So you’ve been doing your research online and come to the conclusion that your business needs SEO services. That’s great and all, but how do you go about picking the right SEO services for your company?
As someone who has providing SEO services for over a decade now, here are my thoughts on how you can find the right fit for your company and goals.
Is It Even Possible?
Even as an SEO service provider, I will tell you that in certain cases SEO is not really a feasible option. If you’re in a really competitive niche with high commercial value keywords, unless you have a massive budget, you’re not going to be able to compete with the “Big Boys”.
For example lets say you’re a small loan company, you’re probably never going to rank for “mortgage loan” or “home loan” via SEO since these keywords will be dominated by national banks and lenders. So in a case like this, SEO is probably not the way to go.
Another example would be if you had your own small real estate company, you’re probably not going to rank for “real estate agent” or “real estate company”, so again SEO is probably not going to be a great place to spend your advertising dollars.
What is Your Budget?
Another factor in what sort of SEO services you should choose will be based on your budget. Obviously the larger the budget you have, the better quality of SEO you will be able to afford.
If you’re looking for what I would deem “High Quality SEO” where the SEO company is building relationships with players in your industry and national publications, you’re probably looking at least at a $4-5k a month budget and even more.
If on the other hand your budget is only $500/mo then realistically you’re probably looking at gray area link building like private blog networks and other lower quality SEO tactics like guest blogging and cheaper paid links.
Is SEO Even Worth It?
Something that is amazingly missed when it comes to choosing an SEO service is whether or not the end result is even worth it.
For example does it make sense to be ranking well for keywords that bring in $2k/month of extra business when you’re paying $4k/month for SEO? Probably not.
In certain cases the math will make sense, and in other cases it will not.
For example I work with a few plastic surgeons that pay me anywhere from $1-2k/mo to keep their websites on page 1. They recognize that even if they pick up 1 extra patient a month, the profit from that new customer will more than pay for my services.
So you need to sit down and think whether or not a premium ranking will outweigh the cost of what you’re paying for SEO each month.
Short Term Or Long Term?
What kind of SEO service you should use should also be based on whether or not this is a short-term or long-term project.
For example is the website you’re going to be hiring SEO services for something you need to keep long-term like a brand or personal website?
Or is it some sort of affiliate website or product site that if something goes terribly wrong you can just chuck in the trash and start over?
If the website you’re working on needs to be around for the long haul, you probably want to invest more into higher quality SEO work, which obviously will cost more.
If the website is relatively disposable, then going with a cheaper SEO service may be the right choice.
SEO Agency Or Freelancer?
When it comes down to it, should you go with an SEO agency or a freelancer? I’m going to be biased since I am a freelancer and go with freelancer, and here’s why.
Generally speaking, if an SEO is good at what they do, they don’t work at an agency. The simple truth is anyone that can successfully manipulate Google’s search results will make more money working for themselves.
Furthermore an SEO freelancer will be generally cheaper than a SEO agency because their overhead is lower. They don’t have to pay for things like office space (most work from home) and other operating expenses associated with running an agency, and that savings is usually passed on to you.
Plus the service is usually better when using an SEO freelancer as you have a direct line of communication to the person that is actually doing the work, so again if you need anything or run into an issue you’ll usually be able to resolve things faster.
How To Pick The Right SEO Freelancer
Whether you choose to go with an SEO freelancer or an agency, obviously the first place to look is reviews. SEO freelancers will usually have reviews readily available since if you found them, they are probably advertising on some sort of platform where previous clients can leave their testimonies. So obviously check those first.
Also it’s important to compare pricing. The cost of SEO services can cover quite a wide range, so talk to a few about your projects and get a general idea of what these SEO freelancers are telling you it’s going to cost. You probably don’t want to go with the cheapest service you find, however at the same time you shouldn’t be getting robbed blind.
Finally have realistic expectations of what’s possible for your budget. Generally speaking, the lower your budget, the longer things are going to take.
Furthermore no matter who you hire, generally it takes at least 3-4 months for results to start coming in, so be aware of that too. SEO takes a while to get going, and this is even more so if you have a brand new site. Realistically most projects will take anywhere from 6-12 months to show noticeable results, so you need to take that into account when it comes to budget.
So those are my thoughts on how to pick the right SEO services for your project. I hope you found the article helpful and it leads you to some great SEO hires.