What to Look for in an SEO Company for Small Business Solutions

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SEO drives a thousand percent more traffic to websites than organic traffic.

Over 90% of web pages get no traffic from Google search. The reason? Because they haven’t been optimized.

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That’s why many companies turn to a digital marketing services provider for help.

Dedicated SEO services for small business sites can help boost page rankings and pull in targeted traffic. But who do you choose? And how do you know if they’re any good?

This article examines what to look for in an SEO company for small business solutions.

Read on to see why hiring the first SEO firm you find on Google isn’t a good idea. And that a proven track record is more important than fancy technical jargon.

How Do You Choose an SEO Company for Small Business Websites?

Most small business owners aren’t Internet marketing experts so they hire companies who are.

In the US, the average monthly spend on SEO services is $497. Three-quarters believe an SEO provider’s reputation is an important factor when choosing who to hire. And 83% want the SEO company to bring them new customers.

The question is which search engine optimization expert can you trust?

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Below are 5 things to consider before you go hunting for a provider or sign-up for a contract. Choose the right one by following this advice.

1. Be Wary of Google Ads

How do you find a product or service in 2020? The same way you want your customers to find you. Google it!

You may think that the same thing applies to find an SEO company.

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Googling terms like ‘SEO services for small business’ brings up what should be considered the elite. Just click the first result and you’re all set. Right?

Beware of top-listed SEO companies when you search because they pay to be displayed there.

You might notice that your searches often divide the page into sections:

  1. At the top are three standalone results
  2. Below them could be a useful feature snippet
  3. Then at the bottom are the main listings.

Those top three links are actually adverts and SEO companies compete to get listed there. They don’t ‘earn’ those spots like the organic or non-paid listings do. But they’re designed to look that way.

Pay per click or PPC doesn’t involve search engine optimization. The two are different types of digital marketing services.

Therefore, choosing a top-listed ad has no reflection on how good the company actually is at SEO.

2. No Magic Tricks

Your first communication with an SEO company should see you explaining who you are, what you sell, and what you need.

The reply you receive is a good indicator of whether the company is worthwhile to hire. Consider this statement:

‘We guarantee a number one spot on Google because we know all the secrets of their search algorithm.’

Hear those alarm bells ringing? You should because anyone who guarantees any form of placement using SEO is misselling the service. And any company that makes claims about knowing all the ‘secrets’ of Google are exaggerating or just plain lying.

The allure of using big words as a marketing ploy aimed at promoting a positive mindset is misleading. Don’t fall into that trap.

Instead, have reasonable expectations. Understand that it takes time to rise up Google’s rankings. That there is no magic formula or technique to get there within a few days.

Otherwise everyone would do it.

3. Knowledge Is Power

We’ve looked at a few things to be wary of when hiring an SEO firm. But what are some of the services that good providers offer that you need for your business site?

On-Page SEO

This type of optimization service concentrates on your website pages.

Things like optimizing the title and meta content, headings, links, and content fall under on-page. If you can edit these details in your WordPress admin, for example, the SEO firm can do this remotely.

Off-Page SEO

Off-page relates to SEO outside of your website.

Backlinks or web links that point to your pages is a major off-page factor. SEO firms help build article content for external blogs with a high rating that link to your product pages. Google sees that link and shares some of that success with you.

Other off-page techniques include social media posts, brand promotion, and influencer marketing.

Technical SEO

This deals with how your website works.

Site structure and website speed are two essential ingredients into how Google ranks your site. The faster and easier to use the higher the spot.

A good SEO company will spot these issues. The best ones can also fix them and include SEO techniques like local SEO for small businesses from the code up.

4. Proven Track Record

Small business owners don’t have money to waste on providers that can’t deliver. That’s why it’s essential to hire an SEO company that has a clearly proven track record.

Their website should show examples of their work with meaningful KPIs or key performance indicators. These metrics help to measure how their service performs and can include:

  • Sales or sign-ups/leads
  • Bounce rates
  • Organic search visitors
  • Keyword rankings
  • New visitors percentage

Your initial strategy meeting should set these out on a timeline.

Good SEO companies send constant reports using email or on a website to prove they’re delivering. Your own analytics apps will record a lot of this data too so double-check their claims.

5. Affordable SEO

Regardless of what an SEO company promises to deliver their bill needs to match your budget. Does that mean you should always go for the cheapest option?

Small business owners’ inboxes get flooded with promises to put them #1 for $99 or less. These SEO firms say their strategies work and share stories from their happy clients.

Unfortunately, many of these ‘SEO experts’ use poor techniques like link farms or blog networks. Once Google discovers any site linked to them they can slash everyone’s search position. Or remove them completely.

Balancing an SEO budget needs to focus on results.

How much should the advertising expect to return in sales or leads? Will it help promote your brand? What’s it worth?

Compare your spend to offline advertising.

You wouldn’t get a billboard advertisement for under $100. Neither should you spend thousands.

Chat with the SEO team about your expectations and budget. The best ones will work within that remit and make the best return on your investment.

Small Business Marketing Services and More

In this article, we’ve examined things you need to consider before hiring an SEO company for small business websites.

Don’t choose the first one you see on Google. Do your homework and check their track record. And see which suits your budget and expectations.

Read our other articles for small business owners like how do taxes work? And if you’re interested in investment opportunities, check out our real-estate blog piece.

Remember to join us on social media and share your thoughts on this SEO services for small business guide.

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