In many ways, the global, open nature of the Internet is like a wild frontier – the lack of regulations encourages a proliferation of scammers and unfortunately, the SEO industry has its fair share of them. A search for ‘SEO company Brisbane’ will give you pages and pages of companies, all claiming to be experts, offering all sorts of SEO packages and promising first page results. With so many choices, how do you find a company you can trust?
Follow these tips and you should be able to find a company you can trust with your business:
The old adage ‘if it sounds too good to be true than it usually is’ is unfortunately the de facto standard when it comes to SEO companies. If they offer you a guaranteed first page ranking – beware. More often than not, you may see some initial results but Google will eventually catch on to whatever dodgy link strategy is being used and will drop your rankings, or even worse, deindex your site altogether. Getting high rankings, and keeping that high position month after month, involves a lot of planning and consistent effort.
Testimonials and case studies
Seems like every man and his dog on the street is claiming to be the best search engine optimisation or marketing guru in Australia. Dig a bit deeper though, and you’ll soon uncover the truth. Start by asking your prospective company to provide some info or example reports about previous clients and the results they’ve been able to achieve. Look at their examples and do some research using Google to confirm their claims. Are their customers showing up in the search results? Are the results they’re getting from competitive keywords that are getting useful amounts of traffic?
As mentioned previously, the SEO industry is constantly changing. Search engine optimisation strategies and techniques can be become obsolete overnight. Any reputable search engine optimiser should be able to talk freely about their experience. See if you can talk to the owner or representative of the company and don’t be afraid to ask questions. There should be no hesitation on their part to describe their experience.
‘White Hat’ only
We’ve mentioned previously about be wary of companies that promise first page rankings in a short amount of time. These companies typically use questionable practices that are designed to trick Google and the other search engines into assigned high rankings. These practices are known as ‘Black Hat’ and whilst they may produce some impressive results in the short term, inevitably they are uncovered by the search engines and your website will be penalised. Examples are software that automates the creation of thousands of low quality backlinks.
The only real approach to achieving long term rankings is to use ‘White Hat’ techniques. These techniques are more time and resource intensive, but they are for the most part ‘natural’ in the eyes of the search engines and produce results that are a lot more long term. Examples are writing a guest blog post on a well-known blog in your industry which contains a contextual link back to your blog or the simple act of interacting with your customers via a dedicated company Facebook page.
When getting quotes from prospective agencies, always ask them what backlinking strategies they typically use to make sure they are not doing anything that may adversely affect your website. At AusRank, our team only uses White Hat techniques in our client link building processes.
It’s more than just SEO
SEO is about more than just optimising a website. An experienced digital agency should be able to provide you with not only high quality search engine analysis and optimisation services, but also a range of other internet marketing services including good quality content generation and social media management and design search marketing solutions to suit your specific business requirements.
It’s all about people
A good SEO company will have a very visible human element. You should be able to contact the owner of the company without too many issues. Make sure that you get a ‘good vibe’ when speaking with anyone from the company and that they have a good support process in place. It’s important that you feel comfortable when speaking to company representatives as it will enable you to build a solid working relationship with them.
Clear and transparent deliverables
Before you agree to anything, make sure the agency fully understands your business goals and provides you with a clear and transparent strategy to achieve those goals. For example, do they provide monthly progress reports and is there a defined campaign success criteria.
Also check their terms and conditions and find out what will happen if you terminate their service, etc.