Finding the best SEO company for your business can be a challenging undertaking. Between the sheer number of agencies vying for your attention and the marketing rhetoric that all sounds the same, finding the right SEO company can be a bit like searching for a needle in a haystack. There are white hat practices, black hat practices, companies that purport to do one thing (but actually) do another, and even companies that offer compelling SEO “hacks” that can end up doing more damage to your brand than anything.
Search engine optimization is a powerful component of any brand’s digital infrastructure, so it pays to bring on the right company that can help you get the measurable results you need. Done right, the affordable nature of SEO means much more ROI than many other quicker, more expensive processes– and the time it takes to do it can actually lend itself to longer lasting results.
When looking for the best SEO agencies, there is a gold standard that can help guide the search process. Here are a few things that should come as standard practice with any SEO company, SEO consultant, marketing agency, or anyone else that claims to know SEO and organic search!
Results should take time
As much as online marketing is ROI-based, many components of successful strategy also include playing the waiting game in order to be successful. Unlike paid search campaigns that leverage Google, Facebook, Bing and other digital advertising platforms’ traffic generating algorithms to drive traffic to a website, quality organic SEO takes a while to do right. Aside from the considerable amount of time it can take to create a piece of optimized content, SEO also focuses on driving organic traffic to a website, as opposed to purchasing it through advertisement. Visitors from an organic traffic source typically find SEO content after inputting specific search queries, and SEO content can’t “outbid” its competitors in order to get that attention. Instead, it’s all about the quality of the copywriting and creative, and whether the search engine your site is listed on deems your company a credible source of information.
When searching for the right fit for your brand, be wary of so-called marketing companies that claim to use SEO strategies that can increase your search engine rankings “fast,” or “guarantee” you first page listings. That’s simply not how SEO works– and companies employing these so-called SEO techniques are actually engaging in black hat practices that could see your website banned from search platforms, or moved to the bottom of the listings. The other possibility is that they are getting you to rank for keywords that have no real search volume or value. With hundreds of pages of listings, both results could completely sink your business. A Google penalty (or a penalty from another search engine) can take years to recover from.
Good SEO results are truly organic, and significant return from SEO campaigns can range from anywhere from a few days to a few months. Websites that already have a good deal of traffic and simply want to increase traffic or conversion rates for particular keywords may see success earlier, while newer companies with less of a hold on their respective markets may need a bit of patience as proper on page optimization and content builds work their magic– but even that’s not an exact science. It all boils down to the presence of quality, relevant content on your site. The more you have, the higher you will rank– though it could take some time to see sizeable jumps.
Your results should be measurable
Although good SEO work may take some time to provide significant search ranking results, you should definitely be able to measure even incremental improvements pretty early on in the life of an effective SEO campaign.
Because the internet is used by so many people all of the time, it shouldn’t take long for you to see your site making a move towards a higher ranking for certain keyword terms– even if its moving one spot at a time. As is the case with many competitive keywords, your site’s SEO will effectively be competing with other websites that may have cornered the market a long time ago, and could constantly be making changes on their end to maintain their top spots. A solid keyword analysis before big SEO changes can help mitigate the frustration of paying for hours or even days of work only to find that breaking the top spot as a serious contender for your keyword of choice will be a much longer process than anticipated because of the competition. SEO firms can help identify long-tailed keyword strands and less competitive keywords that could be advantageous to rank for in the shorter term. (For instance, attempting to optimize your site for “t shirt” may be too general and competitive, but optimizing for “blue men’s t shirt” could yield similar results and be much more time effective.)
You should be able to measure the results of big SEO changes by comparing your site ranking over the course of a few weeks to see if there are any changes. Additionally, Google Analytics offers the data that can help you measure traffic increases or decreases, as well as conversion and event fluctuations across pages you may have optimized. Again, while results may not be night and day, you should be able to see a push in the right direction fairly quickly. The best SEO companies will walk you through the results you should expect to see and what you’re seeing, providing recommendations throughout the entire process. Be wary of the marketing agency that tells you it will take a minimum of six months to start seeing any sort of results, unless your website has had some serious issues with bad traffic and web design issues. In those cases it can take up to a year to get the SEO to work properly. The problem accounts are usually companies that have either tried to do SEO themselves, worked with multiple agencies in a short period of time or some combination of the two.
The best SEO company is the one that helps you reach your goals
When it’s all said and done, SEO, like any other internet marketing strategy, is all about helping you drive qualified traffic to your website to take an action. This goal should lie at the crux of everything your SEO company does. If you’re ranking highly for the keywords you’ve decided on, but still aren’t getting any traffic, your SEO company may not have done accurate keyword research. If you’ve waited months to see any change and your website is still not moving and website traffic isn’t increasing even incrementally, it could be that the company you brought on isn’t doing its job. And if your company site jumps to the top of search engine rankings in record time, only to plummet back down days later without any warning and with very little in the way of conversions, sales, or leads to show for it, the company may have employed black hat practices designed to boost your online presence that are now backfiring.
The solid SEO company is the one that understands your goals, helps you decide on a plan of attack, and can show you measurable gains made towards those goals. Here at Get YOU Found, we are that SEO company– and we’re here to help!