The cutthroat nature and breakneck pace of evolution in the business world make it crucial that you get specialists for your small business or startup company. You need to make your mark in your industry within the first year, and that means acquiring the help of a reliable and trustworthy SEO company. There are many different stages that a small business must go through to establish itself, but it can make the transition easier by getting specialist help.
That is easier said than done because hundreds of different digital marketing services claim to offer top-notch SEO services. Most of these services will claim to deliver the best services to clients at the lowest prices to attract attention, but the reality is that they fail to meet the standards. This makes it even more difficult for startup businesses to identify trustworthy and reliable SEO services that know what they are doing. If you are in the same boat, you don’t need to worry because we will highlight what factors you should be looking at when making your choice.
1- The Importance of Reliability in SEO
The reason why we are focusing on trustworthiness and reliability in search engine optimization is that there are numerous cases of startup businesses failing to identify the right services. This leads to their downfall because, as a startup or small business, you don’t have the comfort of making a wrong decision in your first year. They acquire SEO services at affordable prices, and after the initial boost, they experience a massive drop in traffic, leading to disaster.
That is an unfortunate situation for any startup business to find themselves in because they pay top dollar rates and expect reliable and trustworthy search engine optimization. However, the reality of the situation is that some SEO companies trick small businesses with deceitful tactics, which can threaten their very existence. Therefore, you should have patience and never rush to acquire the services of an SEO company that is saying all the right things.
Take your time researching your options, because finding a reliable and trustworthy SEO service is very important for your business if you have plans to promote your products, services, and brand online. To help you make the right decision, here is what you need to be doing when looking for SEO firms:
1.1- Step 1- Decide why you need to hire an SEO company
You should first look to establish trust with the SEO company that you want to hire because that is the only way you will find a reliable service. This means you should be upfront and honest about why you want to hire an SEO company. Don’t follow the trend in the industry because if you don’t need search engine optimization, why bother?
So, the question is, how do you know that you require an SEO service from a digital marketing company? Here are some instances where you will need to hire an SEO Company for digital optimization:
- Your website hasn’t been optimized for search engines, social media, or users.
- You want to strengthen or build on your online presence.
- You want to find new customers in other digital markets, i.e., mobile.
- You have a website, but you don’t attract any traffic.
- You don’t have a website and want to build a proper online presence in your industry.
- You are getting website traffic but not customers (i.e., conversions)
1.2- Step 2- Where can you find a good SEO firm?
So, once you have found out that you need SEO services, where do you find a trustworthy SEO company offering services at affordable rates? You must go online to search for them, as they won’t advertise in your local newspaper or magazine. However, we don’t want to put any labels and, therefore, cover all the different ways you can find a good SEO firm. These ways include:
1.2.1- Word of mouth
You can ask your friends, acquaintances, colleagues, family members, and even your neighbors about recommendations for SEO firms. It makes your job easier if an SEO company has previously worked for someone you trust and delivered positive results.
1.2.2- Online ads
When you are browsing the internet, you may notice different ads placed strategically to catch attention. Enter the term ‘SEO services’ into the search bar, and you will find lots of ads come up on the results page. These are PPC ads, which are advertising the services of businesses that have paid lots of money to secure the highest positions on search results.
1.2.3- Organic rankings
If you don’t trust ads, you should opt for SEO firms top of organic rankings and are the first names that catch your attention. These companies have spent lots of time and money to rank on the first page of SERPs, which means they are good businesses.
1.3- Step 3- How to assess the reliability of an SEO company?
So, you finally found an SEO company that you want to hire, but you should never take the quality of their services for granted. There are lots of cases where high-ranking SEO firms on search engines fail to provide good SEO services. That is why you must make your own assessment, instead of being impressed by other factors like the ranking of their business’s website. You don’t need to become Sherlock Holmes to find out whether an SEO company is trustworthy or reliable, although it will help.
You can find out whether an SEO company is experienced or can deliver the quality of services they promise by looking out for some clues. Here is how you can make sure of that by:
1.3.1- Talking to them
The best and easiest way is to talk with the SEO company by scheduling a virtual meeting on Google+ or Skype. You can interview them and ask them the real questions to get the right answers.
1.3.2- They are making unreal promises
You will find lots of businesses making bold claims of getting your startup first-page rankings on Google within a few short weeks. Never trust them, because it is near impossible to do that.
