The Process Of Finding The Perfect SEO Agency For Your Small Business

The Perfect SEO Agency

Are you starting a small eCommerce or service business? It could be that you just cannot get the results that your growing company demands on your own anymore. Whatever the reason, finding an SEO agency is a process that you must go through if you want to save yourself a great deal of time, trouble, and expense. There are three steps in the process:  
  1. Knowing what to avoid will keep you out of trouble
  2. Knowing where not to look will save you time
  3. Clarify your goal by asking these three questions:
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  • What is my ultimate goal? What are you looking for right now, and in the end result?
  • Am I in a hurry? Do you really need to achieve your ultimate goal now?
  • How much can I afford to spend? Examine your budget vs. your goals vs. your timeline. In just a few paragraphs, you may be looking for something else!

Wading Through the ‘Want to Be’ Masses

Hiring an SEO agency for the first time can be pretty tricky. There are virtually hundreds or thousands of people out there who claim to be SEO proficient and many of them are, but many of them are also either terrible at it or they practice Black Hat SEO. Black Hat SEO is any search engine optimization technique that goes against the rules governing SEO. These tactics can be devastating for your website.  

Things to AVOID When Choosing an SEO Agency:

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  • Black Hat SEO tactics
  • “Guaranteed” Top Search Engine Results (this cannot be guaranteed, they can be worked towards)
  • SEO firms that pester you with spam and/or phone calls
  • Anyone who cannot answer simple or complex SEO questions
  • Individuals who cannot  pass a close reputation scrutiny

Being in a Rush Never Ends Well

Any company that guarantees you top ranking on any page is probably using Black Hat SEO and can get your business or website thrown from the search engines permanently. Please avoid these firms. Other annoying and likely Black Hat companies, provided they know SEO at all, are agencies that pester you until you cave and then make off with your money. The internet is filled with these scammers. This is where you can use a search engine for help by typing “Complaints” and the company’s name.  

A Needle in a Search Engine Haystack

The question is still, how you find and choose an SEO Agency. The tendency would be to lean towards Google’s search engine. You should probably resist that urge, if at all possible. Only the priciest SEO firms can afford to be on the first half a dozen pages. Some of them charge $50,000 per month, says Issie Lapowsky of Inc Magazine. Besides, I tested Google’s search and received 125 million choices in a thirty-fifth of a second. Talk about a needle in a haystack! If the perfect firm for the job is in there, good luck. What you really need are SEO firms that are willing to work with small start-ups or small to medium sized eCommerce businesses. The perfect SEO firm for you is out there just waiting to be found.  

Do You Really Need an Entire Agency?

Is your eCommerce or service provision business big enough to support an SEO firm? Many smaller companies really do not need an agency to take their hard-earned money. This is especially true if your physical location company is just being promoted by a website, in which case, you only need to rank highly on your local search engine pages. If you have a gutter cleaning service, you do not travel across country to deliver your services. Perhaps you need an SEO Specialist instead. The difference is that you can work out a lower, more modest hourly or monthly rate. The average hourly rate is between $150 and $350 and the average monthly rate can be $2,000 to $5000 or higher. If you want to ensure that your SEO Specialist is really putting in the hours, offer a small percentage of the generated sales with or in lieu of pay arrangements.  

Where to Look For SEO Solutions

Do you remember the third step up top, where you clearly defined in your mind what you needed, how fast you needed it, and how much you were willing to spend for it? Now is the time to use that information. Regardless of what type of SEO you have decided upon, here are surefire ways to find them:. [custom_list style=”list-1″]
  • First, define who and what you need: Are you looking for a link-builder, a specialist, or a real SEO experience?
  • Send out Feelers: It never hurts to ask around. You might know another website owner or a vendor from your service oriented or eCommerce business. If all else fails, use the contact form of a website that you admire and that ranks well.
  • Check the Listings: This is really your best chance to find what you are looking for. There are plenty to choose from and they will have both listings and ads. Were I to choose off the top of my head, ClickZ, Search Engine Watch, and Search Engine Land would all come to mind.
  • Place an Ad Locally: The local online listings may even have SEO agencies and Specialists placing ads to find you. You just never know.
  • Look for seminars and conferences on Internet Marketing and attend one.

Expert Advice On What to Look For in an SEO Solution

CIO Magazine, the editorial that started the CXO Media Giant did the research for us. This is what three experts in the field listed as the top three features to look for in an SEO solutions expert or agency representative. [custom_list style=”list-1″]
  • Experience and background should always be the first two things into which you should look. Do the research.
  • A working knowledge of all three major aspects of SEO which include technical, on page, and off page optimization
  • A provable record of accomplishment and it should include up and running websites, other clients, and references upon whom you can call.