The SEO industry is a saturated market, with SEO companies large and small, good and bad, all pitching for your business so how do you choose the right SEO company for you?
Alot of companies have tightened their belts over 2009 and been careful about marketing budgets, this means they are often tempted to go for the cheapest solution. This may not be the best option for your company, SEO is not a package deal where people are get one solution but different companies just charge more or less for it. SEO is a long term campaign and you need to make sure the company you are working with are giving you the best ROI.
You also find that many companies, having read a few SEO blogs, feel they can take on the job themselves. This is a waste of resources, SEO knowledge comes from an understanding of websites, Google algorithms, accessibility to start and then has the experience of working on sites, finding problems and working around them. You cannot learn SEO with out actually doing it for years as every site is different and little things can have a big effect.
So why not go for the cheapest SEO Company? I would always advise getting a number of quotes but there is a difference between cheap and cost effective. The cheapest SEO packages I have seen start from about £70 a month and I have never seen those companies show testimonials or case studies of what they do. Some of the more expensive packages can got up to £50,000 a month, but they are usually very large campaigns that include brand management and other areas to help a site do well in a very competitive industry.Most SEO companies are somewhere nearer the lower end of that spectrum.So how do you decide to go with the company that is reassuringly expensive or one that is too good to be true?
Here are a few tips to help you choose the right SEO company for you:
How have they worked out the cost of the campaign? Have they looked at your site and your competitors to reach a conclusion of the amount of work needed? What will you get for your money? Is it a one off payment to do homepage optimisation, or are you getting a full campaign for your whole site including an on-page and off-page strategy?
Is there a monthly fee, if so what is that for? Are there additional costs for paid directories? Is it low to start with then over the period of the campaign you get hit hard be extras and Account Managers trying to hit targets? Make sure you have an overview of any ongoing monitoring and site management,
Check The Ts & Cs
You may find terms that make you suspicious of the level of service, often Terms and Conditions are adjusted after a legal incident with a client.
One Term you should expect to see from a good SEO is that they cannot offer guarantees, this is because no one has full access to Google’s algorithms, but good SEO’s will have enough knowledge and experience to do a good job.
Money Back Guarantee’s
If a company offers you a money back guarantee do not go with them. Even Google webmaster guidelines recommends not to use any company that offers Guarantees. To get their money companies like this will optimise your site for a very un competitive word, this will get into the top ten of a search engine (possibly Yahoo, most likely Ask), be something very few people search for and therefore give you absolutely no return on investment as it does not bring you any traffic.
Do you get any regular reporting? What are they reporting on? How will they judge the KPI’s of the campaign.
Another way to cut costs is to get an SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) Report, this can be a good way to optimise your site, but the report needs to be carried out by a developer which could be an additional expense. Find out who is writing the report, is it auto generated as these programs will not give enough detail to find issues with your site. Some SEO companies use templates that are filled in by an Executive SEO, this is to save money at their end and help the Executives progress. However things can be missed, talk to the author of the report and find out his/her experience.
Once you have paid your money you may find that things go quiet, instead of a pushy sales person, you are chasing them for information on work. Account managers often are brought in to objection handle and have little technical ability, they may also have a heavy workload of over 100 accounts to look after. This means your account is not getting enough attention to do well.
At SEO Creative we are transparent about our services, and how we keep our costs low. By using freelancers on a case by case basis we can give you everything you need and more, for a successful campaign and we monitor this with our ROI Reports.