From a business perspective, choosing the right SEO Company could be one of the most important decisions you make. Choose wisely, and you could be dominating your industry and top keywords within 3-6 months, choose badly, and an SEO Company’s bad practices could put your website and online business in jeopardy forever.
So how DO you choose? Well Star PR’s SEO team, the leading SEO Company in Bangkok, has worked all over the world for all manner of different companies before working here. We’ve taken valuable lessons from the good and the bad, and applied them to create a list of questions and observations you should be asking both them and yourself. If you want a 2nd opinion, and you ALWAYS should, check out some great lists from Forbes, SEOworks and Moz to see what they recommend for choosing the right SEO Company.
The first thing a business or person does when they need an SEO Company is to search for one in their nearest vicinity. Not everyone does this, but most people like to meet someone face-to-face before doing business with them. Take Thailand for example, according to Google’s Keyword Planner more people search for “SEO Company Bangkok” than they search “SEO Company Thailand“, this would either suggest that the majority of new and established businesses are based in Bangkok, or that the capital of any country naturally houses the companies with the most expertise. Naturally, any person who’s search includes “Service + Company/Agency + Location” will almost always click/contact the Top 3 or Top 5 of Page 1 results. This is particularly true with SEO Companies, as by the nature of their industry, if they’re not ranking at the top of Page 1 of Google or other search engines, how on earth can you expect them to do the same for YOUR business?
Be wary of solely making your decision on which company to choose, simply because they themselves rank at the very top. There is a multitude of factors that influence search engine results, and nobody knows these better than SEO Companies!!
Be wary of companies that “guarantee” a Page 1, or even worse No.1 on Page 1 ranking. This sounds great on paper, but one should question the efficacy of such a bold statement. Think of just how many businesses there are in the world, then put those next to how many SEO Companies there are, and then consider there are just 10 positions available on Page 1 for any given search. I would sooner trust an agency or company that honestly apologizes for NOT offering guarantees, but does guarantee that their work will be of the finest quality, adhere to all search engine guidelines and be able to show clear case studies of what they did and how they did it to achieve the desired results for proven clients.
Well with some things,..yes..uh-hum. But when it comes to choosing an agency to work with, don’t always assume that bigger is better. Match your business with the right company to work with. If a company is too big, sometimes clients can get put on the back-burner, or considered less important due to their monthly contract value. Sometimes, a small dedicated team will put in far more, and far better work!
What exactly do you need?
Match your needs with the right company’s services and expertise. You might not need a generic SEO Campaign based on your industry keywords. You might need a Google My Business/Local SEO Map Campaign or you might need to protect your brand online from bad reviews with an Online Reputation Management campaign. Whatever your needs, find the best company to fit the job.
Do a little bit of research before you start contacting SEO Companies. One of the best places to start is Moz’s Beginners guide to SEO, but also be sure to check out Brian Dean’s Backlinko guide to Link Building. If you want to really geek up, check out Brian Dean’s 200 Google Ranking factors or Search Engine Watch “Search Engine Success Factors” . You can even run a free technical audit on your website using Screaming Frog’s SEO Spider before you meet with an SEO Company and go in prepared, it might be interesting to present the campaign manager with your results and ask which areas need addressing the most and watch their reaction and level of confidence in discussing the audit with you. By learning the very basics, or equipping yourself with a dash of advanced knowledge, you will defend yourself from predatory companies who are looking for quick easy clients who don’t ask awkward questions.
Any company worth their salt should not only be able to provide case studies of their clients, but be able to clearly explain the process, strategy and tactics that were employed to achieve those case study results. Don’t forget to ask for links to their work so you can research them at a later date, and compare the work with the recommendations above from Moz, Brian Dean and Search Engine Watch. Another good way is to ask for a client list with URL’s to their websites so they can the kind of work being done. For example, Safe Pest Control is a client the team is currently working on for in Sydney, Australia for keywords like Pest Control Sydney, Commercial Pest Control Sydney, etc which has already seen vast improvements since their old website was hit with a penalty, and required rebranding and rebuilding from scratch on a new site with links from trustworthy sources that have been gained organically.
Not only should you be asking THEM questions, but they should be asking YOU questions:
What are your most important keywords, products or services? What locations do you offer these? Are you global, local, do you deliver?
Who are your competitor’s?
Have you done SEO before?
What are your expectations and what kind of KPI’s do you need?
Are you doing other forms of online and offline marketing?
Your SEO Campaign manager should know every aspect of your business operation in order to understand what you will want to achieve.
Some SEO Companies have set packages based on Keywords or other parameters, others don’t. Choose the right package or level that not only your budget allows, but your company needs. An SEO Package that offers 30-50 Keywords might look great, but do you really need that many? Are the Keywords the SEO Company has chosen to fill that package quota really necessary, will they bring you business?
Search their Name
Make sure you search their brand name before signing with a company, and DON’T stop at Page 1. Some SEO Companies who’ve received bad reviews, are clever enough to build blogs, citations and optimize fake “good” reviews so they appear above anything negative in the hope that the average Joe never finds them. Most brands have social media channels, and most services orientated businesses will be reviewed somewhere by someone. Check them out before making your final decision on which SEO Company you should choose…
Written by Nick Dudley-Jones
Head of Digital