Getting your business website onto the first page of Google is critical for increasing brand awareness and driving traffic to your website. Targeting the right traffic can lead to increased conversions, providing a great return on investment.
If you decide to hire an SEO company to help improve your ranking, choosing the right team can make all the difference. So, what should you look out for:
What Google looks for
SEO isn’t just about targeting the right keywords, it’s a combination of different factors. In fact, Google uses 100s of different ranking criteria, so ticking off as many as possible will help you to achieve the best results. Some of these factors include meta tag updates, high quality, keyword rich content, a good user experience, a website that runs well from a technical point of view and high quality backlinks. Finding an SEO agency that can provide all of these services is essential so you don’t need to hire lots of different service providers.
No company can guarantee a number 1 position on Google
There are companies that will promise to get you to that all important number 1 spot, but, in reality, no one can guarantee that. An SEO company will show you their best work, which will most likely include lots of number 1 positions, but bear in mind, this is only a small fraction of their customer base.
There are some companies that will offer ‘first page or your money back’ guarantees which are great if they actually honour this agreement. If you enter into such an agreement, check the small print to make sure you fully understand what they are offering. What is the timeframe for achieving these first page positions? Are these positions for your main target keywords that have decent monthly search volumes or are they guaranteeing to rank a longtail keyword that no one is searching for? Do they return your money and end the contract if you aren’t fully satisfied?
Be careful of companies that over promise or claim they are endorsed by Google (not to be confused with a Google partner, a Google partner has achieved certain criteria with Google such as passing exams and running a number of paid Ads campaigns). Google does not recommend SEO companies, and has warned against scam companies that may be trying to rip you off.
Not all SEO is good for your website
Applying whitehat (good) SEO techniques to your website can have great results, boosting your visibility in search results and driving relevant traffic, however, blackhat (bad) techniques can have the opposite effect, resulting in lost positions and in some cases, penalisation and removal from search results. Things that can get you a penalty include spam content, low quality or suspicious backlinks and other techniques that manipulate search engines to achieve a goal.
Recovering from a Google penalty can be a massive, time-consuming job, so choosing a reputable company from the start can save you a lot of stress.