So you’ve finally decided to market your business in the online world. You’ve been searching and learning what online marketing is all about. That’s led you to a lot of information about things you might not completely understand: landing pages, email campaigns, banner ads, search engine optimization (SEO).

You have a job to do, and running an online marketing campaign is not something you can add into your busy days. Hiring a company to help you is the only way to go. But that means signing an SEO contract. That means trusting a company to handle your search engine optimization strategy. And that takes a lot of trust.

It can involve a significant amount of money, so it’s not something you want to take likely. But the more you investigate and interview prospective companies, the more confused you get. Who should you trust? Who will do a good job? And what should you know before signing an SEO contract?

Types Of SEO Help

There are three basic types of SEOs:

Individual SEO consultants – these are the freelancers, the individual consultants that offer SEO services based on their individual knowledge and experience.

SEO companies and agencies – these companies have teams of people who are experienced in SEO and have a standardized process within the company. They typically work with businesses in a certain niche or of a certain size.

In-house SEO – if your business is very large, it makes sense to hire an in-house team to handle your SEO work.

If you are reading this article, chances are you’re searching for someone that will fall into one of the first two types of SEO. And that’s where the struggle begins. Because some of the individual consultants and companies are great. Some aren’t. And it’s up to you to find out which one they are before you plunk down your money.

You can never find a great SEO based on price. They won’t charge the lowest price possible and offer discounts if they are reputable and understand SEO at the breadth needed to make a difference in the online world.

That being said, a high price doesn’t equal quality either. Many agencies mark up their price to an obscene amount because they have the referenced they need to do so. They get away with it because they’ve built up their networking abilities.

So how do you find the good ones?

With a few questions.

How will you improve our search engine rankings?

What is your ultimate goal? To bring in more clients.

To do so, you have to be visible to your target audience. And that means ranking high in the words your potential customers use when they search online.

If you show up sporadically under randomly targeted keywords, you may get a bite here or there, but you won’t see a huge change in your business.

Good SEO means creating a strategy for reaching out to your target audience in the best and most effective ways possible. And all good SEOs have a process for getting there.

They won’t be able to give you specifics such as “We’ll get links from ABC company.” But they will be able to tell you “We identify the best keywords for your target market and do these things to ensure you are where they are searching.”

They can’t offer specifics such as “You’ll see a 22 percent increase.” But they can tell you “You’ll see traffic increases based on these keywords.”

 

How will I know what’s happening?

A good SEO company won’t hide what’s happening and throw information at you that you don’t understand. They will send you regular reports, keep you well informed, and make sure you understand the process.

Keep in mind that an SEO company needs access to your website. That’s why you have to trust the SEO you hire. They may add landing pages for ads, create content and post it on your blog, or add metadata within the coding of your site. You are at risk if you can’t trust the company you’ve hired.

If a company doesn’t ask for access to the backend, it’s a red flag they aren’t doing the best job possible. While a lot of SEO work happens off-site, it’s important for on-site work too, especially at the start.

This on-site work will also be a part of your monthly reports. Because an SEO has to be able to show how your traffic is changing. They must be tracking changes and be able to show you the effects.

What would happen if your SEO freelancer suddenly disappears? It happens. And then you’re stuck with a non-responsive or broken site, and you have no idea what the problem is.

A good SEO company tracks changes and shares the information with you, so you understand all of the work that’s being performed.

 

What makes an SEO contract signable?

Think for a moment about other contracts in your life. Your mobile devices probably operate through a contract with a cellular company that gives you a service for a monthly fee. And in many cases, to get a reduced rate, you agreed to a one or two-year contract. That means that no matter what the service level, you’ve agreed to pay them a certain dollar amount every month for the specified timeframe. Or face a penalty for pulling away.

We’re used to contracts. We operate many things in our lives that way. We do it for phones. We do it for television. We do it for the cars we drive or even the houses we live in.

But what happens when you agree to a contract for a year or two and the company doesn’t deliver as promised? You feel underwhelmed, a hostage in some cases. You bide your time until you can break the contract and move on.

For a phone, it can be a relatively inexpensive lesson. But for SEO, it can be a major mistake.

That’s why here at DMG, we don’t tie you into contracts. We feel our services speak for themselves. Our goal is to make you happy by providing you results you want to consider seeing over and over again, month after month, year after year.

Yes, we realize our SEO service approach is a little different than other companies. Because we want to explain to you how the whole thing works.

SEO is an ongoing process. It isn’t something you can magically have happen, turn on and off like a water spout. You can’t perform it for a month and sit back for the rest of the year and expect it to work at the same level. It’s a process you have to keep in place for as long as you want a steady stream of prospects flowing through your door.

It may involve different approaches, different tasks, different tools. But it takes effort. And if you aren’t happy with the approach, you should have the ability to make a change at any time, without an expensive contract holding you back.

If this approach to SEO sounds refreshing to you, let’s talk.