1.3.3- They have a clear pricing scheme
Check out the pricing scheme that the SEO company is offering for their services. Most SEO firms have clear pricing schemes, which can be per hour or per day and package oriented.
1.3.4- They can explain what actions they will do
You should discuss what type of services the SEO firm plans to provide you and how they plan to improve your digital presence. They should be able to explain their methods and provide solid reasoning for the ways they will help improve your website rank and attract more traffic. If they don’t have a plan and the recommendations they make are generic, which makes no sense, then you should forget about hiring them.
1.3.5- Ask them for an SEO audit first
The best way to determine whether an SEO service is authentic and reliable, ask them to provide a complete SEO audit of your website. Most SEO firms provide free SEO audits to businesses, which will quickly provide you with an idea about the firm’s reliability.
1.4- Step 4- What should you know about SEO?
You don’t need to be an expert on search engine optimization, but having a basic knowledge of SEO can make things easier for you. It will allow you to find SEO firms offering you with specific SEO services that you want for your startup business. Search engine optimization is complex and very expansive, so it is completely normal if you don’t have a great deal of knowledge about it.
However, this doesn’t mean you shouldn’t educate yourself on SEO because if you want to improve your online visibility, attract more visitors, and convert them on your website, you must know SEO. You should conduct your own internal SEO audit to figure out what you want to achieve in the first phase of your business website. You should look at the long-term plan because SEO methods take months before they show any kind of results.
There is massive competition on the internet, and ranking on search engines’ first pages is a marathon, not a sprint. You may need dedicated SEO services for more than a year to see significant improvement in website rankings. If you come across an SEO service that focuses only on building links, you should forget about them, because that isn’t only what SEO is about.
Most SEO services will make grand promises of helping improve your website rankings and attract more traffic on your website through cheap link building techniques. That may seem impressive to someone with little SEO knowledge, but if you have done some research, you will know that building links to your website isn’t what SEO is only about.
The main thing you should be getting is a fast, user-friendly, and secure website that offers great rankings for major search engines. You should have a comprehensive SEO campaign with detailed digital marketing objectives that look at other aspects of your website, like email marketing, mobile marketing, social media marketing, and brand marketing.
1.5- Step 5- It’s all in the results
One of the best things about the internet is that you can measure everything since some reports and metrics measure and monitor activity on your website. It shows you incoming visits, the time people spend on your website, the pages they visit, and how many people come back. These metrics are important because they allow you to create a detailed plan to improve each area. You should track these metrics for 6 to 7 months, and then get an SEO company to improve upon them. If they fail to get you the desired results, you should cancel your contract with them.
Cancelling your contract isn’t the only way you can go about it if you do all the hard work in finding a trustworthy SEO company. You should always discuss your possible objectives and goals with the SEO firm you plan on hiring so that you can easily measure their performance to find results. If they haven’t delivered any meaningful results in the best part of a year, it is time you find another SEO service.
Here are some smart ways you can find a trustworthy and reliable SEO company:
1.5.1- Don’t assume google filter as the final verdict
Most people make the mistake of filtering the results of businesses on Google and choosing SEO firms that rank at the top of the page. The common thinking is that businesses at the top of the page are the ones that are good. However, that isn’t always the case, because even bad SEO companies can implement black hat SEO techniques to improve their website rankings. However, it won’t last!
The rankings aren’t the sole reason you should choose an SEO company, although that is what everyone will advise you to do. There are lots of other factors you must consider as well.
1.5.2- Go beyond the client portfolio
You will also find lots of different SEO firms that list big-name brands and companies under their client portfolio to come across a genuine and respected name in the industry. However, there is no proof that these businesses delivered any services to these clients. Ask for referrals instead of being impressed by big-name clients.
1.5.3- Past performances and clients’ opinions
You should always judge an SEO company’s expertise and level by looking at their past performances and talking to past clients. You will come across clients that weren’t happy with the services of the company, but then it is hardly possible to please every single client. However, if most clients have a negative image or opinion about an SEO firm, you should think twice about hiring them.
1.5.4- Price Factors
As a startup or small business, price plays a massive role when you are looking to hire a professional, reliable, and trustworthy SEO service. The industry’s best companies will charge you higher rates for their services, but you should never fall for cheap pricing offered for services. Sacrificing on quality because of the price is not a smart decision, and isn’t a wise investment.
