Choosing the best SEO company for your project can be a tough, and somewhat, confusing task.
A simple Google search of “SEO companies” will give you a list of websites. Most of these companies make the bold claim of being the ‘best’. However, you must be wary of those that use black hat SEO techniques. You can learn more on that from the post – what is black hat SEO?
The essence of this post is not to refute any claims made by anyone. It is just to help you make the right decision in a sea of options while choosing an SEO company or a Specialist to hand over the ‘search life’ of your business.
In this post, I’ll be taking you through 7 things you should be mindful of while looking to get SEO services in Nigeria.
At the end of the list, I’ll throw in a bonus list of frequently asked SEO questions.
Let’s dive into it. Shall we?
7 Things to Look Out For in An SEO Company
- Are They Willing to Understand Your Business/Industry?
The first time you engage an SEO company, it is important to note how much they care about helping you achieve your business goals. You can easily tell from the kind of questions they ask you.
Are they asking who your competitors are? It doesn’t matter how popular your industry is. The SEO company should be asking who you really consider as a competitor.
Are they willing to have a look at your website to try to determine what needs to be done before jumping into giving you a cost quotation? If they aren’t, it’s a red flag. It could mean they just care about the money.
- Do They Have Previous SEO Projects?
Can they show you their portfolio? What kind of results have they provided other clients? Can you see any way those results tie into overall business objectives?
It’s not enough to rank on Google’s first page for a keyword. You can rank for a keyword no one ever searches for.
So, what am I implying here? They have to show you how the ranking impacted on traffic, lead generation, sales, or any other business goal.
- Do They Have Genuine, Verifiable Testimonials?
It doesn’t matter what an SEO company says about their work. What matters is how satisfied they leave their clients.
Verifiable testimonials are important to knowing who’s just bluffing.
- What Promises Are They Making?
You have to be wary of SEO companies that promise you a number 1 rank for a keyword.
In the world of SEO, one promise that isn’t certain is that of ranking at a particular position. Ranks fluctuate.
You can be promised a place on Google’s first page. That’s a good place to start.
- Are They Asking You to Pay to Rank for Specific Keywords?
This particular point wouldn’t be on this list if we were still in the year 2004. That was when SEO was about paying to rank for specific keywords.
These days, Google and other search engines have evolved from just keywords to topic clusters.
Here’s what this means…
If your website is optimized for: ‘insurance company in Nigeria’ as the primary key phrase, over time, it will start ranking for other topically related phrases like ‘insurance’, ‘insurance in Nigeria’, and so on.
So you see? How do you know how many keywords you’ll be charged for by the end of the project if you’re paying per keyword? It just doesn’t make sense.
There are better metrics to measure in place of the number of keywords. These can be the number of unique visitors like in this case study, form sign ups, sales (in the case of an e-commerce shop), and so on.
- What KPIs Are They Setting?
This is closely related to the last point I mentioned. It is important for you to take note of the key performance indicators (KPIs) the SEO company is proposing.
The KPIs must tie to your business goals. If they don’t, there’s no point doing SEO at all.
If you have an e-commerce shop, the ideal KPI should include a specific percentage increase in traffic and an average number of purchases made on the website.
You should also note that the KPI must be measurable and time-bound.
- What Kind of Reports Should You Be Expecting? And When?
A major determinant of how professional an SEO company is is its ability to carry you along throughout a project. The best way to do this is by providing periodic reports on things done, challenges encountered, and results achieved.
These reports can be weekly, bi-weekly, monthly, or quarterly, depending on the duration of the project.
Here’s the bonus I promised at the beginning
Frequently Asked SEO Questions
- How long does SEO take?
SEO can take 1 week, 1 month, 6 months, 1 year, or longer. There are different factors that determine how long it’ll take for a web page to start appearing on Google’s first page.
Some of these factors include the authority of the domain, how competitive the target keywords are, and so on. These factors will be taken into account before an SEO company can forecast how long your SEO would take.
- How Much Does SEO Cost?
The cost of SEO is not set in stone. An in-depth website audit could reveal issues that would either make the cost go higher than you’d expect.
- Why Can’t I just Buy Ads Instead
Buying ads can only take you as long as you have the money to spend. Once you stop spending money, you stop seeing the results you desire.
Good SEO is a long term game. It’s an investment you’ll keep reaping from for a long time when you start getting results. The choice is yours.
- My Website Doesn’t Show on Google At All When I Type in My Web Address. Why?
There are 3 major reasons this could be happening:
- Your website maybe too new for Google to have crawled and indexed
- You may have mistakenly blocked Google from seeing your website. You’d need to get your developer to check if this is the case
- You have not submitted your website sitemap to Google
Choosing the best SEO company for your project does not just end at ‘Googling’. It requires carrying out your due diligence – asking vital questions to ensure that you’re not throwing money away.