How to Choose an SEO Company. My Recommendations to Choosing an SEO Company

So, you have a small business, a commerce website and you want to start using the internet to promote your business, first of all, congrats on making it to 2019, second, now you want to know how to choose an SEO company right? Well, maybe not. Many business owners today jump right into hiring SEO companies to do their ” dirty ” work for them, when they should ask themselves first, do I really need an SEO company or can I just work on my own. Many small business owners are just that, too small to work with SEO agencies or companies.

This might come as a surprise to you, but getting a GOOD SEO company or freelancer to work with you will NOT cost $200 per month. So many business owners think that they can just throw a tiny budget at this thing called SEO and magically traffic will come. It doesn’t work that way. SEO is just another channel to market your business same as PPC, Social media or direct advertising, and similar to the fact that investing $200 in paid ads won’t get you far, $200 in SEO won’t bring anything basically.

You have to be realistic, SEO takes time, it takes effort and a lot of strategy planning and thinking, so the good companies will charge what they are worth, and if you are serious about your business, you should know that right?

How to choose an SEO company – Do you really need one?

Before diving in on the question of choosing an SEO company, let’s understand if you really need one to begin with. Let’s say you have a one man locksmith business. You work by yourself, you do a few jobs per day and make decent living, you have a crappy website because you don’t know much about all that.

In this situation, you really can’t afford a decent SEO guy or company, and it would be best for you to invest a few hours every week from your own time to learn the basics and write your own content. Why? Because paying a SEO company $1,500 per month will probably cost more than your time learning.

Now let’s look at the same example from a different angle. 

Fast forward a few years, you worked your butt off, you grew nicely, now you have a team of 5 vans, and you cover a much larger area taking in 10+ jobs per day, you have a budget, you already know a few things about marketing, you ran a few local ads that did ok, and you want to expand.

This is the perfect time to hire an SEO agency, why? Because you already have a good base, and your time is worth more now, so sitting around trying to learn SEO will probably won’t be the best use of your time. So getting an SEO company to help you scale is the right idea now.

Choosing an SEO company – First step

how to choose an seo company

First thing you need to do before you even start looking for an SEO company is understand your goal. Please ask yourself these questions before you even pick up the phone and dial:

  1. What is my goal here? What am I trying to achieve?
  2. How much extra work can I handle realistically
  3. What is my budget? ( Can I afford 6 months of SEO work with no issues? )
  4. Am I willing to release control of my website and listing to the pros?

Let’s break down these 4 questions and understand each one in more detail:

What is my goal with hiring an SEO company?

This should be your first question, and NO, just getting more traffic to your site is not a good answer. Most businesses who are looking to grow usually want to see more leads, more sales coming in from the marketing channel they invest in, in this case Search Engine Optimization.

So ask yourself, how many more leads and sales will you want to get, and set that as goal. A lot of businesses use the financial approach and just calculate how many new clients they need to bring in to pay for the SEO service. For example:

If you profit from each new client $500 per month, and you pay your SEO company $2,000 per month, you will need to bring in 4 new clients each month to pay for that service, at least not to loose money on it. Anything above that and it’s pure profit for you.

NOTE – Some companies use SEO for brand awareness and want to increase their brand exposure to relevant audiences and less concern with new leads every month. Usually bigger more establish companies have a much more long term view

So once we figure out what is our goal, and what are we trying to achieve, we can start looking for a search engine optimization company.

How to choose a search engine optimization company – How much extra work can I handle

This is a great question to ask. And I don’t mean that in a bad way, while new clients from SEO won’t start showing up so quickly, it is still a good idea to plan ahead and figure out how much new work can you handle. If you expect your SEO efforts to bring in 5 – 10 new jobs per week, you should be able to accommodate them, this means maybe hiring more staff, getting a new van and equipment etc.

You know your business better than anyone, so you should know how to prepare to more work. The last thing you want is to new clients to order your service and you not able to fulfil orders, that’s just not professional and annoying for both sites.

How to choose an SEO agency – What’s my budget

This is probably the most popular question business owners should ask themselves before they talk to an SEO pro. There are so many owners out there who say they want the best SEO company and service but they won’t pay the premium. Like anything good in life, if it’s really that good, it won’t be cheap.

So if you plan on choosing a top notch SEO company, be prepare to pay the premium.

How much do SEO companies charge anyway? 

There is a big range in budgets, but I would say that the GOOD companies, those with years of experience and solid track record will usually start at around $750 per month and can climb to $10,000 per month ( obviously depending on client work load )

I would say though that if you want to get good results over time, you should consider investing at least $1,000 per month in a good SEO company that will help you.

After understanding our budget, we should also make sure we have enough of it. It’s not common that SEO clients think that within the first month of work you will start seeing results, while this can happen, it is not very common as usually with SEO work it takes a few months to start seeing the results of the work you do. I would say at around 3 months of consistent work you should start seeing results.

So a good rule of thumb is to have at least 6 months of SEO budget ready to give the company enough time to do their thing and show you what they can do for you. If you don’t have the budget or patience to wait, you can always invest it in other marketing channels such as paid advertising to see quicker returns.

