Finding A Good SEO Consultant or Business Can Mean the Difference Between Failing and Succeeding Online – Weka’s Interpretation Here
If you do decide to choose our SEO services, then great.
If not, then we provide you with enough information as possible to ensure that you do end up choosing a good company. That way, your business is more likely to prosper organically.
Here is a detailed article on what you need to look for when working with an SEO agency in 2019 and onwards.
The Possible Benefits of Hiring an SEO Company
Partnerships: Think of this scenario: You find a search engine optimisation company that can rank your business for a select set of keywords. They are very successful and bring your business a consistent barrage of targeted leads. Why not exploit this?
They’ve ranked a set of keywords in your niche; you know their methods work and provide success.
If you’re a savvy business owner, you can now use their services to open multiple businesses in ANY niche. The SEO firm brings leads, and you’re able to deliver the products and services.
The Long-term Benefits of Successful SEO Campaigns
Imagine you have a bespoke design kitchen business that caters for the more affluent members of society. You have built a physical showroom in an affluent part of town, and it brings you targeted leads every single week. Your business is placed in the right place to get the right type of business.
Get what SEO does?
If conducted correctly, it brings your business a constant flow of people who are actively searching for your services. How good is that?!
Your business will receive lead after lead after lead from people solely interested in your services.
There Is No ‘Secret Sauce’ to Ranking Organically – You Could Learn It
If you have the time and patience, then within 6-12 months you will also be able to rank on Google and the other search engines. We learnt it; other people, who are dedicated enough, can also learn it.
(Please remember that we’ve been through the testing phase of learning SEO. We’ve failed with our projects and LEARNT from our failures. We now know the process, timeframe and methods that bring results. Will you have the time and resources to do this yourself for your business?)
If you are considering keeping SEO in-house, then you’ll need at least a single employee who needs to have at least 3 years’ experience in the world of SEO. Not only will they need a few years’ knowledge in SEO, but they will also need a budget to conduct SEO.
Overall, it will be cost-effective to outsource the task.
Our Recommendations When Choosing an SEO Company
Before reaching out to Google and searching for the ‘best SEO company in New Zealand’, we suggest that your business conduct an internal meeting with each Department Head and discuss what you want to achieve. What are the long-term goals you’re after by conducting SEO? Is SEO necessary? Are your competitors conducting SEO? Are your competitors benefiting from SEO services?
Overall, your business should be able to come up with ‘Good Goals from SEO’ and ‘Bad Goals from SEO’. This process should then align your targets with the SEO companies that you meet with to determine which one will be the most suitable to work with. Once you choose an SEO company, you’re likely to be working with them for several months and perhaps years. Your targets as a business must be in line with the services the SEO providers provide.
Examples of Good Goals to Consider
- Are we as a business ranking for the most suitable and specific keywords for our services? If you do not know what those phrases are, consider asking the SEO agency. If your business is to install air conditioning, then every phase that is related to various forms of ‘installing air conditioning’ should be on your target list of phrases to rank for.
- Does your business want to increase revenue? A lot of businesses aren’t aware that ranking on Google for targeted phrases will bring them very easy leads to convert to sales. This, in turn, will increase the level of revenue for a business.
- Reputational Management. Does your business have negative reviews for your brand? Do you want to have them removed from page 1 and only have positive reviews of your business found on Google? A few people could be looking for your brand name +’review’. This is a good goal; you want only positive sentiment for your business and fewer negative reviews.
- Competitors – Can they provide you with additional targeted traffic? In several industries, there might be 20 different competitors, each advertising externally. They provide branded traffic to target; does your business want to use their traffic as well?
Examples of Goals That Are Not Ideal
- Seeking Higher Metrics – If you’ve been reading several SEO forums or Facebook SEO pages than you may have come across phrases such as ‘Page Rank’, ‘Trust Flow’, ‘Domain Authority’. You might consider raising the ‘Domain Authority’ of your website to be a goal. These are just metrics from non-Google aggregators, they can be artificially manipulated using automated software. Therefore, we would advise you not to chase goals like this.
- Simply Rankings – Without defining ‘which’ keywords you want to target then you run the risk of increasing rankings on phrases that are very unlikely to increase your revenue. Simply ranking on page 1 for phrases that aren’t going to bring you additional revenue will not be beneficial.
- Simply Wanting More Traffic – What type of traffic do you want, where from? Traffic, without being targeted, will not bring in the vital thing for a business – cash/revenue/sales.
