Criteria to consider in your selection process
The search engine optimisation industry is rife with options and sadly, a great deal of bad eggs out there. In and amongst the thousands of choices from far and wide, it’s common knowledge that there’s only a handful of reputable SEO agencies that actually deliver long term, tangible results that give a notable return on investment. Problem is, how do you find these rare gems in and amongst the junk?
To the unsuspecting client, making a poor decision can not only be costly in terms of investment, it could be far worse and cost you your business and livelihood. So when it comes to seeking out a so-called expert in organic search engine optimisation, most business owners prefer to not bother to avoid a potentially fatal business decision.
If however, you’ve reached a point where you’ve exhausted all options such as affiliate marketing, banner advertising, pay-per-click ads, word of mouth or even old fashioned, traditional methods such as cold calling, printed advertising and business conferences, then perhaps you realise its time to get found on Google in the natural results and start reaping the rewards of free, high volume traffic from organic sources. If so, it’s time to get smart and educate yourself on the do’s and don’t’s of finding yourself a top SEO in your local area.
5 key must-have’s before hiring an SEO agency
1) Expectations – its a common problem for SEO’s that many clients expect miracles to happen quickly when they hire a search engine optimisation expert. They bombard them with dozens of target keywords, many of which the target website URL has no relevance or relation to and think their problems will be over soon and the money will start rolling in.
The fact is, organic search ranks require time to take effect. In most cases, usually weeks if not several months. Every site is different and dependent on how competitive your marketplace is, the quality of your site and where it presently stands in the ranks, changes in search engine positioning can be a long and arduous road. So if you are new to SEO, you’ll need bags of patience and a solid budget to really reap the rewards.
If your SEO is one of the best, the results will come but don’t expect life changing events to occur overnight. It’s a gradual process that takes time. If it was simple to get ranked number one overnight, then everyone would be doing it!
2) Budget – if you only have a small budget then don’t expect to receive Rolls Royce results when you can only afford a Mini. The fact is, proper SEO is a long and time consuming process that requires a knowledgeable hand and a solid, well-conceived strategy. If you can’t afford much investment in your marketing efforts then don’t approach an SEO with hundreds of target keywords. Just pick a handful that you feel you want to rank for and they’ll research the best derivatives of your desired target keywords that will bring the best return for your investment and conversion rate.
3) Return on Investment – as above, your expected ROI can only be attributed to what you put in. If you sell low-priced items, then a high sales volumes are required to make a return, whilst if you offer a service that brings in higher margins on just a few sales, achieving a solid ROI is more attainable.
Again, results will never be overnight so if your budget is seriously going to drain your cashflow then you may have to rethink your budgetary plans but, if your budget is a tiny fraction of your ongoing monthly cashflow, then you should be in good shape to make a return when the traffic levels and conversions start rolling in.
4) Locality – SEO’s operate all over the world but you’d be wise to find one close to your location who speaks your native tongue. Throwing money at a complete stranger in a foreign land is a massive risk and you may end up getting burned. Find a local SEO to you who you can meet, speak to at regular intervals and have meetings with to discuss progress, strategies and any questions you may have on the service they’re providing you.
5) Trust – only use a supplier who you have complete faith and trust in. If you hire an overseas or long distance SEO, then the likelihood of achieving a mutual trust is remote. That’s why having an initial consultation and perhaps, even a free on-site SEO audit of your site in the offset will be the best way to break the ice and get your business relationship off to the best possible start.