Chose an SEO company guide – Am I willing to release control of my website?

Let’s face it, SEO companies work on your site. And if you don’t want to give control over it, it will be hard to provide with solid results. While the design of the website can remain the same ( unless you have a really poor design and bad UX ) most SEO companies need access to the site to publish content, optimize old pages and fix technical issues that are holding your website down.

So if you’re a control freak that doesn’t let anyone touch their site. It will be a problem, just know this in advance.

Now that we know the basics of choosing an SEO agency for our business, let’s look at how you actually find one.

How to find an SEO company

So, now we now the goals, the budget and are willing to give control, we are ready to start talking with SEO companies, but where do we find them? The simple answer is just search Google. YUP, so easy right? Obviously good Search Engine Optimization companies will show up high on the search results for relevant keywords you search for, so just browse to and search something like this” Best SEO company { your state } ”

This will bring back a lot of results by companies who did their SEO right to rank for that search term, now you can start prospecting and leaving your details on their websites and let them call you.

Importent note

The common sense say that the first result to show up when you search for ” SEO company { Your town } ” is probably the best is not always true, think about this. A great SEO company does such an amazing job that they get most of their clients via worth of mouth and client referrals, they are swamped with work and clients, so they don’t need to invest much in their own website.

This is actually pretty common with great SEO companies, so while searching online for SEO companies, take this into consideration and don’t just rely on Google to tell you who’s first.

Don’t trust ” TOP SEO lists ” sites completely. 

While there are great SEO companies on these sites for sure, don’t just assume the first results are the best. These top sites are usually very biased toward the companies that will pay them the most money so they will rank them high on their internal website.

So be aware before you choose an SEO company from a top SEO list type site.

Please please and again please, don’t look for a quick win, or secret sauce or anything like that. If something sounds too good to be true, it probably is, the old saying can’t be more accurate when it comes to SEO. If someone promises you to rank for all your target keywords within 30 days if you just hire them, that is most likely a scam.

SEO takes time, the good companies will work hard and long on your project before you can see meaningful results from it. just use common sense and you will be fine.

Once you get on the phone with a potential SEO company, here are a few good questions to ask:

  1. How long have you beed in business?
  2. How many clients do you have or had in my industry?
  3. What was the results for those clients?
  4. Can I see a few case studies about similar projects?
  5. What is the process like? What will the day to day or week by week look like?

These are just a few examples, but they give you an idea of the things you should ask your potential SEO company, just to get a feel of how they work and if you’re a good fit for each other.

There are a lot of SEO companies that do specific things like content marketing, or link building, or technical SEO etc, so you want to make sure what they offer is good for your business and type of website.

Look at the reviews

Established SEO companies will have a track record, that means they have reviews, either on Google My Business profile, or other ranking websites, just search for their name and read the reviews and try to see if people who already worked with them were happy.

How long have they been in business

You don’t want to hire the newest SEO company around, SEO takes time to build and the skills takes years to develop. Try and find a company that has been around for at least a few years and have a track record to show.

Ask for past clients in your industry

Did they worked on similar websites to yours in the past? If yes, ask for the reference or look at a case study, this is an excellent indication of their work.

What was the results

Obviously, if you find that the company did not provide the results you need, you might want to search elsewhere

What is the process like? 

There are various types of methods and strategies to SEO, and you won’t like all of them, like anything in life, you will probably feel more comfortable executing one plan other the other, for example, you don’t really like to build many backlinks and prefer to rely more on quality content, so you need a SEO company that can produce high quality content for you on a regular basis.

The point is, it needs to be a good fit, you need to feel right about what they do, and agree with it. Even if you don’t understand all the ins and outs of the trade.

Here are a few tips for choosing an Search Engine Optimization company you can do yourself

Follow them on social media and read their blog

Follow the companies you are interested in to see what kind of content they put out, can you relate to it? Is it good quality? Do they even maintain a social profile of any kind? Read their blog to see what kind of content they put out and if they know what they’re talking about.

Ask about the terms and fees 

Every SEO company work differently and offer different contracts and terms. You should ask before hand what are their terms, and payment fees.

Ask for an audit or consultation call

Most SEO companies offer a free audit or consultation meeting or call. This is their way of showing you a little preview of what they can do for you. So ask for it, and see if you like the results and that they make sense to you.

My tips for choosing an Search Engine Optimization company

There are a lot of things to consider I know, but before you sign that agreement, I want to give you my 2 cents on the whole thing. I noticed from personal experience that too many companies are focused on rankings and how high can I push my client’s sites in the SERP. This is a mistake.

While getting high ranks is great and nice, it is NOT the actual goal of a good SEO campaign, you should aim for more leads, more sales, or at least more exposure for your business if you want to establish your brand. More traffic doesn’t automatically means better results. Remember that!

Understand that SEO is a long term process, don’t get into it for just 1 or 2 months, you need to invest time and money long term to see the results. Some of my most successful campaigns took around 6 months to get off the ground, but once they did, they never stopped growing. Think about where you want to be with your business 12 months from now, and not just 30 days from now.

This is how you win long term, and choosing an SEO company to help you get there is very important.

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