How to pick a San Francisco Bay Area SEO company

SEO video From KO Websites & SEOPRO’s
Bay Area Social Media Marketing That WorksChoosing a good SEO company or consultant can be complicated.

The SEOPRO’s offers this free insightful information on how to choose a great SEO company.

What to ask and when to run.
We don’t mean to freak you out, but picking the wrong SEO company can kill your business and at a minimum, cost you a lot of money and possibly more valuable- TIME. Here’s why…
Most SEO companies will lock you up with a year long contract. This contract is not a bad thing in it self, because the SEO company will do a lot of work upfront in the contract and may not break even until the 9th month or so. So an SEO contract itself is not the bad thing, but a contract with a bad SEO firm is a nightmare!

Most companies can’t afford to buy-out the contract and then re-contract with another SEO company, so this means your stuck for a whole year. Your website will be dead in the water so to speak and idle for the year. To make matters worse, your SEO competition will be moving forward and sucking up your potential clients.

Ok, now that we have your attention, this is what you need to do while shopping for a good SEO company.
First off, you need to find and work with an SEO company who can communicate about SEO in plain English.  A SEO company who takes complicated SEO concepts and techniques and turns them into something you can understand, then help you make an informed decision – especially as there are often many possible solutions to choose from. You really don’t need to know and understand everything the SEO company is going to do, but you do have the best knowledge for your industry and you should be an expert at who the clients or people are that you’re trying to attract. So, the SEO company will need your input and feedback with regards to search terms. You’ll also need to fully understand the SEO fees and their general methods of operations.

Here is a list of things you may want to ask your perspective SEO company:

  1. Do I get a ‘non-performance out’ in the contract? This is something that the SEOPROs at offeres at month four of the contract. If they have not improved your rankings considerably, SEOPRO let’s you off the hook at no additional fee.
  2. Does the SEO company have a physical address? Can you drive over and ring their neck if they are ignoring you? Are they in the USA? A good SEO company should have at least a PO box published on their website. If not, RUN away quickly.
  3. Ask for and contact their reference’s! It may be a little uncomfortable to make that call, but wouldn’t you give another business or company five minutes of your time to brag about a good B2B business you’ve used? Assuming it’s not to your competition of course ;-).
  4. Can they show you samples? Where does their website rank?
  5. If you’re using a local SEO company (and you should as they have local knowledge), will they offer a non-compete contract? This is a touchy subject. It’s not uncommon for a company to observe how well you’re doing on the search engines and ask your SEO company to do the same for them. If you don’t want this to happen, ask for a non-compete clause; but be ready to pay for it. An alternative is to negotiate territories- Company ‘A’ takes south bay area and company ‘B’ takes north bay area.
  6. What method or reporting system do use to prove ROI (return on investment)? This really is NOT the SEO companies job. You may have poor landing pages, a bad website or a bad product. The SEO company has no control over this. That being said, it’s still in the best interest of the SEO company to try to prove their value, so you stick with them for the long term. There are many methods and ways to prove the SEO compaies worth (or lack of).  But, to do this right, good web stats tracking info, a tracking phone number and a tracked contact form(s). You’ll also want good analytics data for watching the shopping experience and cart action.

Another thing to consider is: Does the SEO company have someone with experience in your vertical – such as real estate, retail, construction, religion, schools, trades, communities, nonprofits, etc.
An SEO company with experience across multiple types of business, as well as experience that is directly relevant to you, will have better problem solving skills and more exposure to technologies and solutions. Experience in your sector will mean the SEO company will be very helpful in defining your strategy, understanding terminology, and knowing what your competitors are doing and most importantly, know why your potential clients are thinking and looking for. This concept is not a must, but it’s worth considering when trying to pick from the final two SEO companies.

On our next post, we’ll share some more insight on how to choose a good SEO company. If you can’t wait, call the SEO PROs at 510-276-9902 today. Or visit www.seopro.PRO or KO Websites

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