Sunday, 4 September 2011

When to hire a SEO agency

To begin with, it would be a good idea to understand what SEO agencies are designed to do for your company. Basically, they specialise in driving traffic to your company’s website without which, even if you have the most original and beautifully put-together site in the world, you will never be able to command the sales figures necessary to keep your business afloat. It hardly needs saying that a service like this is particularly vital if your company is of the rapidly-increasing number that does most, if not all, of its trade online. So when is the best time to research the SEO agencies out there and select the right one for you; and how should you go about this? Here are a few pointers to bear in mind.

In my personal opinion, the time to hire an SEO agency is very early on, if not from the start, of your company’s activities. Many companies will struggle along with poor visitor ratings before concluding that they need the services of an expert, by which time they will already have lost revenue and will have far more ground to catch up on than if they had budgeted for this in the first place. Think about it: if your business is based online then your website is your main selling tool, so why would you neglect to budget for the service that will bring customers to you?

Let’s assume, then, that however well-established your company is you have now decided to choose one from the burgeoning number of SEO agencies out there. All well and good, but how should you go about this and what should you be looking out for? The thing to bear in mind is that the best SEO service is not necessarily the most expensive one. Instead, you should be looking for those who can lay out every service they will be providing in a business plan so you can see exactly where your money is going. If a company won’t do this because they prefer to keep their mysterious ways to themselves you should probably give them a wide berth. After all, you’re a business person and you want to know what you are paying for.

Secondly, it is very important that you check out the agency’s credentials thoroughly. If possible, use a company that has been recommended by several sources and that has been proven to boost traffic to a number of sites. Of course, most of them will claim to have done this but really the only way to check this conclusively is by sufficient word-of-mouth endorsement. Obviously it will take a little longer to gather this information, but it will be worth it in the long run.

Thirdly, you should be aware of your time-frames if this is an issue for you. For example, if you have a seasonal product and you are hoping to shift large volumes of it then you really need to bring the SEO agency in several months in advance. Remember that driving the required business to your website is not an overnight process. Patience is required and no SEO company, not even the most experienced, can work miracles with search engines which all operate under specific rules of their own.

This is just a short list of points to bear in mind, and there are of course other issues to consider such as budgetary constraints, whether you want the kind of agency which will be on-call 24/7 and so on. But no business which relies heavily on its website for sales can really afford, in these days of fierce online competition, to ignore the need for SEO.

Using effective SEO tactics is a must today for any company that conducts its business online. So when should you bring in SEO agencies and what should you bear in mind when choosing the right one for you?

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