It can be a tough job finding an SEO company that will bring you results. I talk to a lot of people who have been promised the world and not even received a small moon. Finding the right company or person to work with is not easy, especially when it come to SEO. With web designers its a lot easier, you can look at their previous work and visually see what their websites look like, with SEO its different, you can’t visibly see actual work and results – only what they tell you.

This post is going to look at a whole bunch of things to think about and do when picking an SEO specialist – remember to do your own research and take time to talk to people and then go with your gut instinct.

  • Word Of Mouth & Recommendations – Ask around and find out who your friends and neighbors have used for SEO and if they were happy with the results. If they can’t help with recommending someone then do an online search for any SEO companies in your local area. Look at their clients page and phone a few up – Ask for a recommendation; Where they any good? Did they generate results?
  • Do they promise you Number 1 in Google – If they do stay away! Lets get this straight – NOBODY can guarantee you a number one spot in Google unless they are Google themselves! Some guy in an office in Brighton, London or anywhere else has absolutely no control on what appears in the Google search results! What they can do however is make sure your website adheres to all of the different criteria of SEO which will give your website the best chance of getting to the top. Again, stay away from anyone who guarantees you top spot.
  • Ask for a client list – Find out who they have worked for and as mentioned above, phone them up and ask how they got on. If they don’t want to give you the name of a few clients then stay away.
  • What techniques do they use – Ask about techniques. Do they use white or black hat SEO – they should know what you are talking about and answer white; if they say black, stay away. Ask about automated search engine submissions – if they do it stay away – you can get banned for automating submissions. Mention things like keyword density and find out what their thoughts are – should be around 4 – 7%ish. Where do they get their back links from. Expect proper answers and not flannel or politician style answers.
  • How much work will they do – Ask how many hours/days they will spend on your website and decide if its cost effective and worth while. Remember London rates are a lot different from Barnsley rates! Talk to a few different companies and compare what they do and how long they spend on your site. You’d be surprised how it can differ.
  • Do they report back – Find out about their reporting methods and make sure you understand what they are reporting on. Lots of numbers and acronyms may sound good but if you don’t know how to read them then ask. You MUST be able to hold your SEO specialist accountable for work they do on your website.
  • Do you like them – Might sound a bit daft but do you get on with them? Working on an SEO campaign is a fairly close relationship. The SEO person will be wanting to change things on your website that maybe you thought of and really like – you need to be able to get on with them and be able to discuss things, take their advice and offer it as well.

These are the main things you need to be thinking and talking about when choosing an SEO company. Let me know if you think I’ve missed anything or if you agree/disagree. Comments are open below.