Suitable Questions to Ask a Potential SEO Agency
After you’ve established suitable and achievable goals to present to a suitable SEO, you will need to plan on the types of questions that you need to ask them.
See what their responses are and if they fit with your company values. Here are some suitable questions to ask potential SEO agencies:
- Can you summarise the methods you use to achieve rankings for your clients, and why do you use that method?
This will give you an idea of what the general method is for SEO and if they use it. We know what the answer is, and our response will be – contact us!
- If things aren’t working within the normal timeframe, what do you do?
This is where you’re looking to find out if they had issues ranking past websites and what solutions they provided to previous clients. Did they manage to remove a penalty? Did they start with a new website and target the same keywords again?
- How often do they provide updates and communication?
They should keep you up-to-date with the SEO progress, and they should proactively ask you questions such as what keywords to target, whether you notice an increase in enquiries/phone calls, etc. Remember, your goal is to form a partnership with the SEO agency; you help them to help you, and communication is very important.
You might be investing $5,000 a month into SEO and consequently want to know what you’re getting for your money for those services. Most of the time, you may simply want to see how you’re doing when compared to your competitors, and this is the simplest comparison to consider:
- How does Google rank their website, and how will you, as a company, change the ranking positions for our website?
We recommend that you drop this into a conversation when you meet the SEO company. The answer should simply roll off the tongue of the SEO consultant that you meet, especially if they’re experienced and knowledgeable in their subject field. Be wary if they mention that they will not disclose their proprietary SEO rankings methods or if they simply state that it is a secret sauce. STOP and consider what they’ve just told you. In about 6 hours of good research, you should be able to find the general method to rank websites yourself. The method will be the same across all companies.
- What resources and capacity do you have to be able to work on our website?
This is mainly dependent upon the technical difficulties you will face in the niche that you’re operating in. It might be very competitive and therefore require a larger budget and human oversight to compete. An experienced SEO agency will be able to spot this and advise that it will take considerable work to raise the rankings on your website.
You want to be able to work with a top-ranked search engine optimisation company that can provide time and energy into developing your business on the internet. If you know that you’re operating in a niche that requires excessive links and content to raise your rankings, then there will be a need to allocate not only time from the SEO agency but investment on your behalf as well.
- What website and analytical access will I have? We’ve seen instances whereby a previous SEO firm has had FULL control of a clients’ website. The previous SEO company bought the website and will not permit a client to access the back end of the website. They don’t provide details of any tracking analytical software, nor even relinquish control of the website once the client leaves them.
We believe all this behaviour is simply unethical; if you own the website and want to leave our services, then it’s all yours. We create a single Gmail account to link with all the analytical tracking software available. That way, you can log in and view and ask any questions that you may have.
If you find your SEO company limits your access to your website or doesn’t provide you with access to any analytical software, we would suggest you leave them.
- Can you provide guarantees in rankings? Google strongly advises against companies promoting ‘Guaranteed’ rankings in their search engines. SEO is a dynamic science, and it’s constantly changing. We cannot guarantee that Google will or will not alter its algorithm drastically, nor can we account for, or suspect any of your competitors purposely conducting negative SEO against your website.
Because of these reasons, we would recommend that you avoid dealing with SEO companies that promote ‘Guaranteed Rankings’.
- What budgets are required for SEO, are there various options? With SEO, there is no ‘one-size-fits-all’ monthly package and is, in fact, one of the key aspects of an SEO company to avoid. The best SEO companies should be able to provide services on a bespoke basis and therefore price in such a way.
Additional Tips to Consider When Searching for a Suitable SEO Consultancy
You can be as diligent as possible when finding a suitable marketing company to run your SEO campaigns. However, there are a few other ideas that we wish to point out to increase your perspective when looking at SEO you’re your business:
- The size of your business will determine if you want to consider bringing the SEO in-house over the long-term. This might have been counter-intuitive to our earlier suggestion, but it’s something to consider. We know that larger businesses with over 200 full-time staff are normally the size that considers bringing their SEO in-house. That includes hiring someone on a full-time salary and providing them with a reasonably sized budget on a month.
A good SEO company should expect that the companies they are consulting for will grow and they might consider taking the SEO process in-house over the long-term. We know this and are aware that this is a service we need to provide. If you are thinking of bringing your SEO development in-house and need an SEO firm to provide SEO consultancy services for larger companies, then you should contact us.
From experience, we find that we need to provide 15 – 50 hours of consulting services for a business who wants to take their SEO in-house. It largely depends on the ability, experience and knowledge of the person that has been hired and needs to be trained.
