In this day and age, companies need to have an online presence in order to stay relevant. The combination of increasingly fast-paced lifestyles and the proliferation of social media has led to millions of people looking to the Internet for online solutions to their various needs. These days, you can buy pretty much anything, from party favors to European vacation packages, without leaving the comfort of your home or office.
But amidst so many competitors online, how does an online business manage to stand out? One of the keys to staying ahead of your competitors on the Internet is through staying on top of search results. Search portals are typically used by potential customers and clients to look for online purveyors who can cater to their product and/or service needs. Most of them end up choosing the first company that appears on the first search results page, and few, if any, ever move on to the next page of results.
Thus, the main focus of SEO is to ensure that your website ends up very close to the top of the search results page. There are many SEO companies out there that offer this very service, but how do you determine if the SEO agency you are eyeing is among the best?
Ideally, the best SEO companies should have most of the following qualities:
1.)A comprehensive understanding of the three SEO levels. A successful SEO campaign should take into account the three SEO levels:
a.On-page optimization, which uses elements like HTML tags and keywords to help search engines “crawl through” your website better and thus generate more traffic
b.Off-page optimization, which uses strategies like back-linking from other websites to accomplish the same goal
c.Technical, which pertains to the structural integrity of your site and how well it is indexed. (Search engines generally prefer sites that its “crawlers” can easily find their way around.)
Focusing on just one or two of the aforementioned aspects would only yield mediocre results. A topnotch SEO agency should be equally proficient in managing all three levels of SEO for your website.
2.)High level of responsiveness. While it’s true that the best SEO companies usually have a lot on their plate, this should never be an excuse for them not to get back to you within a reasonable time frame. A really good SEO company should assign a manager or a group to handle your company’s account and to attend to any of the concerns that may arise during the duration of the project.
Also, another sign of a topnotch SEO company is if they are able to adjust their level of being hands-on according to your needs and inclinations. For instance, they should be able to provide you with periodic reports and/or updates containing statistics on your site traffic, should you require it. Inversely, they should also be able to refrain from peppering you with too many questions if you prefer to give them a wider berth in carrying out their job.
3.)A favorable track record. No matter how good your potential SEO company’s portfolio and project outline might be, they should still have a fairly long list of happy customers who can testify about the effectiveness of their services. For best results, ask the company to provide you with the contact details of three of their most recent clients and use them to inquire about how the project went.
Topnotch SEO companies should have at least a handful of clients who can confidently say that their hired services genuinely made a favorable difference in their online business.
4.)Transparency. While an in-demand SEO company may want to keep their winning strategies a trade secret, the best ones should still be quite open about sharing the relevant parts of their SEO plan with you. They should also be able to answer and assuage some of your most pressing questions and/or concerns with complete honesty.
5.)First-rate communication skills. No matter how good an SEO company might be, they cannot always do everything themselves. There may be a time where they will need the assistance of your staff to make some key changes to your website. In cases like these, the ones in charge of your account should be able to properly communicate what needs to be done (and why) to the concerned parties in a way that everyone understands.
Lastly, a great SEO company should also be able to use these same communication skills to present your business’ message in the way that you intended.
6.)Curiosity and an acceptance of change. SEO is clearly a dynamic field. With so many developments on the Internet and on its most prominent search engines, you’re going to need someone who remains curious about how the latter’s crawlers work and how this knowledge can be used to the client’s advantage. In a world where the axiom “innovate or die” applies to just about every market, it is important to steer clear of any company that has ceased being curious about recent developments and merely relies on outdated information to get things done.
7.)The will to get things done. Any SEO company will inevitably come across challenges and setbacks in the process of raising your company website’s profile, but the best ones always find a way to make things work despite these. Another favorable sign is if the SEO company quickly acts on the action plan that they presented to you prior to putting the project in motion. This indicates that they are efficient and that they know how to work with a timeline to accomplish each and every goal that both of you have lined up at the beginning of the project.