SEO

Learn How To Choose an SEO Company The Right Way: 7 Basic Aspects

How to Choose an SEO Company

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Last week, I received an email from a local company founder who shared his frustration on an issue—how to choose an SEO company for his website.

“I’m just not sure who to trust,” he admitted.

Most business owners have the same doubts. You can easily find many SEO firms that promise high results (some actually use blackhat techniques), but the truth is, you don’t want to put your business in the hands of a dubious SEO company with the power to kill your website rankings.

Being a blogger interested in increasing my organic traffic and online presence overall, I’ve scoured many SEO agencies and even hired some of them in the past. Backed by my independent blogger experience in the field (despite not having big-brand resources), I’ll guide you through every detail of choosing an SEO agency for your online business.

From assessing reputation and experience through the importance of ethical practices and realistic expectations, let’s see what you should be aware of when it comes to partnering with a company for your SEO campaigns.

Understanding SEO and Its Importance for Businesses

How does one demystify the practice known as Search Engine Optimization or SEO for short?

Understanding SEO infograph

Fundamentally, SEO intertwines the creative and analytical aspects to elevate your site’s visibility on platforms such as Google.

It’s about understanding the following:

  • What people are searching for online.
  • The answers they’re seeking.
  • The specific words they’re using.
  • And the type of content they prefer to consume.

Knowing this will allow you to connect the dots and more importantly, to connect with those looking for what you have to offer.

The importance of SEO cannot be overstated; it’s not just about ranking high on any search engine but ensuring that your website attracts quality traffic which can convert into customers.

Why Every Business Needs SEO

In our current digital times, ensuring you’re seen online is not just desirable–it’s necessary. But just being online isn’t enough.

How visible you are on top search engines can either catapult your business to success or drag it down into obscurity.

Think about it; when was the last time you went past page one of Google’s search results? Rarely ever, right? That’s where good SEO comes into play.

And let’s not forget that most small business owners find SEO companies through Google searches, according to Backlinko stats.

Picture this, when an SEO company like Loganix ranks #1 on Google for the query “guest posting service,” that means something.

Loganix ranking 1 on Google for guest posting service

If they can rank high for such a competitive keyword, they know what they’re doing. And you should pay attention to that when delegating the optimization of your website or content to an SEO agency.

The best SEO agencies have specialized expertise in helping websites rank better, whether it be through keyword research, improving site structure, building quality backlinks, or creating engaging content.

Each aspect plays a significant role in boosting your site’s visibility.

Without investing in a sound business SEO strategy designed by seasoned professionals from a decent SEO service provider, achieving such goals might remain elusive.

Hiring a reputable agency ensures access to industry SEO experts who understand nuances beyond basic optimization strategies—these include technical aspects that improve site speed and user experience, which directly impact rankings too.

How To Choose an SEO Company: 7 Key Factors to Consider

1. Agency Reputation and Experience

A top-notch SEO company doesn’t just appear overnight. It’s built on years of hard work, successful projects, and happy clients.

To gauge an agency’s reputation, start by looking at client testimonials. By going on client review sites like Trustpilot, you’ll tap into genuine client encounters with businesses worldwide, offering valuable perspectives.

But don’t stop there.

Dive deeper by examining case studies and their client roster.

Loganix testimonials and case studies header
Loganix case studies

A reputable SEO firm will proudly showcase its partnerships and successes on its website. Peeking behind the curtain through this openness offers a clear view of their potential triumphs and how these victories mesh with your own aspirations.

The right agency knows search engines evolve constantly—because they’ve seen it firsthand. They adjust their tactics flexibly, ensuring you remain at the forefront of the competition.

This wealth of experience means understanding not just today’s SEO best practices but predicting tomorrow’s as well.

2. Read Positive and Negative Reviews

When it comes to picking an SEO company, diving into the world of reviews is a must. I’ve learned this the hard way.

For example, Loganix has 4.7 out of 5 stars on 68 reviews on Trustpilot.

Loganix Trustpilot reviews

But you should also read their negative reviews to see if the company answers the client trying to resolve any issue.

