For small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs), SEO outsourcing is a far-fetched concept. And we totally understand that. Not every SMB has bundles of cash rolling through their office doors every day.
But the problem starts when SMB owners take matters into their own hands or compel in-house staff to take up certain roles, for instance, an SEO expert role. This is where things start backfiring.
While SEO is an inevitable requirement, it is also dynamic and volatile. Unless you or the staff on board are a professional, it is best to leave such concepts alone or at least in the hands of an SEO consulting agency. This is because negative and poorly done SEO has a few nasty impacts on the website. And trust us, reliable SEO consultants can do meticulous planning to deliver sound SEO solutions without breaking your marketing budget.
With that being said, now let’s descend into this blog to determine a few tips on how to find, choose and hire the best SEO company in Canada for your business.
1- Get acquainted with basic SEO
Before you decide to hire an SEO consulting agency, try getting acquainted with the basics of search engine optimization. Why might you ask?
Well, the notion is to have an idea of what services you might need and what services are provided by the SEO consulting agency.
Similar to how you might have good knowledge of various business aspects, having a basic understanding of SEO and marketing can go a long way. General insight can also help you raise relevant questions to the service provider while ensuring things are going fine.
You can find a handful of SEO beginner guides on the internet that are worth taking a look at.
2- Search for an agency with the experience you require
SEO doesn’t work on a cookie-cutter approach. Hence, finding a search engine marketing consulting agency that has experience in working with an industry similar to yours can benefit in the long haul.
Your business’s marketing needs will depend upon your target audience, industry, services/products you deal with, your competitors, and many other factors. Only an experienced web SEO expert would be able to comprehend these factors before crafting custom strategies that drive meaningful results in your niche.
There are numerous search engine marketing consultants who know how to drive qualified leads using proven digital marketing strategies. But you should check whether the consultant is capable of driving similar success for your business. Sure, there are various details and knowledge that overlap between different verticals, but in general, find one who knows how your industry works and what your business requires to survive.
If you are unable to find a web SEO expert with such a criterion, consider working with those who have higher-level knowledge that is still relevant to your business.
3- Raise all the right questions
Even after being hypervigilant in hiring the best search engine optimization experts, the chances of you ending up with a marketing dud are never low. However, you can escalate your chances of hiring an excellent SEO consultant in Canada by asking a few right questions, such as –
3.1- What is your success track record?
There are three common ways through which you can find answer to your question “how to find an SEO expert” –
- Through a reference
- You got acquainted with the SEO service provider company through their online or offline presence.
- The SEO consultant in Canada reached out to you to sell services.
In the first case, which is through reference, and if you really trust the person who recommended the SEO service provider company, you can consider skipping a few questions. But, in the second and third cases, it is imperative that you focus on the SEO consultant’s track record. Being vigilant in this phase is extremely important because no SEO experts in Canada would present themselves in a bad spotlight.
Hire an SEO agency only if they have current and past clients. If they don’t have, that should be a sign that their agency is brand new, and perhaps they don’t have enough experience and knowledge.
A genuine SEO consultant will disclose details (brand name and owner name) of various clients from the past and even current ones. In fact, many consultants list a few client details and testimonies on the website for new clients to refer to and then make a decision.
You can use these details to contact the clients on your own. It is best to communicate with the email at first and then proceed to hop on a 15-minute call (if the client agrees).
Whether on call or through email, ensure to ask these questions –
- Can you share the experience of working with (agency’s name)?
- What did you hire the SEO agency for? Did they manage to meet your needs?
- Do they have any weak points (strategy and service-wise) that I need to be aware of?
Is there any advice for me since I wish to hire their SEO consultancy services? You can add a few more questions that might help you determine the service provider better.
3.2- How will your strategies impact my business?
The potential impact of SEO strategies can be estimated based on a few factors, including –
- Potential of organic traffic – Does your business category have any high search demand?
- Marketing strategy – What is the priority of organic search among other marketing channels?
- Developer resource – Will the necessary changes be made by your developers in a timely manner if required?
- Resources of content creator – Is there a dedicated team for producing SEO content? If not, will there be freelancers hired?
- PR resources/Link builders – Are there any Link builders or PR specialists available on the team? If not, will they be hired when required?
Before answering your question, a trustworthy SEO consulting agency will evaluate these factors. However, avoid expecting the agency experts to provide you with any numbers in this phase. For now, your goal should be to identify whether your SEO investment is being made in the right place or not.
3.3- Will your SEO strategies result in a guaranteed outcome?