2- Is Using Google a Smart Way to Find a Reliable SEO Company?
If you want the information of any kind over the internet, Google is the place you search first. The search engine giant is the industry leader and has been for decades! They continuously launch new search algorithms, which index pages and helps users find what they need. However, there are still some flaws with Google search, especially because there are ways some businesses can rank their websites at the top of search results. You get thousands of results when you search something on Google, but the order in which the information is presented doesn’t necessarily guarantee quality.
For instance, when searching for “best SEO company” from the North end of Portland, Oregon, the results that appear are:
This results page shows all local businesses because you added “Oregon” to the search term. You will get similar results if you use the same term and add Toronto, and all businesses located in that area will rank at the top of the search results page. You may think that there is nothing wrong with the results, but there are different lists that rank agencies, and if you take a closer look, you will notice that most names that come up are sometimes questionable.
If you are searching for a reputable SEO company, you will be confused at this point because the entire search process is complicated. So, how do you go about finding a trustworthy SEO company? What businesses should you avoid? And how do you get Google to show you the results you want? We will simplify the process further by explaining something important to you.
The search engine rankings aren’t the only indicator about the quality of service a business delivers, since some of the best companies never manage to make it to the top of the search rankings.
3- Shouldn’t I Hire Based on Search Engine Ranking?
Search engine rankings are everything on Google, and every business is trying to get their website ranked as high as possible to get more traffic. However, some businesses rank high on search engines but never manage to get more traffic. We aren’t saying that you should disregard businesses that rank high on search engines. We are trying to explain to you that you shouldn’t expect top-notch quality simply because an SEO service ranks at the top of search results.
There are several reasons for a business ranking high on search engines, which may include the following:
- You’ve clicked other sites in the past that are like theirs.
- They’ve launched a major search engine marketing initiative to try to scare up more clients.
- They’re very popular and well respected.
- They’re the only big SEO company in your city.
- They’re an aggregator, which sells spots on top 10 lists to companies with deep pockets.
Even if you manage to find an SEO company that is the biggest in your city, should you settle for sub-standard services? That depends on what type of SEO services you want for your business, because SEO services differ from industry to industry. These varying service levels make finding an SEO company that delivers results in your industry even harder.
4- How Do You Find a Good SEO Company?
You should be wary about businesses that are all hype and don’t have any end-result because most businesses will go all out in their marketing. They might make promises in the heat of the competition that they don’t deliver, or hold themselves to standards they struggle to reach consistently. When searching for a trustworthy SEO company, keep in mind that it takes months for search engine strategies to deliver results.
SEO companies will say just about anything to attract more clients, so if someone is promising to double your traffic overnight, improve conversions instantly, or rank your business on the first page within days, you should know better. Transparency is important, and here at SEO Resellers Canada, we are honest and upfront with our clients. We have been in the industry for a long time, and provide different training packages to meet businesses’ specific SEO requirements.
We have dedicated and motivated SEO strategists and technicians, who will draw up a detailed SEO plan and explain our basic processes to deliver results. We are invested in our clients’ success, and that kind of commitment is hard to find in any industry. Our history, experience, and dedication towards improving businesses’ search engine ranking is why our clients keep coming back to us. The reason why we are so good at providing professional SEO services is that we ask our clients questions related to their:
- Corporate history
- Marketing strategy and experience
Finding a trustworthy SEO company is about acquiring the services of a company that understands your business and is actively making efforts to improve it. A good SEO agency will not only get you traffic but help you convert them as well. At SEO Resellers Canada, we are more than just an SEO service. We are partners in the success of businesses and devise strategies with their marketing teams to get results.
It doesn’t matter whether you are running an online shop, if you are a startup business, or are running an online blog, everyone wants to maximize their online presence to take advantage of the internet. Not everyone understands search engine optimization and finding a trustworthy and reliable SEO service can be challenging. It is a time-consuming process, but one that you must give serious consideration if you expect high-quality SEO services. When you are hiring an SEO business, make sure that they are clear about how much you are paying for their services, and have them explain their SEO process to you.
Don’t be impressed by promises that sound too good to be true, because more often than not, you will be left disappointed. On average, it takes about 3 to 6 months before you start noticing any significant results in your search rankings. So, go out there and start finding a trustworthy SEO company.
Editor’s Note: This post was originally published on March 23, 2018, and has been completely revamped and updated for accuracy and comprehensiveness.