Negative reviews are more than just unpleasant words; they’re red flags waving at you. But here’s where things get tricky—sifting through them smartly.

For Loganix, they’ve responded to every negative review. They even offer clear details to address and correct any misunderstandings brought up by the customers (who were clearly mistaken).

Trustpilot Loganix negative review by Aref

Loganix responded swiftly:

Loganix answer on Trustpilot Aref's negative review

If an SEO company doesn’t answer negative reviews, that may very well be a sign for you not to do business with them.

Because, let’s be honest, can you find a single company in the marketing field with zero negative reviews? I sure can’t!

Also, some negative feedback might highlight consistent issues, such as poor communication or ineffective strategies, that could directly impact your project’s success.

A single bad review doesn’t spell doom but several mentioning the same problems should set off alarms.

Here's something practical I do: balance what you find against positive feedback and see which weighs heavier.

Remember though, every agency has its ups and downs—a few negatives don’t always mean disaster. Studies indicate the manner in which businesses address critiques profoundly reflects their dedication and zeal for enhancement.

In essence, doing your homework pays off in avoiding potential pitfalls later down the line because getting tangled up with an agency sporting a track record of dissatisfaction can derail even the most well-thought-out digital marketing strategy.

3. Transparency and Ethics

Finding a respectable SEO company means finding one that speaks your language, not just in terms of jargon but also when it comes to transparency and ethics.

Clear communication about strategies, timelines, and pricing isn’t just nice to have—it’s essential.

But here’s something you might not know: Ethical SEO practices are directly linked to long-term success.

Companies using black-hat techniques may offer quick wins but can lead to severe penalties from search engines. It’s a risky game that can do more harm than good for your website’s ranking.

For instance, Cryptomize openly uses black-hat SEO practices to boost website rankings in what they call black-hat marketing.

Cryptomize black hat seo methods

And then they encourage you to hire their SEO services…

What??

Yes, such a company exists.

To measure an agency’s commitment to ethical practices, don’t shy away from asking hard questions:

  • How do they stay updated with Google’s ever-changing algorithms?
  • Can they share examples of how they’ve navigated algorithm updates in the past?

Gaining this knowledge can prove to be exceptionally beneficial.

You’ll want an agency that doesn’t just talk the talk but walks the walk too. An SEO firm ought to furnish transparent summaries or order sheets, to help you visualize the whole process.

Loganix order sheet example
Loganix order sheet for guest posts
If an agency hesitates or beats around the bush when discussing their methods or results, consider it a red flag.

The bottom line is this: Ethical SEO isn’t just about avoiding penalties; it’s about building a solid foundation for sustained growth online.

So make sure you partner with someone who understands this as well as you do.

4. Understand Your Business Goals

Choosing the right SEO company starts with knowing what you’re playing for. I’ve been down this road, and trust me, clarity on your end makes all the difference.

Your SEO goals could be:

  • Boosting online sales.
  • Increasing your domain authority and digital footprint.
  • Or climbing to page one of Google for a specific article.

Every objective needs a distinct approach tailored to its specific needs. So, when talking to potential agencies, lay it out clearly.

This step saved my skin more than once because it let me see if they really got what I was aiming for or just nodding along. A good fit will ask probing questions about your targets and suggest realistic ways to hit them.

When an agency’s know-how meshes perfectly with what your business seeks, that’s where the real enchantment unfolds. But remember, not every firm will suit your specific puzzle piece.

Understanding SEO is fundamental but meshing that with understanding your business? That's where success lies.

To dig deeper into this synergy between an SEO company’s offerings and a business’s objectives, Moz’s Beginner Guide to SEO is a great starting point. It offers insights into how tailored strategies are developed based on different goals.

5. Will They SEO Audit Your Site?

An SEO audit is like a health check for your website: It reveals the effective components, identifies the shortcomings, and pinpoints areas ripe for advancement. From my experience, it’s the first step to crafting an action plan that truly moves the needle.

