Youâ€™re a small business owner that knows the importance of internet marketing and search engine optimization (SEO) but you donâ€™t have the time or knowledge to take it on yourself. So youâ€™ve decided to hire an SEO firm and need to find a qualified marketer you can trust.
Unfortunately there are lots of Small Business SEO â€˜expertsâ€™ â€“ some are great and others need to go back to school. The best way to find the right SEO company for your business is to have a basic understanding of how SEOs work so youâ€™ll know what to expect. Itâ€™s all about asking the right questions.
Remember youâ€™re looking for a long-term relationship. Good SEO results take a little while to get established and need to be maintained and improved as time goes by. Business environments change and so do search engine criteria. Your SEO company needs to stay current on the latest trends and changes.
Below are a few SEO-related questions to help you sort the good from the not-so-good providers out there.
- What sort of training and experience do you have?
An established track record is a good starting point, but many SEO experts come from various backgrounds. If the company is new, ask about other relevant experience and training.
- Whatâ€™s the average length of time you work with clients?
It usually takes a few months for SEO efforts to show major improvements on search engines like Google and Bing. Look for companies that have ongoing relationships with past clients.
- What adjustments have you made after the most recent Google changes?
Google is continually tweaking and changing how they assess and rank websites. Itâ€™s important that SEO companies stay up to date. This question will help you assess their current knowledge.
- Do you use templates or standardized SEO programs?
Avoid companies that skip the research and rely on computer programs. Your company is unique and the best results will come from customized SEO efforts.
- What is your reporting method?
You want regular, detailed reports. Remember SEO results take time, but you should begin to see improvements within two or three months.
- Who owns the web content?
Clearly state that you expect to own the copyright of any content that is generated. This prevents the company from reusing or spinning pages.
Remember you arenâ€™t just looking for increased web traffic, but you want quality clicks. Black Hat links that drive the wrong viewers to your site can hurt your page ranking in the long run. The right SEO professionals will work hard to drive the customers that want and need your services to your small business website.