SEO can be time consuming and technical, so it makes sense to employ a SEO professional to take care of the work for you. Even if you are knowledgeable about search engine optimization, there are so many updates to the Google algorithm that you may harm other areas of your business by doing the work yourself. However, taking on an SEO company does not come without risk. Many businesses have seen their search rankings sink as a direct result of the work carried out by search engine professionals, and the time and money needed to repair the work can be exorbitant. For these reasons, you must be confident in the people you employ to help your website rank online.
A clear plan is essential in SEO, as it takes time to rank your site for many keywords. If a company promises immediate results, chances are good that they are not doing anything that will be sustainable. An SEO company should be able to tell you what types of backlinks they will get, how they will get them and what their long-term plan is. Any effective campaign should take into account recent changes made by Google, such as an emphasis on mobile marketing, and have one eye on any future changes that can be expected.
SEO requires a broad skill set. There are various technical considerations for on- and off-site optimization, along with the more creative tasks required to generate interest in your business. An SEO company should have staff who are technically proficient, as there are many specialized parts to the process. A good understanding of things like responsive web design, redirects, meta tags and 404 errors will ensure your site functions correctly, pleases the search engines and does not return errors to visitors.
A social media strategy is vital to any comprehensive SEO campaign. While some companies are good at building links, the ability to create interesting content and talking points are key to generating a buzz on social media. A good campaign attempts to create content that is perfect for sharing online and is relevant to your business. A commonly used example is an infographic, but a good SEO company will be able to tailor something to your particular brand. Social signals are increasingly being used by the search engines to determine the popularity of a site, so you need to ensure you are being noticed amongst the conversations occurring on a daily basis.
Unfortunately, securing the top spot for a key search term in Google is not something that comes with a guarantee. No SEO company should promise they can perform miracles, as there are too many variables, but a solid SEO strategy should give you traffic and exposure from a number of different sources and keywords. By asking these three key questions you should get an idea of whether you are dealing with a creative, technical and organized company that won’t take risks with your business.