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May 8, 2013

What Should I Look for in a SEO Agency?

Choosing to use the services of a reputable SEO agency can be one of the best marketing decisions you can ever make for your business. Ranking highly in search engines means you have a much wider pool of prospects that are interested in buying products and services just like yours. But with so many agencies out there offering to boost your search engine position, how do you know which one to choose?

Let’s take a look at what you should be looking for.

Flexible services 

Some SEO companies will want to tie you into a binding contract, and you might have no promise of any results. When this is the case, avoid using that agency. Any reputable practitioner will be confident of their results and won’t need to force you into signing anything that you might not want to.

A good track record 

Always ask to see examples of how they’ve helped other sites to rank. A professional SEO company will have plenty of success stories under its belt that it will be happy to share. Another good indicator is how highly the agency’s site ranks for keywords in its field. If the agency can’t do it for its own site, it’s unlikely that it will be able to do it for yours.

A dedication to white-hat tactics 

White-hat SEO tactics are all about using processes and practices that are approved by big players such as Google. Underhand methods might get you a high ranking in the short-term but, in the end, you will be penalized. This could end up having a massive impact on your business, especially if you already have a stream of customers who find you online. Speak to prospective agencies about how they’ll optimize your site and what their tactics include.

A point of contact for queries

It’s always good to know that should you have any problems or questions, you have a dedicated point of contact that will be happy to help you. Before agreeing to anything, check out how the agency works in this respect. Ideally, you should be able to speak to someone who can give you a detailed response via e-mail or telephone within a reasonable timeframe.

No big promises!

If an agency makes a big promise such as page one rankings within a week, alarm bells should start ringing. SEO is a complex and unpredictable field, and commitments like this will usually be broken or achieved using black-hat practices. A reputable company will assess your site and your keywords, and give you realistic goals and timescales. Though it can be tempting to go with the company who promises you the world, it could be a big mistake in the grand scheme of things.

Finding a good SEO practitioner doesn’t have to be difficult, but it’s well worth keeping these points in mind. By doing your research before making an informed decision, you’ll be best placed for reaping the rewards of effective search engine optimization.

Are you considering using an SEO agency? What factors are you taking into account?

This article was brought to you by Ruth Hinds on behalf of WebSearch SEO. WebSearch is based in London and offers risk-free, ‘pay on results’ SEO services including link building for online synergy and success.