Tuesday, July 30, 2013

SEO Agencies: How to Find the Right One to Work With

One of the necessary strategies that entrepreneurs need to incorporate into an effective business plan is an efficient marketing strategy. For most businesses, particularly ones that are small and do business locally, there are many ways to get your business in front of local consumers.

Traditional marketing methods such as word of mouth, billboards, print ads, radio, etc. are strategies that entrepreneurs need to consider. Aside from word of mouth marketing that you get from providing a great product or service, when it comes to ROI, the Internet is the most likely source of achieving measurable gains for growth.

For young businesses, getting your company in front of local consumers is absolutely essential, and investing in a local SEO strategy that targets these local consumers who are in the market for what you have to sell can have a huge impact on the financial direction of your business in the long-term.

Finding an SEO agency to work with that will work to earn you maximum exposure in front of these local consumers is the first step. But knowing what traits to look for in an SEO agency that you can trust to deliver the results – while delivering essential gains from your investment – isn’t always that clear.

So, what do you need to consider when making the critical decision on which SEO agency you want to work with to solidify the future of your small business?


Experience and Reputation are Crucial

SEO is a complex undertaking with many layers that come into play to execute properly.  It’s not an investment you want to entrust in an amateur. When sifting through the massive amounts of SEO agencies out there, pinpointing an agency with proven experience and results greatly increases your odds for success.

It’s important to do your background check on each SEO agency, asking for references and examples of past work. Check out their testimonials and search around to see where their current clients are ranking in the results.

If a prospective SEO agency that you’re vetting doesn’t have solid references, sketchy online reviews, and has produced mediocre results for their current clients, it’s probably best to avoid working with that agency.


Expensive Services Doesn’t Mean the Best

When it comes to SEO agencies, your company can absolutely spend as much or as little as it wants on SEO services. Depending on the size/scope of your project, larger SEO agencies can charge monthly retainers in the 5 digit figures. The thing you need to know as a business owner is just because an SEO agency is charging an exorbitant amount to optimize your site, that doesn't necessarily mean that firm is going to provide the best results for your project, particularly when it comes to getting a return for your investment.

The agency that you need to work with shouldn't be a cut rate $100/month firm either. An agency that works on that sort of a budget has “Black Hat SEO” written all over it.

Find your company a reputable SEO agency that has a great track record in achieving results for both rankings and ROI, because in the end even if you're spending $1000/month on your SEO services, if you're making an additional $3000/month in sales because of it, it's well worth your investment.


Be Sure to Ask Questions

When selecting an SEO agency, be sure you get the full picture on what that agency is about, and what methods they utilize to get results for their clients by asking the right questions. Dig deep into their strategies to make sure they don't participate in unethical SEO practices that could get you penalized by the search engines.

Also be sure to determine what deliverables you can expect from your agency, in particular which types of reporting is produced and how often you'll get progress reports, etc. Transparency is a sure sign that your SEO agency is working in your best interests and will be working toward achieving your objectives.

Not all agencies are built equal, and as an entrepreneur/business owner, you need to be certain that you're investing your time, effort, and money into an agency that will deliver results ethically, at the right price, and will help you build your business into what you want it to be.

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