So you’re paying an agency or an individual to do some Search Engine Optimisation on your website, but you’re not seeing the results you expected, or that they said they could deliver. Changing your SEO provider seems the obvious thing to do – but some businesses and website owners might be put off from making the change. After all, how do you know the people you switch to will be any better?
For most businesses, changing a supplier is not a decision to be taken lightly. But if you stay with the guys you’re currently working with, at best you risk spending more money and not seeing any real return; and at worst you might be setting your website and your business up for a fall, if the ineffective techniques they’ve been using also result in you getting some sort of penalty from the search engines.
If you’re committed to SEO as a way to grow your businesses, you need to be committed to finding someone who can provide the right kind of SEO – that’s Search Engine Optimisation that’s done right, and delivers the right kind of results.
So if you’re thinking it might be time to get someone else to work on your rankings and traffic, we want to provide you with a few pointers to help make sure the change is for the better. In the first part of this three part series on changing your SEO supplier, we look at how to choose the provider you want to switch to.
Make Sure the Grass Really is Greener
One thing that can put a lot of businesses of changing their Search Engine Optimisation company, is the worry that the new provider might be no better, or may even be worse – it’s a case of ‘better the devil you know’.
But there are good SEOs out there, plenty of them in fact, and if you take the time to research other companies, and ask the right questions to make sure that you choose an agency or individual who knows what they are doing, you can be confident that you’re making the right decision to move to a new provider, and that things are going to improve because you’ve done so.
What’s Their Reputation/Experience?
When you’re looking at new providers, despite the changing nature of SEO, previous performance is a good indication of what they’ll be able to do for you, so you can start by looking for online reviews. Any bad ones are an obvious warning, but beware – positive reviews are relatively easy to ‘fake’, so don’t let those be the only thing you consider in order to make your decision.
Ask any potential agencies or individuals for references from businesses they’ve recently worked with, and make sure you speak to them to get the real story of their experience (not just the 20 word, hand-picked testimonial that’s on the SEO provider’s website).
Get them to take a look at your website and ask them to give you an overview of what they think you need and how they’re going to do it. Each business and every website is different, so you don’t just want a ‘cookie-cutter’ approach that will work for some sites but not for others.
You want an approach that is specifically tailored to your website and what it needs to rank better and get more traffic. Beware of any provider that doesn’t want to discuss the specifics of your potential project, or is less than transparent about how they plan to build links to your site and carry out the rest of your SEO.
Are They Proactive?
A provider that asks plenty of questions about your site and the SEO you’ve already had done (more on this in the next part of this series) is a good sign. A good SEO company will want to know what they’re taking on and make sure that they’re going to be able to help. They will want to know if there’s any remedial work they might need to do before they start the SEO proper, based on whatever your previous provider has done.
They might also want to look at whether you’re targeting the right keywords, the social media channels you’re using, and your content creation process – which is a good thing and shows that they’re already thinking about how your SEO can be more effective. If you want to improve your local rankings, they should also suggest improvements to your citations and Google listings to make sure that they are providing the benefit they should.
Finally, ask how will they measure success and what information will they provide you with on a regular basis. A good provider will be realistic about the timescales for seeing an improvement, but they should also understand that your goal is more traffic and more business, not just improved rankings.
Ask how they will measure the success of the project, what information they will provide you in the regular reports (at least monthly), and how they will react if you don’t see an improvement – how do they adjust what they’re doing to make sure they are effective.
When you’re looking to choose an SEO agency to work on your website, it generally pays to do your homework – this is especially the case when you’re looking to change your SEO company because of poor results or a bad experience, as you really need to make sure you don’t make the same mistake again. In the next part of this 3 part series on changing your SEO company, we look at leaving your current provider – the best way to do it and the information you need to get from them before you part ways.
If you’re thinking of changing your current SEO provider and want to talk to us about what we can offer, you can find more information on our services here, as well as the best way of getting in touch with us if you want to discuss your requirements in more detail.