Search engine optimization (SEO) is hotter than ever. If you want your online business to amount to anything these days, you have to utilize SEO techniques since most search engine users do not move beyond the first page of search results. However, not all SEO firms are created equal so when outsourcing SEO services, you need to take many factors into consideration.
Here are 5 essential tips to keep in mind when outsourcing SEO services.
- Put together a list of qualified SEO firms. Don't settle for the first ones you find. Ask colleagues for recommendations and talk to previous customers at each firm to determine how proficient and experienced they are. Some important questions you should ask potential SEO firms include:
How long have you been in business?
Do you specialize in any specific industries/niches?
What kind of rankings have you achieved for your past clients?
Can I contact your previous clients?
*How long will it take to see results?
Put together a Request for Proposal (RFP) that outlines your goals and expectations. Contact the firms you are interested in by sending out this RFP. In your RFP, make sure to provide detailed information about your company, business goals, and competitors. Also request references, a payment schedule, and a detailed breakdown of costs. Include terms and agreements in the RFP as well.
Make sure that the SEO firm you hire provides a detailed plan about how they are going to optimize your site. Three important factors the plan should address are the searching habits of your target audience, the functionality and design of your website, and the algorithms used by the search engine to index websites. Ask each SEO firm how they plan to customize their approach based on your website's unique needs.
There are four categories of SEO services and they are website and competitors analysis, on page SEO, offsite SEO, and monthly reports. Learn what services each firm offers and figure out which ones are most necessary for your SEO campaign. Some important services that may or may not be offered depending on the SEO company in question include one way backlinks and content creation services. You may have to outsource these services separately or take care of them yourself.
SEO is complex so before you decide who to outsource to, find out what kind of customer support each firm offers. It's important to learn what customer support services are included in your package and which ones are charged as extra. Sometimes SEO companies may have a limit to the number of hours you can speak with a customer service representative on the telephone or the number of emails you can send. It's essential to have access to qualified technicians who are informed about your particular project and thus can answer any specific questions you may have.
Now that you are armed with this information, use plenty of care and caution when outsourcing SEO work. There are plenty of reputable SEO companies out there but you need to shop around before you make a decision. Choose a company that will accommodate your specific needs and customize a plan based on very careful considerations. Most importantly, talk to previous customers to be sure that the company you choose is reputable and worthwhile.