Managing search engine optimization (SEO) projects can be challenging for small to mid-sized businesses who need to focus on their own growth and not so much on other facets such as marketing and web traffic. This is why hiring the right SEO managing companies is a significant and high-priority task.
Here is a complete 7-step guide to find the ideal professional SEO company for your needs.
0. Ensure Support from Top Management
Notice that we start from step 0. This is because we cannot replace step 1, but even before that, businesses that are large enough to have multi-tiered management need to take this perfunctory yet significant measure: they need to ensure support from top management.
You need to gain the support, or the green light, or the go-ahead – or whatever you call it – from top management. SEO projects affect the entire business, so everyone in it, especially the people managing at the top, need to be informed, in agreement, and fully supportive of the venture to avoid internal complications down the road to SEO success.
1. Establish Specific, Realistic Business Objectives
Then it’s time for establishing the objectives you wish to achieve through hiring a professional search engine optimization company. You cannot possibly know the nuts and bolts of managing an SEO project, so disregard the intricacies and plot what you deem to be realistic objectives such as:
- Increasing organic traffic threefold in increments of 50% every quarter
- Improving linking structure and overall PageRank authority to 6/10 in one year
- Increasing lead generation and conversion by at least 30% in six months
Then in discussions with candidate companies, let them tell you if your goals are achievable (and why or why not) and how they plan to achieve it for you.
2. Establish in which Areas does the Business Need Assistance from an SEO Company
Some businesses require only a part of their SEO projects managed while others have no SEO in place at all – you need to establish in what facets of SEO projects does your business need help from a professional SEO managing company. You can then discuss with candidates if they have service packages suit your needs. Note that professional SEO companies that have your interests in mind will conduct or offer to conduct an audit of your existing optimization and offer you the services they believe you need most.
3. Establish the Budget Portion for the Venture
Practical,simple, and completely necessary. If you have a financial officer, you may want him to state an initial budget portion consideration and be with you during discussions with candidates.
4. Shortlist Candidates Based on Established Objectives, Needs, and Budget
Now that you know what you want to accomplish, where you need to accomplish them, and how much you can spend in the endeavor, you can shortlist candidate SEO managing companies based on these initial criteria. We will add more criteria to further cut down the list of candidates, but for now you only know what your business needs, and not what candidates can offer – not yet.
5. Cut Down the List of Candidates Based on Features and Services
Once you have a list of candidates you can then request brochures or initial appointments to see what they can offer. Proactive SEO managing companies will ask you upfront about what you need and offer an audit, and while this sounds easier and more straightforward, it is best that at this stage, you just need to know the full range of their services. Audits and discussions can wait.
6. Choose One or Two Partners from the List Based on Project Discussions and ROI
Once you find a list of candidates whose services and packages suit your needs, you can begin earnest discussion and accept audits. Accept as many audits as possible from candidates as this will give you an idea of each SEO managing company’s strengths and weaknesses in analyses as well as their capabilities in SEO by way of how they propose to handle any concerns they encounter during audits. And always, always keep in mind that you need a solid return on investment figure – base this ROI figure on your established objectives. After the discussions and the audits, choose at least a couple of candidates as a main partner and a substitute (or you can even use services from both).
Now, do not easily dismiss your other candidates as your arrangements with existing companies may fall through. Also, during discussions, be open to changes on your established goals, needs, and budgets, as the SEO managing companies will inevitably suggest or recommend adjustments based on what they know to be best. Of course, each company will also have something different to say, which helps you find the right one for your needs.