There are quite a few full service marketing agencies which choose to hand over SEO to the specialists. The fact is that the current focus on quality content makes it easy to do SEO; companies will still give this important job to someone else to handle.

What to look for when Hiring an SEO Firm:

When one is looking to hire an SEO company to provide all kinds of services, the first thing anyone would do is a Google search.

An SEO firm which ranks at the top in a particular geographic area is not necessarily the best choice.  Look for how long it has been in business and what kind of links they have on their site.  The best SEO firm might be a small one as they will be able to devote more time.  Don’t write off companies based on size.  Most SEO companies may look like scams and are not – it is up to a customer to do due diligence and research before hiring.  If things are not working out as intended, it is better to find a newer and better SEO company.

Questions to Ask when Outsourcing:

Search Engine optimization is still evolving and there are just a few rules that govern how things work. To make sure that one has the right SEO partner, the following questions have to be asked:

  • How is the success of SEO campaigns measured? – Does one use metric tools like online sales, leads, calls generated etc. to determine success?
  • How does one decide which search terms to pick?  Detailed analysis is usually a good idea and combined with the type of business model will help determine the right strategy.
  • Creating good content:  Good and user friendly content is now taking precedence along with the use of good keywords.  Search engines like Google keep changing their search algorithms to ensure that they get good websites the rankings they deserve.
  • Integrating SEO with Marketing: SEO is not done alone – making sure that SEO is tied in with advertising and other tools with help devise a good campaign.
  • How does one get more links? – Links are the lifeblood of websites and visibility.  Companies work hard to establish links with popular sites to get good rankings.  Listings in blogs, directories and other sites will help a business.  Ask SEO companies for a list of their link campaigns before outsourcing.
  • What services are provided beyond the initial set up? – A few SEO firms put in work to set up programs by writing copy, researching keywords and getting links initially and then charge on a monthly basis for not doing too much.  A good partner will do work on a regular basis and monitoring competitors too.
  • Biggest success story: At the end of the day, SEO is all about results.  If an SEO company cannot show results for their clients, this should be a red flag for hiring.

Companies have to be sure of what they want before outsourcing – does one need link adding or removal, reputation management, PPC management, or any other services that SEO companies offer? Is the intent to grow business by 15 – 20% over the next 12 months? Having goals already chalked out helps with picking the right SEO partner.  It is very important to communicate goals and make sure they are understood before hiring.  It is also a good idea to talk to a number of SEO companies before picking one for outsourcing.  Getting case studies and client references is vital to the process too. You can also read through the reviews to grab more information.