- The last point we would like to mention: SEO is not for everyone and could be extremely competitive. There are only 10 spots on page one organic listings; only 10 businesses can take those spots. Over 98% of traffic remains on page one; of those, the top 3 or 4 spots take nearly 70% of the traffic. The #1 spot is highly valuable and will notably change the fortunes of the business who takes up that spot.
It might be prudent to consider using Google Ads to receive that traffic in conjunction with organic SEO if the organic competition of the niche that you’re looking to rank is considered highly competitive. That way, your business will receive leads straight away, and you get a good insight into the long-term potential for SEO and can consider it.
We’ve seen this happen on several occasions; the client’s SEO budget is too small to compete and therefore can only move from page 5 to page 2. The businesses in question see no difference to the number of leads arriving and give up on SEO after year.
No matter how good a marketing company is at SEO, if they do not have the budget to conduct SEO, and you don’t have the time to wait for results, then it will be a failing combination. SEO might not be a route for your business and its marketing efforts could be considered differently if your circumstances alter.
The Top Mistakes to Avoid When Deciding on a Search Engine Optimisation Company
We’ve concentrated on key aspects of what makes a good and responsible SEO company. But there are obvious signals that you need to make sure you avoid when considering an SEO company to work with.
For those who prefer to know what to avoid, rather than what you should be looking for, we have a detailed article on what attributes of an SEO company you should avoid.
Here are a few pointers that are self-explanatory:
- Cheap SEO agency This reason is the #1 mistake some businesses make. They look to find the cheapest option. Well, guess what happens when you decide to go cheap?
- Selecting a local company SEO can be conducted from anywhere on the planet. There is no need to choose the nearest SEO agency, just because they are very close to you. We have clients on the other side of the world and conduct meetings using ‘GoToMeeting’ software. Time zones are the only real issue, but if you want to succeed, you need to adjust yourself on occasions.
- Falling to a good salesperson Some salespeople can convince anyone to buy any product. That doesn’t necessarily mean that what they represent is the best product available. Salespeople can, without a doubt, raise the level of revenue for a business.
- Agencies offering ‘x’ amount of links a month Please understand that not ALL links are equal. Some backlinks will be more powerful and potent than others. Some will be more expensive and require more work to obtain. Any agency stating they will do 200 links in a month will be possibly supplying your website with an unnatural link penalty. This is certainly the case if especially if they’re spammy-type links.
- Instant Leads SEO does not bring instant leads. Depending on the niche, it can take several months before the benefits of SEO are felt.
- Search Engine Submissions Provided you are not blocking the search engines from indexing your website, the search engines will automatically index your website once a few links are found. There is no need to ‘submit’ or even ‘hand submit’ your website to any of the search engines.
- SEO Certifications As far as we know, Google has never created an ‘SEO course’, where it will openly disclose its algorithmic ranking methods. Why should it? There are certifications that you can look for to understand if an SEO agency is established and cover several different marketing methods. For the best bet, look for companies that display ‘Google Analytics’ badge and ‘Google Ads Certified Partner’ as a minimum.
Mistakes That Are Positives when Researching a Good SEO Company
Other authority websites who operate in the SEO space have been known to advise that you avoid the following methods when searching for a suitable SEO agency:
Using Google as Filter
Some companies can advise you NOT to consider rankings on Google as suitable indicators on whether they are good at SEO or not. More often than not, they struggle to rank themselves in Google.
Perhaps, this is a sign of jealousy. Who knows?
This is a very good method to find a solid SEO company – use Google and other software called SEMrush. It will give you an insight into the rankings a website has and for how long they’ve been ranking there.
If you search for ‘SEO company + location’, or any of the following phrases:
- ‘SEO agency’
- ‘Best SEO company’
- ‘SEO service company’
It will be highly likely that the companies that are ranking for those phrases are indeed those that are good at SEO. If you use SEMrush.com, you’ll be able to find out how long a website has been ranking and for what Keywords.
Other agencies even argue that those ranking #1 for targeted phrases must keep optimising their websites to maintain their positions. This is not the case; if you’re ranking at #1, then you may need to minimal work to maintain those positions.
Hopefully, you’ve found this website through your own Google searches. We would rather use our work to attract clients and promote our services, than that of our clients. In the same way that lawyers keep their client’s information confidential, we too will treat our relationship in confidentiality. We will not display your details when you become our client.
By Now You’ll Know If You Suit the SEO Agency
As you may have guessed, we perform SEO and if you have any questions about our SEO services please feel free to contact us.