A thorough audit covers everything from site structure to content quality and backlink profiles. But here’s something I learned along the way: not all audits are created equal. The level of scrutiny applied in evaluations can differ significantly across different firms.

Loganix full SEO audit sample

To make sure you’re getting valuable insights, ask if their audits look at user experience aspects too. Why? Because search engines care about how people interact with your site. A study shared by Moz highlights this very point—user experience signals have become increasingly important in rankings.

Items a good SEO audit should include:

  • On-page review
  • Keyword research
  • URL equity
  • Competitor analysis
  • Backlink and keyword analysis
  • Content audit
  • Page speed review
  • Schema audit
  • Recommendations

A good SEO company should not only be able to do an audit of your website but also offer the service to fix everything for you. example

Last but not least is mobile optimization. With most web traffic now coming from mobile devices, as detailed by Statista, ensuring your site performs well on smartphones and tablets isn’t just optional; it’s essential.

6. Can They Develop a Content Strategy Relevant to Your Business?

Discovering an SEO company capable of designing a content plan bespoke to your company’s needs is akin to stumbling upon a tailor with the precise expertise to highlight your most flattering attributes.

A good agency dives deep into keyword research, sure. But the real magic happens when they weave those keywords into blog posts, videos, and social media that speak directly to your audience’s needs and interests.

A skilled agency will present real-life demonstrations, illustrating their expertise in harmonizing technical SEO tactics with imaginative content plans that appeal equally to search algorithms and human audiences.

7. Make Realistic Expectations

Crafting realistic expectations mirrors the process of nurturing a tree to maturity; it’s an endeavor that unfolds over time, not instantaneously. You don’t get shade the next day. SEO is similar because it’s a long-term game, not an overnight success story.

Companies promising quick fixes often cut corners or use risky tactics that could harm your site in the long run. As a rule of thumb, a noticeable uptick in SEO performance typically unfolds within 4 to 6 months, so don’t expect quick wins immediately.

Depending on factors like your site’s present condition, how competitive your niche is, and the methods the SEO firm you pick uses, the duration until you see results can greatly fluctuate.

Also, if you want them to do blogger outreach and write high-quality content while adding your link (called link-building) on a high-authority website relevant to your niche, don’t expect to pay $100. Expect two or three times that, or even more, depending on the website’s prestigiousness and influence.

Loganix guest post services pricing list

One reason I like Loganix is that, unlike others, they disclose the websites they work with. As you can see, big sites like Business Insider and Forbes charge thousands for a single guest post with a link back to your site. You can also find some high DR sites charging less than $300.

Add to that the type of link (dofollow or nofollow), and you’ll see why building links requires a big budget for big results.

average link insert cost by domain rating
Source: Ahrefs

But don’t rely on backlinks only for your SEO strategy. Yes, links are important, but the quality of the content on your site matters as much.

Don't confuse building links through guest posts with buying links. When you buy links for the sake of ranking on search engines, you're violating Google's guidelines. However, even with good content and personalized emails, some site owners charge for link spots, leading many SEOs to buy guest posts. This means that any of these strategies can be considered risky.

Ultimately, it’s crucial for both you and your chosen SEO partner to have clear, mutual expectations right from the start.

Red Flags To Look For When Choosing An SEO Company

SEO is a vast world, and it’s not always shining, especially when Google decides to update its algorithm and your traffic drops! You thought you were playing by the rules, and suddenly, you must rethink your strategy.

The same applies to an SEO company. That’s why you must choose wisely. Here are some red flags you should keep an eye out for when selecting an SEO company to work with you.

