If a website is critical to the success of your business, then SEO is something you should think about.
Whether you’re starting a new venture, or revamping an existing website, ensuring SEO is effective is key to its ongoing success. It’s often misunderstood as a short-term fix, rather than the long-term strategy it is.
To do it well takes technical know-how, attention to detail, and an awareness of evolving best practice and industry trends. It also needs to be well-thought out with a clear set of goals.
SEO is easy to get wrong, but get it right and the rewards can be considerable. With all that in mind, it makes sense for ambitious businesses to invest in a comprehensive strategy. In most cases, that will mean hiring an SEO agency.
How to find an SEO company
If you’ve decided that you’d like to work with an SEO company to develop an SEO strategy, then you might be wondering how you go about finding the right one.
There are hundreds, if not thousands, of options to choose from, including freelance consultants offering different degrees of SEO expertise.
Finding the right one for your business is all-important.
They should be clear about what they offer, the skills they have, and how they can apply them to help your business grow.
You can easily find SEO companies with a quick Google search, but you shouldn’t opt for the first name that you see.
Because SEO is an ongoing process, you will be entering into a lengthy relationship, and therefore it’s important to ensure that you find a company that you’re comfortable working with over time.
What questions should I ask an SEO company?
The first thing to consider when looking for SEO companies is whether they have the tools and set-up that you need.
A freelancer may save you money, but they’re unlikely to have the bandwidth, in terms of personnel, to offer you a complete service.
Before you make your choice, there are several questions you might want to ask:
Do they have a comprehensive team?
Do they have a team of specialists, from coding experts to content writers, either in-house or whom they work with to deliver the service you need? An entry-level SEO service should take care of the set-up and technical aspects.
If you want an ongoing service, they should also be able to supply targeted content based on analytics and keyword research.
Outreach should also be a part of the strategy; looking to build relationships with other companies and websites to create a backlink architecture that supports and promotes your business.
A freelance consultant is more likely to offer a ‘set-up and go’ one-off technical service, while larger operations can develop an ongoing strategy for your business.
How do they build links?
This might seem like an obscure question. Surely, the only thing that matters is that they can deliver links for your website?
In fact, there’s some big differences between the types of links that companies can create for you, and that will in turn deliver varying results. Automated links should be avoided.
These are fake links created using tools, and are treated as spam by Google.
Mass paid links should also be avoided because they go against Google’s guidelines, and will also result in penalties when they’re discovered.
Free site link farms are another route that some SEO companies go down to build links for their clients. These are pages created, and filled, with low-quality content purely to provide links back to your website.
Needless to say this does little for your business with Google recognising another spam trick. The only realistic, sustainable and effective approach to building links is by developing relationships with other businesses, providing stories for journalists or bloggers, and through skilful social media use.
It requires patience, consistency, and PR skills.
Can they show you references?
An established SEO company should be able to provide you with references from existing customers. Ask if they can provide references from businesses that operate in your industry.
If they are reluctant, you might want to consider what that says about them. Some companies may be in the early stages of trading, and won’t have an established portfolio. In which case, ask about the credentials of the people involved.
Do they have personal references they can provide?
What makes your approach unique?
Take a look at SEO companies, and you soon discover the way many of them talk about themselves is generic and repetitive. They have a ‘cookie-cutter’ approach that follows a fixed and, to some degree, effective formula.
What marks out the outstanding companies from the competition is a considered approach and unique angle.
Good SEO companies think about the value they can add to the SEO process, and have developed their own method of achieving results.
What do you get for your money?
You should never choose an SEO company purely on cost. You can easily find someone who will provide a standard SEO service for your business for a knock-down price.
Ask what’s included in the quoted price, and make sure you’re clear about what this actually is. When you make a decision, think about the cost and benefits equation.
Is it worth paying a little extra for a comprehensive strategy that’s likely to offer greater returns on your investment?
Aqueous Digital is the SEO company of choice for ambitious businesses
Aqueous Digital is an award-winning, family-run digital marketing agency based in Cheshire.
We specialise in organic and paid internet search, website content strategy and reputation management for high and ultra-high-net-worth individuals.
Trust, loyalty and collaboration are at the heart of everything we do — these are values we strongly stand by and never compromise.
Despite recent global economic and social challenges, our business is continuing to go from strength-to-strength and in November 2020, we won ‘Best Integrated Search Agency’ in the prestigious UK Search Awards.
At Aqueous, we create comprehensive SEO strategies for our customers based on creativity and ethically sound industry best practice.
Call us on 0800 285 1424 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org for a free audit of your website and to have a chat about how we can support the success of your business with our award-winning search engine optimisation.
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