So you have realized that you need to outsource your SEO tasks. That is an excellent decision, and it will keep your hands free to attend to your business and work your craft- doing what you do best. There are, however, a number of considerations to be made.
Your first choice should not necessarily be the SEO firm with the top ranking in your local area. Over 70% of the links Internet users respond to are organic links. Three out of four of Internet users will never click or scroll beyond page one of search results. You may well make an exception for an agency you know well and have a good working relationship with, but aside to that, location is not a priority in your selection process. Furthermore, when you consider the relative wealth of options globally, it makes choosing locally seem more than a little bit short sighted.
So, now that we’re ready to start combing the world wide web for an SEO reseller that fits your needs, let’s hone our search by tacking on a few important dos and don’ts. Here are a few simple tips and warning signs to help you keep your hiring process on the right track as you interview, review, and vet your potential SEO hire.
7 Tips and Red Flags When Looking for an SEO Reseller Program
1. Bigger SEO does not always mean better SEO. A single high-quality link can be worth more than hundreds of low-quality links. You wouldn’t trade in your car for a hundred skateboards, and you certainly wouldn’t want to pay the same for ten bad links that you would for one functional link that contains trending phraseology and leads directly to your target content.
2. When choosing the best SEO professional or team for the needs of your organization, be sure that they possess a skill level that is on par with the work you need to be done and your budget. If your SEO needs are small, you don’t need to pay for corporate class services. Make sure, your reseller understands the budget you set out for them.
3. When you are considering hiring an SEO reseller, the sooner you commit the better your results will be. Possibly the best time is when you’re considering redesigning your site, or planning to launch a new one. This would give your reseller the chance to make sure all of your content is search engine optimized from the ground up. You can think of SEO results as an investment the value of which is compounding over time- the sooner you get the ball rolling, the more value will accumulate.
4. Follow Google guidelines. Do not use SEO practices that violate the guidelines set down by Google. Like it or not, when you do just about any kind of business online, you’re on Google’s turf. Violating their guidelines may result in an unfavorable adjustment to your search rankings. In the worst case scenario, you may even have your site taken down. A lot of folks will bristle at the idea of such restrictions, but the fact is that they really work in your favor. Google’s guidelines may constitute a breach of style- but, in the final analysis, they help everyone maintain decent and favorable reputation.
5. Your SEO provider should present you with complete transparency. You should know what they are doing to nurture and grow your electronic footprint, how often they do it, how much time they spend doing it, and you should expect an itemized bill along with a full quarterly report of efforts and results. This is the major differentiating factor between the professionals and the snake oil salesmen. The SEO firm that you want will always be the one that is most upfront with their methods, results, history, and time frames. Anything less than full, upfront, and immediate disclosure should serve as a warning sign that you may be taken for a ride if you sign with that candidate.
6. Keep in mind that even the fastest SEO efforts will take between three and six months to show measurable results. This is a large part of the reason that you should require full upfront transparency. It also means that before hiring, you should ask to see sample reports of their previous work. These should be made up of at least three components: 1. Methodology (abstract), 2. Measures taken- in precise terms, 3. Results; the direct simplified consequence of the measures taken as described in section 2. You can live without the abstract, but if they want your business- their reports really ought to have one.
7. No SEO firm on Earth can reasonably guarantee you a number 1. Google ranking. Any organization that makes such an offer is either trying to deceive you, is exceptionally naïve, does not understand how Google search rankings work or has an overinflated perception of their own abilities. In any event, such a firm does not have the right attitude or knowledge to their job competently. You should abandon them immediately. Personally, if someone told me they can guarantee my business a top Google ranking, I would take a mint from the dish on their desk, get up and leave without saying another word to them.