It might be obvious to you now that you need SEO, because it's measurable, scale-able, and most of all required if you want to have any digital presence at all. Knowing this is easy, knowing who to hire for it is hard. Our informed opinion recommends hiring an Agency that specializes in digital marketing, as a way to avoid the clamor of unassuming potential employees or freelancers who claim to know what your business needs and how to solve your problems. Agencies, on average, have a proven track record and a source-able way to check for reliability of services.
As it holds true for all of marketing, it is going to be expensive to hire for these services, but the long-term payout for choosing an agency that works from the get go, will be less expensive than wasting your time, money and energy on the people that claim to. This short guide will help you cut down on your research pitfalls and get you in touch with an SEO company that isn’t just “good”, but right for your business’s objectives.
So let's learn the proper way to hire an SEO.
1. Conduct a 2-way Interview – Check for genuine interest in you and your brand.
A “good” SEO will ask “good” questions like:
- “What makes your brand unique and valuable to your customers?”
- “What does your common customer look like?”
- “How do they currently find your website?”
- “How does your business make money? And how do you think search marketing can help?”
- “What other marketing channels is your business using?”
- “What are your competitors? What do they do well with online and offline marketing?”
The keyword here is “holistic”. It is difficult to perform good SEO without the proper care to learn the "ins and outs" of your brand and approach it from the best possible angle.
2. Check References
This will involve checking with past clients or any trustworthy party that can help you discern about the quality of the SEO service provider. This may require some digging into the Search engines themselves. Always keep an eye out for clues that show that your potential SEO provider actually practices what they preach.
One potential way that you can do this right now is by checking their local listing. You may have seen an image like the one below, accompanying a business. Not only does this provide a separate avenue for reviews and a look into the business itself, but they also show an affinity to offering a legitimate service in their local area.
Another easy way to check references from right where you are is by taking some time to investigate their website depth and quality. Do they provide upfront value? easy navigation? information where it should be? This is the more obvious method of figuring out whether an agency practices effective SEO internally. If there are any red flags pointing to website inefficiencies or flaws, you as the end user, shouldn't be wasting any more time. Test it out on us!
3. Ask for (and likely pay for) a Technical and Search Audit
The SEO should know what they are doing. Let them work with your data, but remember to give them restricted view of your Google search console and Google Analytics Data (If you have them). Ask them to give you a prioritized list of what should be improved for SEO. This will set you up for a working relationship if everything checks out, but more importantly should be a basis to determine the validity of their recommendations.
There should always be adequate forecasting about the time, resources and money that it will take to complete the improvement tasks.
One method to eliminating the “bad eggs “, is to hire multiple potential SEO’s and compare their deliverables. Chances are, if they meet the standards described throughout this article as well as our article titled: 3 Ways of Finding a Useful SEO – and Avoiding a Bad one. they have a much better outlook for potential hire. Every agency is different, every SEO is different, but they are people, therefore, much of this process is left up to your own experience in hiring professional people that will help you and your brand reach new heights.
4. The Decision is Yours!
You have done your research, you have listened to Google, now it's time to trust YOUR judgment. Does your potential SEO sit well with your heart? At the end of the day, there is only so much planning you can do. If you don’t do anything with your new found knowledge, you might as well say goodbye to your master strategy altogether.
Thanks for joining us on our journey to create informed digital brands, If you would like to connect with a Search Engine Optimization company that practices what they preach, click here to get started.