How To Hire the Right SEO Company For Small Business

How to Hire the Right SEO Company

Understanding the steps that your hired SEO service would go through (in order to increase your rankings) is always recommended, especially if you want to make sure that you’re hiring the proper people to handle the entire process for you. In order to find the most ethical SEO services around, you’re going to have to ask yourself a series of questions. Not only that, but you’ll need to refer towards outside sources of information (all of which is going to be covered in this guide). If you’re in need of affordable SEO for small business purposes, you’re probably going to be relatively conscious with your money.  You don’t have the budget available that’s needed in order to just hire the most expensive option, hoping for the best. I wouldn’t even suggest you go about doing that, anyways. Your local search SEO tactics could definitely be improved upon through the use of ethical SEO services, but finding them isn’t all too easy (well, before you’ve learned everything I have to teach you, of course!).

There are a lot of services out there that will claim to offer up an amazing SEO deal, which is a down-right lie. The abundance of lackluster SEO services available on the market today is absolutely stunning, as they seemingly out number respectable services 2 to 1. This only makes the process of filtering out the bad apples that much more important, but it’s also a process that takes a bit of practice in order to perfect. You need to know the traits you should be looking for, as well as other dead giveaways that are related to a great service.

Why Is It Such a Big Deal?

When it comes to your SEO campaigns, you never want to find yourself in a position set up for failure. If your SEO company is doing their due diligence, and being one of the best ethical SEO services that they claim to be, you should always be able to generate traffic. We all know that traffic is the ultimate goal for any entrepreneur, because it’s the first step towards making a conversion. SEO can never be lackluster when it comes to projects you’re both serious and passionate about, as there is just no way that it will be able to sustain any sort of success. In order to keep a brand popular, or even just sell a certain product, you need to keep it in front of peoples’ faces.

If you hire a great service, they’ll always ensure that your content is optimized, and your backlinks are always kept in check. For example, let’s just say that you’ve opened up a brand new business. You have a great location and a brand new lease on a restaurant, all of which are fine and dandy – except absolutely nobody knows who you are. The competing restaurants have already been spreading rumours about your kitchen, making sure to double-up on their SEO and marketing budgets. Not only will people be more likely to go and eat at your competitors, but you might not even get a chance to begin that ascension to the top.

If you don’t want to get beat out quickly, you’re going to need some ethical SEO services on your side. I’ll talk about why you want to make sure they are ethical in the next little segment.

ethical-seoEthical: Is It Really Something to Worry About?

We all know about karma, right? Whenever you do something bad, the balance of life will come around in full-circle and hit you with something bad as well. Even if you aren’t the type of person to be spiritual and believe in karma, SEO services that “play by the book” should be the ones you seek. There’s a big difference between Blackhat and Whitehat, both of which have their specific benefits. Blackhat SEO is something that a lot of people take part in, and even some of the largest brands around (that’s right, even one’s you’ve purchased from before!) have made use of the process. It’s common standard to some people, whereas others wouldn’t dare touch it; it’s a matter of preference most of the time. Like I said before though, it’s like karma – if you play dirty, somebody is bound to get you right back.

There’s a big difference between the two different types, so I’m going to break it down really quickly. De cyphering between Blackhat and Whitehat is going to be important as you move along with handling your SEO needs. The main differences would be:


Blackhat – Using any sort of unethical process to get ahead of the competition (SEO-wise). This could come in the form of negative press, negative link building as a whole or even just putting a negative marketing campaign together. It could also be hiding extra keywords on your page, or anything related to spam. It’s sort of like trying to brute force your way to success, which works quite well in some cases. In comparison to Whitehat, this is the “evil side” of the playing field.


Whitehat – This is looked at as the “ethical” way of approaching SEO. For example, when you’re working on local search SEO needs, your SEO providers wouldn’t try and negatively attack the competition. Instead, they would put together a marketing plan that targets a new demographic, test a new product, build more links and create better ranks (and so on, and so forth). They do all of this the legitimate way, which is why it takes a little longer to build up ranks with Whitehat (although, most of the time, they stick around way longer). Looking at it alongside Blackhat, the Whitehat SEO process is pretty much the clean cut (common standard) variety of SEO.


How to Check If the Company You’ve Hired is Doing Their JOB!