Professional SEO consultancy services will never guarantee their work. Similarly, 82% of experts believe that SEO can take six months to show the expected increase in traffic. If an agent guarantees that he can boost the traffic and website ranking in just a week’s period, that is a huge red flag.
No matter how experienced and knowledgeable the SEO experts are, they cannot guarantee the SEO strategy’s outcome. This is because Google uses over 200 factors to rank websites.
Plus, the 400 to 500 algorithm changes and updates made per year don’t make things simple either!
Of course, hiring the best SEO company in Canada will positively impact your business and may even pay off rather quickly, but there is never a 100% guarantee.
3.4- What tools do you use and how?
A good SEO marketing agency will use some or other SEO toolset to deliver successful solutions. Knowing what type of tool your chosen SEO marketing agency uses will give you an idea of what to expect.
Here are some common tools used by agencies –
Once you know the agency has access to the best SEO tools, it is worth noting how they will use those tools.
Ask a few questions to gain a little insight into their process, such as –
- How will you audit my website?
- How will you find link-building opportunities?
- What about keyword research and analysis?
Keep in mind that there will be multiple right and wrong answers to the questions you ask on using the tools. Without in-depth SEO expertise, you may find it difficult to judge the SEO expert. Hence, whatever answers you receive identify whether they build a rapport and confidence.
3.5- Will you provide reports on a regular basis?
Reports are mandatory, or how will you know whether or not the investment made in SEO consulting services is actually working?
Before you ask what the report will look like, gain an idea of whether or not there will be a report provided on a regular basis. If the answer is a “no,” go find yourself another local SEO consultant. But, if the professional SEO company agrees to provide the report, go ahead and ask what the report will look like.
Even though asking “how will the report look like?” seem a little probing, it will give an idea of what you can expect. A good report is concise, easy to understand, and easy to go through.
Sometimes, local SEO consultants may not provide you with other clients’ reports (if they don’t have a dummy one) due to the sensitive data and non-disclosure agreement. In such a case, consider inquiring about the reporting process.
Instead of talking about SEO KPIs and methods they use to approach them, the consultant of SEO should talk about metrics that impact your business’s growth. They should also combine metrics gathered from different toolsets, including Google Analytics, Google Search Console, and so on. This is because every tool produces unique data. And it might be possible that one tool might produce more accurate data than another one.
4- Understand their pricing
Once you get familiar with a few things, get straight to the pricing estimates. Not every SEO marketing company discloses the rates publicly. Even if some do, the quote can change significantly based on your requirements.
Typically, you will come across these three pricing types –
- Monthly retainer – This pricing type is preferred by those looking for long-term cooperation. You agree upon a monthly payment based on the time provided by the SEO expert for your project.
- Hourly rate – This straightforward pricing model can sometimes prove expensive to those looking for several comprehensive SEO services. A top-tier SEO consultancy firm can charge $100-$300.
- Project-based pricing – This type of pricing model is preferred by business owners who are looking for expert input in a certain area of the digital marketing process, and that too for a shorter period of time.
There are SEO agencies that use all of these three pricing models to provide the added option to the clients. In contrast, some agencies prefer sticking to one.
You can hire an SEO company based on your preferred way of payment.
Speaking about the true cost of SEO services, bear in mind that whatever you spend can depend upon your requirement. For instance, a small business that wants to start advertising can spend between $5,000 and $10,000 a year. For comprehensive services that also include A/B testing and advertising and marketing on different channels, the expense can be $10,000-$20,000.
A useful rule of thumb is to put about 5% of your revenue into marketing and SEO. If you are an expanding business or enterprise, you can invest anywhere between 8% and 10%.
5- Get familiar with the SEO marketing agency
SEO marketing is dynamic. Not every professional SEO company uses the same tactics to help your website get ranked on the search engines.
This means these expert SEO service providers need to have knowledge of diverse techniques and strategies. Similarly, it is best to determine whether or not they take feedback and suggestions from clients. After all, your voice needs to be heard, especially when it comes to the betterment of your business.
Another thing that matters is communication. A seamless back and forth communication is key for your internet marketing’s success. Hence, check what medium will the SEO consultant services might use to communicate and whether there will be a proactive transfer of information or not.
6- Over to you
Bear in mind that finding a professional SEO company isn’t an easy task. It might take you days and even weeks to come across an agency that best suits your requirement. Hence, practicing patience is key. And since SEO marketing can bring astronomical benefits to your company, even a little mistake in choosing the SEO experts can lead to long-term harm to your digital brand.
Instead, use the tips suggested above or meet SEO Reseller Canada, and let’s work together to reach your business goals and objectives ethically!