Whether you work for a company and you’ve been tasked with finding a company that offers SEO or you have your own website and you need someone to do all of your SEO for you, you need to find a quality company.  While this seems like a simple feat, it’s not.  In fact, one of the first places you probably started to look was on the internet search engines.  You probably did a search for something like a top SEO expert and in the results you probably saw hundreds if not thousands of people in your area that offer SEO services.  This can be a really overwhelming and frustrating experience and even then, how can you be sure you actually chose the right company?  Below, I will be going over some tips to find the best SEO firm for your needs, as well as some common myths and misconceptions about SEO firms.

Misconceptions and Myths

When it comes to something like a website, you can’t help but notice how great (or bad) a website is.  And while this might be something to look at if you are hiring a graphic or website designer, it should not have a variable in choosing an SEO firm.  SEO firms can sometimes have designers on their team, but that’s not what you are on their website for.  You are here to gauge how good they are at SEO.  When going to a website, don’t look at design factors, instead look at other things on their website like testimonials and reviews, as well as services they offer.

Another misconception is that just because an SEO firm ranks #1 for their search term – they must be a quality SEO firm and be good at SEO.  I wish this were the truth, but unfortunately it’s not.  For example, if you took a look at the term “top seo expert in Boston” a few years ago, their website may have ranked #1 because, well, no one else was trying to rank that specific keyword.  So of course they would show up as #1 because they had zero competition!  Instead of assuming a company is good at SEO because their keyword is on the search engine results page, ask them for references; sites they have worked with and perhaps (if possible) keywords that site was trying to rank for.  Then you can go and do your own research and see how good that SEO firm really is… or is not.

What You Need and Don’t Need

Different SEO firms offer different services and specialties.  If you need something like keyword analysis, keyword research, PPC management, Social Media Management, content marketing, content written, etc. you are going to find that everyone offers something different.  Most companies will offer a little bit of everything, but some companies are specifically known for certain tactics.  If you aren’t sure about what you need in terms of services, figure out first what your end goal is.  For example, a person such as yourself that wants to get involved in advertisements, but that has no experience in how this works or the different aspects of it (picking keywords for example) would need to look for a firm that offers PPC management and keyword research.

Get Different Quotes

One of the best things you can do is to NOT choose one company right off the bat.  Instead, choose a handful of companies 3-5, and then whittle those down from there by asking about consultations, quotes, experience in what you need them for, etc.  Once you get to five companies, and you ask questions, you will begin to whittle those numbers down to 1-3 and then 1-2 and then 1.  Make sure that you get quotes from each company or firm, references, testimonies, talk with who you will be working with if you sign up with the firm; are they easy to understand, do you feel comfortable with them and asking them questions, do they answer you in non-technical ways or are they saying words and terms you’ve never heard of before?  A good SEO person needs to be knowledgeable in what they do, but they also need to be empathetic to the client and work with them on a more humanistic level.

Free Consultations

Most of the SEO firms out there right now WILL offer a free consultation.  They do this because they know it’s a great way to impress you with their knowledge and expertise.  Chances are if you get a consultation for something specific, your consultation will be done by the same people you would be working with if you hired them.  At the end of your consultation, which may take up to a week so that they can do their own research on your niche, keywords, services, products, etc. you will get a proposal of how much it will cost, what services you will be receiving from them and more.  Note:  Make sure that when you are doing this consultation that you and only you know that you are doing it.  In other words, don’t tell the SEO firm you are shopping around to find the best company to work with – these words “shopping around” tend to make a company work less hard because they figure they are one in a million and you might choose someone else.  However, if you ask for a consultation, they will think you are serious about their firm and services and will take you and your business more serious.