What to Watch Out for When Hiring an SEO Company

a tablet displaying a website’s SEO metrics

SEO can be a game-changer for your business’s lead generation efforts. Sure, there are shortcuts to getting customers to your doorsteps, including paid search results, but SEO tends to yield even greater ROI long-term. In fact, 70-80% of searchers will ignore paid search results. When done right, SEO can be the gift that just won’t stop giving. For instance, if you create quality evergreen content, your business will continue to increase its authority in the industry over time. What better way is there for building a customer base than through a good reputation?

That’s why it is vital to hire SEO companies with care. The kind of professionals you work with will mean the difference between getting repeat customers and losing them to the competition. Remember, you don’t have to always work with local SEO experts — both nearshoring and offshoring will open your business to diverse opportunities at affordable prices. However, it’s possible to make a few common mistakes when hiring an SEO company. 

Here are some mistakes to avoid in your vetting process:

Focusing Only on the Price Tag

It makes sense to focus on the costs of an SEO project, especially if your business has budgetary constraints. What’s not okay is to use price as the only deciding factor. Don’t hire SEO companies based only on their price, but on their value. Many businesses looking to cut costs are easily swayed by low prices without focusing on what they are getting in return.

At the same time, the fact that a company offers its services at a high price point doesn’t mean that it’s the best for your business. Don’t just throw money at SEO by hiring the most expensive company — you need to understand the value you are getting. Take your time assessing the SEO company you want to work with. How successful have they been in their previous projects? Are other customers happy with the outcome of their services?

Looking for a Quick Fix

Want to enjoy the fruits of your SEO efforts? Be patient. Businesses sometimes expect immediate results when they hire SEO experts, but SEO builds slowly. It takes time to see the results of your investment; you can start to see results anywhere between four months to a year. Depending on your competition, content, and inbound links, it could take longer or shorter. 

Most SEO companies will use the first weeks to build the groundwork for your project. It also takes time for web crawlers to completely crawl and rank your site. That’s why it’s important to keep on measuring SEO results based on predetermined KPIs. Small wins will tell you whether you made the right choice by hiring an SEO company. Best of all, once you start seeing the results of your investment, you could enjoy them for a long time. 

Failing to Assess a Potential Hire

Any company can say they are great at something, but their work will speak for itself. As you hire SEO experts, make sure you’re confident in their services first. Look at their portfolio, case studies, and professionalism. If possible, talk to previous customers to identify selling points or red flags. Your website is a pivotal lead generation magnet, and you want to entrust it to the right people. 

Though not a necessity, it would also be wise to work with an SEO expert who specializes in your industry. SEO tends to be universal across different sectors, but there is some merit in working with businesses that have handled businesses similar to yours. They understand your industry well, including the kind of keywords it’s valuable to rank for. As you hire SEO experts, ask them how much experience they have working with businesses in your industry.

Settling for Pre-Made Pricing Packages

Conventional pricing packages are great at giving you an idea of what your SEO project will cost. Pre-made packages, however, might not offer you a wide enough range of services to fuel the success of your campaign. For instance, while the costlier package could include PPC advertising, the cheaper one might offer other services without it. This will leave you at a disadvantage if PPC advertising is part of your digital marketing goals. 

Hire SEO experts who can customize SEO pricing packages to your business needs. You need to communicate your goals and negotiate prices with the company. The more comprehensive their services are, the more successful you will be.

Considering Website Security an Afterthought

Some business owners consider website security an afterthought and don’t consider its potential effects on their SEO efforts. If you are in this club, the fact that the average business website faces 44 cyberattacks per day should change your mind. You could spend months or even years building SEO value only for a simple attack to set you back to square one. That’s why you need to hire SEO experts who take website security seriously.

Cyber-attacks can affect your SEO in many ways, including causing crawl errors, getting blacklisted by Google, and SEO spam. Worst of all, many of these attacks could come from competitors practicing blackhat SEO practices. If an attack affects your customers, it could cause you to lose a significant number of business opportunities. The trick is to pursue SEO with your site’s security in mind, and hiring an SEO company that will walk you through it all is essential.

Failing to Set and Measure Your Goals

Website showing common SEO metrics

Why are you paying for SEO? It’s unwise to hire an SEO company without first identifying your goals. If you don’t have concrete goals, you’re more likely to be swayed by convincing SEO sales representatives, even if their services aren’t quite what your website needs. Start by conducting an SEO audit of your site. This helps you understand where you are lagging, from crawling errors to inferior content.

Also, be sure to conduct some competitive analysis. Studying your competition could provide enough insights into what you need to stand out from them. Most importantly, set KPIs and measure the results. It can be gratifying to see that your efforts are bearing fruit. If you ever miss the mark, KPI measuring tools will offer you suitable insights. Be sure to hire SEO experts who can help you audit and measure your SEO’s success. 

Your Vetting Process Should Be Value-Driven

The goal is to improve your search visibility. Remember to start with an understanding of your goals and setting the right KPIs. The more you know about your goals, the easier it will be to look for the right experts. You will enjoy your SEO results for a long time, which makes hiring an SEO company that offers optimal value essential. Ensure that you assess the different companies and the value they bring before you hire their SEO services.