warn against it.
SEO is a timely, complicated process – so don’t expect the results to happen overnight. With the right reputable company though, client input and effective outreach and content marketing strategies, the results will most certainly speak for themselves.
The team at White Chalk Road are always happy to help with your SEO questions and concerns. If you would like an obligation free consultation about how we can meet your SEO or SEM needs, give one of our friendly team members a call today.