  • Guaranteed Rankings: Real SEO work does not come with guarantees. Due to the ever-evolving algorithms of search engines, promises of guaranteed #1 rankings are unrealistic and a red flag.
  • Instant Results: SEO is a marathon, not a sprint. Any company claiming to deliver instant results should trigger skepticism. Effective SEO strategies take time to yield results, typically several months.
  • One-Size-Fits-All Packages: Beware of SEO companies offering one-size-fits-all package deals. Effective SEO strategies are tailored to the specific needs and goals of each business.
  • Lack of Transparency: A reputable SEO company will be open about its methods, providing clear explanations and regular updates on their strategies and progress. A lack of transparency is a major red flag.
  • Very Low Prices: While competitive pricing is expected, prices that seem too good to be true often are. Extremely low prices may mean the company uses black-hat techniques, which can do more harm than good.
  • No Case Studies or References: Legitimate SEO companies will have case studies or references from past clients to showcase their success. The absence of these could indicate inexperience or ineffective service.
  • Overemphasis on Keyword Rankings Alone: While keywords are important, focusing solely on rankings without considering overall site traffic, user experience, and conversions is shortsighted.
  • Secret Strategies: If a company is secretive about the strategies it plans to employ, proceed with caution. Ethical SEO practices are no secret and should be fully disclosed to clients.

5 Benefits of Hiring an SEO Company

seo search engine optimization

Teaming up with an SEO company brings you so many advantages in terms of how much of an impact you want to see.

Let’s break down the benefits of outsourcing some (or all) of your SEO work to an expert agency.

1. Expert Knowledge

SEO companies specialize in this field.

They spend a good amount of time learning and trying out what they’ve learned until they’ve got the process down pat.

They do all of this learning in order to help you get better rankings in the search engines because no matter how good their rankings look, if their rankings suck, you won’t be able to cash in on that success if you hire them.

2. Time-Saving

SEO can be time-consuming, involving keyword research, content creation, and link building.

An SEO company allows you to take the focus off of your business and put it on a new level, helping to increase your business.

It’s a bit like hiring a professional chef for your restaurant while you focus on the customer service and ambiance.

3. Better Results

Due to their expertise, SEO companies can often achieve better and faster results than if you were to do it yourself.

You are aware that your competition is marketing in much the same way you have in the past, so your strategy can be created with the idea of learning from your competitor’s mistakes and duplicating their successes.

Or, if your marketing goals differ drastically from the norm, a professional SEO company can still write a customized plan for you. They know what you need to strategize to reach your particular targeted audience.

I don’t have any doubt that link building through the placements that we get through Loganix is moving the needle, specifically for local clients (…)

David Reich, Founder of SixEstate

4. Analytics and Reporting

An SEO company can provide elaborate analytics and reports on your site’s performance. They usually use on-page SEO tools for information on traffic, rankings, and conversion rates—it’s the SEO audit we talked about before.

Understanding these metrics is crucial for knowing what’s working and what needs improvement. Think of it as a health check-up for your website, indicating areas of strength and where attention is needed.

5. Continuous Optimization

SEO is not a one-time job but an ongoing process.

A good SEO company stays on top of trends and algorithm updates (at least it should), ensuring your website remains competitive. Most SEO firms offer ongoing plans, so as long as you remain a customer, they’ll remain on top of your site.

Practical Example of an SEO Agency Work

For a practical example, consider how a local restaurant might use an SEO company to increase its visibility online. Here are some hypothetical steps that could be executed:

  1. Implement strategies targeting local search queries, like “restaurant near me” or “best vegan dinner in [location].”
  2. Optimize the restaurant’s website for those keywords.
  3. Improve its Google My Business listing.
  4. Generate quality backlinks from local food blogs.

The restaurant could see a significant increase in website traffic and, consequently, more customers walking through its doors.

The Bottom Line

Finding how to choose an SEO company can seem like a maze. But now, you’ve got a pretty uncomplicated map.

The key point here is not whether you should trust your website to an SEO company or not. It all depends on your time, team size, budget, and main goals.

They can help you free your time to focus on other aspects of your business, such as partnerships, building your product, or anything else you feel is important.

Lastly, SEO takes time, so be patient and play by the rules.

Vaslou is a passionate digital creator and blogger who loves to explore unique paths to generate online income. He’s also a musician, always looking for exciting paths to articulate his inventive spirit in the musical realm. When he’s not at work on his online endeavors, Vasco loves to delve into spiritual realms to become a better version of himself.

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