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6 Things to Consider when Choosing an SEO Firm

Updated on March 25, 2011

If you’ve already decided to hire a professional search engine optimization firm for your website or business, you’re already one step ahead of your competition. Unless of course, they’re hiring an SEO firm too. However, you can retain the edge over your competitors if you choose a more qualified company to handle your SEO campaign. The success of your website in the search engines has a lot to do with the professional SEO firm you hire, so to truly improve your rankings, you first need to hire the best company out there.

  1. Avoid companies that promise too much – While SEO can do a lot to help your website, no firm can promise number one rankings. If they promise you the number one spot in Google because they know someone on the inside, they are lying. There aren’t any shortcuts when it comes to search engine optimization, and a company that promises short, perfect results is only going to take your money.
  2. Google them – Make sure the company you hire can actually do SEO for themselves with the competitive keywords of their industry. If they show up for these words, then they can likely help you with yours.
  3. Avoid black hat companies – If they try to impress you with the number of automatic directories they do, run in the opposite direction. There are some tactics that will get you banned from Google, and while these “professional” SEO firms might charge you less, you will pay more when it comes to penalties.
  4. Look at case studies – Any professional search engine optimization company will have multiple case studies for you to consider. These case studies give you a good idea of how they might be able to help your business, but remember to ask if you can actually talk to a current client if you can.
  5. Find reviews and get recommendations – If you know someone who has worked with an SEO company before, ask them about their experience and whether they would recommend the business or not. Scour the forums and other online resources to find reviews and ask for reputable companies. Take some of these reviews with a grain of salt though, as some will be from savvy marketers who overstate their own brilliance and others will be from jaded customers who might not be telling you the entire story.
  6. Compare multiple companies – SEO takes awhile, so you want to make sure you choose a company who you are comfortable working with for a long time. Your website will take months to really start showing better rankings, so take the time before you sign on with a company to make sure that they compare favorably with other firms.

There are a lot of other things to keep in mind when you are looking to hire a professional SEO firm, but the biggest thing to remember is to simply take your time. Salespeople might pressure you to make an immediate decision, but if you take the time to feel comfortable with your decision, you will have a better experience overall.

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