Over the last few years, online search engine optimisation companies have proliferated as marketing techniques budgets have moved online. This does not make choosing one for your company always easy, but you can find certain aspects to look out for when ensuring the company you choose will not only do an excellent job, but also do it in an ethical manner.
Some of the common problems seen with SEO companies through the years include:
* Tying you right into a long term contract when you may not require it
* Keeping charge of all of your data and SEO accounts, in order that when there is any disagreement, you lose access to all you have bought
* Failure to adhere to best practice and established guidelines from your industry
* No focus on return on your own investment
* No SEO training or education given to your in-house staff so they can handle some/all the work over time
An ethical SEO company will endeavour to offer you the best value services for the money, which generate a clear ROI for you, protect your website asset from your unscrupulous methodologies, and ensure that more than time, your company will be able to conduct most of the techniques for itself.
Contracts: It is essential to make sure that you are not likely to be tied into any lengthy contract. Particularly when you are beginning over a new business relationship, it will always be better to have a trial run, or even a short contract, to ensure the working relationship proceeds smoothly which the quality of service is good.
The truth is, with a newly engaged SEO company, you will find certain processes which can be borken down into ‘modules’ and which will allow any work to proceed in small chunks. For example, no SEO company should start a campaign without first conducting an SEO audit or appraisal, and report back to you personally about what is working with your website and online marketing, what isn’t, and what recommendations they may have based on the results you wish to achieve.
Similarly, keyword brainstorms and research, competitive analysis, identifying your target audience, and lots of other aspects can be conducted inside a 2-4 week timespan, and lengthy contracts are certainly not required.
Data and Accounts: All your data as well as any third party accounts set up as your representative (for example, analytics and PPC) should be open to you all the time and you should possess the passwords and usage of these. Copies of any data generated as your representative – keyword lists, traffic analysis, conversion rates and so on should be made available to you regularly. There may be instances when bespoke application is utilized in-house from the company for the business, but usually reports can be purchased out of this, or even access to a customer area within the software.
Best practice guidelines: You really do not want to employ a ‘black hat’ SEO agency unless you have a deathwish for your company. Black hat SEO uses techniques which, whilst they may generate astounding brings about the short-term, are usually bereft of any long-term benefits and can get your domain and website penalised for months if not years. Check which industry bodies your preferred company is really a member of, and ask for specific details of what they intend to do today to market your site.
Give attention to return on investment: A bit of good SEO company wants their actions to help you more income so that you keep employing them, as opposed to just blow the budget and let you proceed! It really is that simple.
Training and Education: There are many SEO and internet marketing tasks which your business, even if full of non-techies can undertake, thereby saving you money. A great SEO company will endeavour to determine which actions you could execute in-house and supply training to ensure this can happen. Additionally, online marketing techniques roll over to the offline world, and can complement their actions if you are made aware of the best way to employ these techniques successfully. Webinars, white papers, regular newsletter, and fuktnf sessions are a great indication of a company worth dealing with.
Any ethical SEO company will include many of these factors and potentially much more which will give you confidence that this company you select has sound ethics for search engine optimisation and online marketing.
Phil Robinson is an experienced online marketing consultant and Founder of ClickThrough Marketing – a worldwide Search Engine Marketing & Online Marketing agency. ClickThrough are experts in Seo, Pay Per Click Marketing, Online PR, Social Marketing & Website Conversion Strategies.