How to Choose Your SEO Firm from an Increasingly Saturated Market

Effectively implementing smart SEO techniques is more important in 2014 than ever before. With eMarketer estimating that global eCommerce sales will eclipse $1.5 trillion by year-end, there is a lot more businesses stand to lose this year by not being noticed in search engines. Unfortunately, the average business lacks the time, the manpower, and the knowledge to enact an effective SEO campaign.

Consider, if you want to push your business into full view of web users, you need to have your pages pop high in Google rankings for the keywords you’re fighting to rank on. A full 70% of the links clicked in search engine results pages (SERPs) have organically high ranking. Most customers, an astounding 75%, won’t even bother looking beyond the first page of results to find what they’re looking for.

If you own one of the many businesses struggling to improve SEO in-house, you should know that SEO services exist to help companies like yours; however, as IBIS World statistics show, there are more than 4,900 competing digital marketing services in the United States. Weeding out the good from the bad is often easier said than done, but with these tips, you can greatly narrow your search.

Seven Tips for Choosing the Right SEO Firm

  1. Don’t assume size has anything to do with quality. A small, effective company that can help earn your business one quality back-link can be more beneficial than a large firm that generates thousands of lesser quality links through Black Hat practices.
  2. Look for SEO ranking software that your employees can actually use. Many of the best SEO companies provide their clients with SEO ranking software. It’s up to you to choose an SEO ranking software solution that your employees have the skills to use properly.
  3. Get away from the “I’ll do it tomorrow” mentality. SEO is not about doing one thing once. It’s an ongoing process. Subsequently, the sooner you get started, the sooner you’ll start to reap the benefits. If you’re preparing for a site redesign, that makes for a great time to bring in an SEO firm. Using their skills, you can ensure that your new site is up to snuff.

  4. Ask questions about each firm’s techniques. The last thing you need is to be temporarily removed or permanently banned from Google. Reading up on Google’s guidelines and asking questions about the techniques each firm uses can help you avoid an SEO firm that can actually damage your business.

  5. The best SEO services are completely transparent. Whether it’s a patch for their SEO ranking software or an update in their content packages, your firm owes you transparency. Why are they making these changes, and what do they mean to your bottom line and SEO campaign? If they can’t or won’t answer these questions, you’re likely better off with another firm.

  6. Find a firm that can commit the time to a successful campaign. SEO success is not about committing yourself for a week. It takes three to six months to yield results. Any company you choose must be able to commit for at least that long.

  7. Beware of false promises. SEO services aren’t dumb. They know you want to rank highly in Google, which is why many of the less than reputable services out there will promise you the top spot in Google SERPs to get your business. Here’s the thing: no one can guarantee that. The second a company tries to sell you this line you need to start your search for another.

What are some of the ways you narrowed your choices for an SEO firm? Share some of the tips and tricks you learned along the way in the comment section below.

Additional sources: eMarketer IBISWorld