What to Look for in SEO Companies
When it comes to SEO it can be difficult to choose a reliable company. Many promise great results but few deliver. Let us do a short overview of how to choose the right SEO company.
1) Referrals and Reviews
A poll done by clutch.co showed that the majority of people choose SEO companies based on referrals and reviews. You should as well. When it comes to SEO, the proof is in the pudding, as it will be apparent very quickly whether or not you have increased traffic, more leads, or more sales.
2) Realistic Promises
The basic instinct of “Too good to be true” applies here. If you feel that they are promising you something that sounds too good to be true, they likely are. A good SEO company should be able to look at your current situation and analyze what they will be able to do for you.
3) Field Related Experience
Does the company have experience doing what you are looking for them to do? You wouldn’t get a doctor who has never performed surgery to operate on you just because he is a doctor. Same with SEO, you want someone who has demonstrably done before what it was that you want them to do.
There are no industry standard certifications in regards to SEO but many of the agencies, such as Google Analytics, Yahoo, Bing, and others have their certification programs which, if nothing else, demonstrate that the SEO company is serious about their training and practices. Certification also at least shows you that they are serious about learning the different platforms, instead of relying on black hate tricks to increase your web visibility.
5) White Hat vs. Black Hat
Black hat and White hat techniques are different approaches to achieving the same result; higher web visibility. The term white hate refers to practices that are considered more ethical and have more long term viability. White Hat SEO follows Search engine guidelines, their rules on how to SEO. It focuses on human interaction, instead of just gaming the way keywords and backlinks work. This human interaction involves creating quality, engaging content, increasing page load times, making the site layout more appealing from a UI perspective, and several other techniques aimed at improving user experience.
black hat is the opposite. It violates search engine guidelines by using manipulative techniques, effectively tricking the search engines into thinking that the site offers more value and use to real people than it does. It does this by exploiting loopholes, or problems, in the search engine algorithms. In basic terms, it deceives the search engine to give the site a higher rank and more visibility, instead of increasing visibility by improving usability and quality.
Although you don’t need to know all the techniques involved in SEO, you should at least familiarize yourself with the basic terms and processes so you can identify the black hat and white hat providers of SEO services.