How to choose the right SEO company

Are you looking for an SEO company to optimize your website and improve organic traffic? Read this guide to learn how to choose the right SEO company for your website.

Being a webmaster for almost 2 decades, I receive a lot of emails regularly offering me top position in Google search results for my websites. Being an experienced SEO professional, I very well know guaranteed top ranking in search results in nothing but a myth. Search engines are getting smarter and smarter and it has become next to impossible to cheat them.

SEO Company

If an SEO company approaches you with promises that they can make your website rank NO:1 in search results, they may not be the right choice for you. It was possible to guarantee top positions in the search results long ago, but that is a thing of the past now. Many webmasters would fall into the trap when they see offers like top ranking for their primary keywords but it may be too late by the time they realize their website is penalized by search engines.

How to choose the right SEO company

If you are looking for a vendor to optimize your website and help you improve traffic to your site, here are some tips to identify and select the right SEO company for you.

1. Do they have an authentic website and an official email address

I have seen many offers I receive are coming from temporary mail ids created using free email services like Gmail and Hotmail. I would never trust a business mail coming from a free email address. There is no way I can trace down that person in case he runs away with my money. A person or company offering professional internet services should have his own website and an official email address using his website domain. It is still possible that someone can create mail ids and custom domain websites but chances of cheating are higher when you are dealing with free email ids.

Also, even if you are communicating with custom domain emails, remember to check the authority of the website. You can check Alexa rank to see how long the website has been in operation. The longer the website has been there, the better. "Wayback Machine" is another great service to find out how long a website has been existing.

2. Check if their own website is ranking well in the search results

If I am looking for a dance teacher for my child, I would first look at the dance performance of the prospective teacher. If her dance is not impressive, I wouldn't choose her as the dance teacher for my child. Same way, if an SEO company is approaching with their SEO services, I would first look how well they have optimized their website. If you are not familiar with SEO and you do not know how to check the optimization of their website, here is a simple trick. Just ask the agent which is their primary keyword and try to search for that keyword in Google and see if their website appears in top positions in Google search.

For example, if a company is offering their services from Kerala, just go to Google and search for "SEO companies in Kerala". Check if their website appear in top of the search results. If they are not appearing anywhere in the first page of the search results, that is a good indication that the company may not be able to help your website rank good since they fail to rank their own website.

3. Ask for past success stories

I work as an IT consultant for a couple of companies and I help them hire SEO vendors for my clients. When SEO companies approach with promises to make a website rank in top of search results, the first question I usually ask them is, does your own website rank high in the search results. Many times the answer could be, we don't focus on our website much and that's why you don't see our website in Google search.. Fare enough. But how many of their client websites are ranking high? I would insist them give me a list of success stories along with client reference numbers. I wouldn't trust a success story until I speak directly with a client and get good references from a couple of clients.

It is very important to study the past success stories of the SEO company and make a decision according to their history.

It would be a good idea to ask for their failure stories as well. Many times, we learn from failure more than success. Success is achieved mostly by implementing what they already know but failure will teach them new lessons. So, if an SEO company can tell you a few cases where they miserably failed to rank a website and if they can tell you what they learnt from that experience, you can short list that company to provide search engine optimization for your business.

4. Cost for the services

Remember you are choosing the strategy for making your business successful. Don't just settle for the cheapest SEO company. I have seen companies offering such services as low as US$50 per month. No company can offer customized optimization services for such a low amount. Any company offering a very cheap package would be depending on certain automated tools to perform certain routine link building tasks, which will harm your website in the long run. As I said earlier, once a website is penalized by search engines, it would be very hard to bring your website back to search results.

In my opinion, you should rule out the vendors which are offering very cheap packages. Look at quotes above US$ 300 per month. And then discuss what kind of services they are offering. If their offerings match your expectations, you can go for further discussions with them and ask their past success stories and history of the company etc. Remember that the cost for content development, online advertising, payments to third parties etc are usually not included in SEO packages. They are charged extra by your SEO company.

5. Manual process vs automation

Ask the service provider whether they will be focusing on manual SEO process or automate most of their work. When it comes to search engine optimization, automated process will not give the same results as the manual process. Most of such tools are used to automatically submit links in various websites to generate backlinks for your website. Such links would be very low quality links and will actually harm your website in the long run. Some other tools are used to automatically tune the title and url of blog posts. Remember that no tool can perfectly understand the context of any title and tune it correctly without losing the true meaning of it. Never trust an automated tool to tune the content of your website. Always go for a company which depends on manual SEO process since no tool can replace an SEO expert.

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