How to Find a Good SEO Company

February 4, 2013
by Conor Treacy

    SEO Company_Big Red SEOFinding a decent company can be a challenge. So, let’s take a few minutes and have a look at some things to help evaluate a good Omaha SEO company. We recently had a customer ask us why they should choose Big Red SEO over another local SEO Company in Omaha (a Big SEO Agency). There’s really no easy answer, many times it’s just personality that can make a decision, but at the back end there must be knowledge, as well as the ability and the willingness to share that knowledge with others.

    Just because you’re a big Omaha SEO Company and have 75 employees, that doesn’t always mean better SEO.  We’ve put together a number of things that you can do to help evaluate your own SEO Company to see if they’re the right fit for you.  At the end, we’ve included a number of questions to ask the SEO contractor and see just what they know!

    Your Network Might Provide an Answer

    When you’re looking for a new SEO company, a good starting point is to check with your network of people to see who they have used or might suggest. Check out Twitter, Facebook, Google+, friends and family or even business colleagues. This is just the first step, but like anything else, you can’t take people’s word for it. A good starting point, but really you shouldn’t go from “suggestion” to “hire” in one step.

    Checking with your networking group is a good thing but don’t forget to have a look on Google and other search engines to see who comes up in the top listings. Let’s face it, if someone claims to be an SEO company, and they can’t even rank themselves on the first page of Google, what makes you think they can rank you on Google. For our company, Big Red SEO, we rank high for the terms “Omaha SEO”, “SEO Omaha”, “Omaha SEO Company“, but you might be searching for a different term and we might not show up.  Ranking positions on Google only tell one part of the story, so keep digging!

    Let’s Do Some Research!

    Once you’ve picked a company that you would like to evaluate, it’s time to do some research. Don’t just go to their website and take their testimonials as accurate. Type their business name into Google, type in the owner’s name or any employees name that works at a company, and have a look at their reputation online.  How do they interact with other people, and what is their topic of preference?  Do they teach SEO, or are they a struggling tattoo artist that also performs SEO on the side?

    Now that you’ve found an SEO company, let’s have a quick look at their online blog and see what they like to write about. This is a crucial part in the evaluation process because it can give you some insight into how somebody types or portrays themselves online. If the writing comes off as arrogant, then it’s likely that they perform business that way, also. We also like to look at other online forums and blogs, and even Facebook or Twitter, just to see how somebody responds to somebody else. This can be a real eye opening experience into how somebody treats another person, especially someone they don’t know.

    So, at this point we have found a company to evaluate, we have checked out their blog and other writings, and now it’s time to review their history. See if you can find any information on the company with whom they have previously worked with or even how long they’ve been in business themselves. Are they a one man or woman shop? A place that we like to go to is http://www.whois.sc and then type in their domain name. This will show you when the domain name was registered, and when it expires. If the person hasn’t hidden their information, you may also find their address and phone number. Now take their address, dump that back into Google, and see if it brings up a business or a house. I’m not saying that every business should have an office, but it can be an inkling as to how serious they are about their company.

    Pricing, Budget and Time Concerns

    Price is always a looming question for people. We’re certainly not insinuating that you need to hire an Omaha SEO company that charges $10,000 a month, but certainly a company that charges you $50 or $100 a month might not be the right option. In fact, any web design or SEO company that posts their pricing online, and has a package price for services, might not be the place to get your business. The reason we  say this is because every business is unique. And with that, every marketing campaign will be unique also. Price should be part of the discussion, but really it should be one of the last things discussed, as a full evaluation and project details must be provided before a quote can be submitted. Always keep the phrase “You get what you pay for” in the back of your mind. If three people you talk to tell you that it’ll cost $1,000, and another guy says it will cost $100, personally, we would not go with a low ball offer, or at the very least, have them explain how they can do it for so cheap, then take that back to the other $1,000 offer companies for evaluation.

    Location, Location, Location

    Geographic location, for most people, is generally not a priority when it comes to SEO. The one advantage for hiring a local SEO company, is that you can meet in person. At Big Red SEO, we like to think we are pretty good judges of character, and when we meet with somebody in person we can usually size them up pretty well. E-mails can sometimes be a little informal, but combine those with Skype, and you may not need to meet in person.  That’s all provided they have good communication skills to begin with!

    Let the Fun Begin – Interview Time!

    Okay, we have a pretty good starting point for SEO companies we can now interview.  This is where the fun begins. At a minimum, you want to talk to at least two or three SEO companies that have made your short list for an interview. The process of that interview and the information that they’re sharing can be a huge asset in hiring them. Ask them specifics about your project. Question them on the process. Ask them what SEO tools to use. Ask them about industry exclusivity. Ask them if they outsource. Remember, the consultant or the agency works for you, so set the expectations. Do you need monthly reports, weekly phone calls, in person meetings? It’s your call! You can be as involved or  not involved in your SEO campaign as you want to be. Oh, and don’t forget to ask for references. I wouldn’t necessarily ask them straight up for references, because really, what company is going to give you the name of someone that will give them a bad review? Instead, pay attention to any name dropping, or business names mentioned, and write those down. You can ask them about what companies they have worked for, and any companies in your particular industry and then just keep a mental note and call those people.

    The last words of wisdom that we have for you are that if someone promises you a #1 ranking in one month, three months, or even six months – run!! SEO is not something that can be guaranteed, so how can someone plan to give you a number one ranking in one month? If they tell you that they do so much work with Google that they have an inside person or that they have a direct line or know the secrets that other agencies are not aware of – run!! Google does not share their secrets. It doesn’t matter how much money you spend, they will not provide you the insider information on how their search engine ranks websites.

    Questions Every SEO Company Candidate Should Answer!

    Here’s a list of a few questions to ask your potential SEO contractor:

    • What’s your number one rule with SEO?
    • Tell me about three SEO projects that you’re most proud of and why you’re proud of them.
    • Tell me about your experience with SEO and your experience in my industry.
    • How do you carry out competitive analysis of keywords as part of your research process?
    • Let’s say you have done six months of SEO, and there hasn’t been any improvement, how would you diagnose the problem?
    • Do you follow the Google webmaster guidelines?
    • Explain what Panda and Penguin are.  How have they affected the SEO companies clients?
    • Do you offer any online marketing service or advice to complement the organic search business?
    • What kind of results do you expect to see and in what time frame?
    • How are you going to measure success?
    • What are your most important SEO techniques?
    • How long have you been in business?
    • Will you share with me all the changes you make to my website, and provide detailed information about your recommendations and the reasoning behind them?

    At Big Red SEO, we can answer all of these questions and more. We are an Omaha SEO Company, and while many of our clients are located in Omaha and the surrounding metro area, we have a number of clients that are also located out of state in Kansas, Florida and California.  We would love the opportunity to earn your business, and at the very least help educate you on some of the most efficient SEO practices that you can implement yourself. If you have questions about our company or the SEO process, feel free to fill out our contact form.

    Conor Treacy

    About

    Conor Treacy has been in the SEO game since the mid-90's when SEO hadn't yet come into full fruition. He spends most of his days performing website audits, reading and writing SEO blogs and industry related material. The rest of his time is consumed with correcting people on their invalid and blackhat ways. The SEO world has changed in recent years, there's a lot of disinformation on the web!