At this point, you’ve found the company you want to work with. Not only do they offer reasonable rates, but the reviews they have online are quite good – so there’s nothing to worry about, right? Wrong! Giving the company the task to perform an SEO audit of sorts makes sense, because it allows you to know if you’re getting the most out of that manpower. Online marketing and businesses as a whole have become increasingly popular, which means that the need for high-quality SEO implementation has been growing with it. As a business, you can be paying quite a bit of money for your SEO services. Even if you’re going the affordable route, it still may cost upwards of $1,000 USD on a monthly basis. At the end of it all, it only makes sense to get your money’s worth; which is why you should check up on them every now and then.

You should be looking out for things like: new (and high-quality) backlinks, new content, title tags and meta descriptions that are well written and alt text for any relevant images. They shouldn’t just be implementing the basics; they need to get specific. Although I have a few suggestions, I’m not saying that your SEO provider isn’t up to par due to my requirements. These are merely suggestions, but they are quite legitimate ones. SEO is a serious business, and you need to understand the in’s and out’s associated with said industry.

keyword_researchKeyword Research

This is the cornerstone of your SEO process. The company that you hire to handle the entirety of your SEO needs should understand the keyword research process, otherwise, you’ll be left in a pretty terrible position. The most ethical SEO services around will understand absolutely everything about keyword research, because cutting any sort of corner during this step is a bad idea. When you know what goes into the proper keyword researching process, you can compare the steps alongside your current SEO provider – if they aren’t up to par, I’d suggest that you scrap them! First of all, let’s talk about what the process is all about.

This is essentially the part of SEO where you’d be looking at different keyword terms, which are specific phrases that people would search through the use of popular online engines (Google, Yelp and such). There are plenty of online websites and tools out there that allow you to look up keywords, but the Google Keyword Planner is the most optimal one around right now. With this tool, you can look up statistics surrounding your target keywords; you’ll be able to check out the number of monthly searches and competition (among other things). You can’t just use any old keyword and expect to rank, and you always want to target multiples of them; this is all stuff that you should be keeping an eye out for when verifying your SEO service. The keywords that they make use of need to be:

Reasonably Competitive – Some of the best keywords around are going to have competition, but they aren’t going to have too much of it. If they have a large number of monthly searches, but the competition being suggested is way out of your league, they might not be the most ideal fit for your SEO.

Monthly Search Numbers – The number of monthly searches that surround a specific keyword are essentially going to determine the amount of potential traffic it can bring in. These are people that are specifically searching for these phrases, so you always want to maximize the number that you’re seeing in this regard.

Sensible – Some of the time, you’ll come across an SEO service that is completely incompetent. So much so, that they take it upon themselves to target “Toronto customers” as a keyword. They didn’t take your industry or target demographic into account, and they definitely didn’t look at the competition to monthly search ratio. The keywords need to make sense!


Backlink Building: SEO Services

Backlink building is another large part of the SEO process. When you hire ethical SEO services to handle your needs, they’re going to go about the backlink building process in the proper sense. They won’t take any short cuts, and they definitely won’t go about building an abundance of improper links. The links need to be coming from trustworthy (and quality/authoritative) websites, as that’s going to have search engines thinking you’re in the same flock. Birds of a feather flock together, and you definitely don’t want to be flocking with the little, low-quality birds.

In order to check up on your backlink profile, you can use a bunch of different SEO tools available to you online. Moz actually has a fantastic one, which I would suggest you check out. It’s really easy, all you’ve got to do is type in your website address and be blessed with an abundance of backlink information. Backlink building is ideal for not only local search SEO needs, but global goals as well. You want to see a consistent building of backlinks from your ethical SEO services, all of which are coming from high-quality websites.


What Should I Be Looking For?

There are two major terms that you’ve got to keep in mind when verifying an SEO company, which would be “External Backlinks” and “Referring Domains”. It’s actually fairly simple, as “External Backlinks” is referring to the number of external links currently pointing towards your website. In regards to “Referring Domains”, it would be a reference to the number of how many websites provide said external links (the “Referring Domain” is actually considered to be much more significant than your External Backlinks).

Providers of SEO services need to be persistent and quick when they’re working with your backlinks. They have to be removing the bad ones (which could be built by your competitors) and replacing them with good ones, or just building new and higher-quality ones in general. If an SEO company is claiming that they work with link building in their strategy, you should be seeing a significant increase in the number of Referring Domains within the analytics. If you don’t, you should probably be questioning your SEO company (and potentially hire replacements). Some other quick tips I’d have to throw out there would be:

  • Always check the quality of the links they’re building. Even if it starts great for the first week or two, there are services out there that will just get lazy. Not only that, but they may be stretching their resources thin – when that happens, they try and replace quality with quantity (as opposed to a perfect balance of both).
  • Don’t be afraid to speak up! When it comes to link building or content, if you notice a problem, be sure to say something. The success of your project could be at stake, and it’s well worth being a bit of a nuisance to keep things flowing.
  • Do your due diligence, and always read the fine print. If it’s too good to be true, odds are that’s exactly how stuff will pan out. If they promise to provide you with 100 backlinks every single day, but don’t talk about the quality – you already know it’s going to be of the lesser quality, if not complete spam.


What Makes a Backlink “Good” (and When Should You Call Out Your SEO Provider)?

Great backlinks are going to come from trusted sources, as that’s really the only efficient way to go about building them. Search engines are already looking at these pages as a reliable source of information, so anything associated with them is treated likewise. If you have a say in what’s going to be on the linked page, you could always try and make sure that there’s high-quality content involved. Most of the time, when you’re building backlinks on high-quality sites, they offer up pretty good content; however, if you were going through a PBN building process, that’d be an entirely different situation.

It isn’t just the page that’s being linked or linked from, it’s the amount of traffic being provided by the link itself. A lot of people who are inexperienced in the field of SEO will think that building a massive number of links is what you’re looking for, which is wrong. You want links that actually provide boatloads of traffic, which means that if you need to build a lesser number of links (yet maintain a higher level of traffic activity), so be it. If your SEO company looks like it’s not going this route and just being lazy with their link building process, call them out!


New Content: SEO Services

Content is going to be the life of your online project. That’s why people are paying a pretty penny for professional writers to pen their content, as it’s something that will resonate with the readers. In order to have an effective SEO process, you need a service that also provides stellar content writing. Even if you’re not in the book industry, writing is important for online sales. It helps give the customer a visual of what they want to buy, or even what they plan on doing with the purchased product. It gives them a reason to stick around on your website and maybe (hopefully) even make a purchase. If your SEO budget is rather limited, it’s going to be tough to find a high-quality writer that you can have faith in.

Things to Look Out For (Content)

  • Blog sections are something that you should watch out for, as they offer up quite a bit of backlink juice. If the SEO service you hired is taking it upon themselves to create high-quality blog posts, and then link them back to your project page, you know that they’re doing it right!
  • Meta descriptions and meta tags are both important pieces of content, but are often overlooked. Meta descriptions are the small passages of writing that appear when your link is displayed on search engine results, so it could very well be the difference between more traffic, and no traffic at all.
  • Title tags, because it just isn’t right without them! The pages on your site deserve to have a unique title to them, and that goes for every single page. There’s a supposed limit of 55 characters that should be followed, so look out for that as well.
  • Relevant alt image text, because SEO doesn’t just stop at the writing of an entire article piece. The images that you use on your webpage have filenames and other properties to them, and those need to be accounted for. Make sure you’re saving the images named as something related to your SEO project, or even following target keywords that you’ve selected.


Reasonable SEO Help Isn’t That Hard to Find!

There are tons of ethical SEO services out there that offer an amazing set of benefits. Not only will they get the job done right, but they’ll do so in both an affordable and timely manner. I’m not saying that every single SEO service is going to try and shaft you, but I am saying that there are ones like that out there. In order to make sure that you aren’t going through with an ineffective SEO process, it helps out to verify the SEO providers that you’ve ultimately gone with. If they aren’t doing a good job, you can just do some more research and replace them with somebody much more deserving. I’ve given you all of the information needed to ensure that your SEO process is being handled by professionals, now it’s just a matter of applying yourself.

Throwing money at an SEO service and just hoping to rank isn’t ideal. It can put you in a bad position not only financially, but in regards to your project as well. Working countless hours and spending an abundance of money truly does suck when there’s no payoff, so make sure that you aren’t being let down by your SEO providers. Verify their services and ensure the growth of your business! Affordable SEO for small business use isn’t just something to be considered as a “cheap alternative” – there are plenty of legitimate providers out there that have reasonable rates. My question is: are you ready to make use of them?


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