So SEO is one of those industries where we’re lucky enough to have all of the companies vying for our business go head-to-head in a fierce battle.
If you go to Google, and type in your area name, and then follow it with the keyword “SEO” or “Search Engine Optimisation”, then you’ll essentially be letting them battle it out for who has the uber SEO skillz.
An example of this is if you type in “SEO Newcastle“, you would hope that the *best* company in Newcastle comes up that does SEO. In this case, if Influx Online came up, then you would be right. I’m pretty sure the guys over at Influx Online were cloned from Chuck Norris’ DNA mixed in with Spiderman. If not, then some guy with a terrible Moustache probably ranks still, but that won’t last long.
The number one reason to investigate a company regardless of their ranking, is expense. Here are some reasons why:
- The #1 SEO company is generally the most expensive because of this – they may only be marginally better than the #2 company yet cost twice as much to use. You still need to use due diligence.
- The first company ranking probably allocates a huge budget to being there. What this means is, they’re using resources from their linkbuilding budget that could be used on YOUR project, on their own to stay at #1. I’ve seen companies spend a persons wage just on ranking #1 for Search Engine Optimisation in their local area.
- Ranking for a single keyword is generally not good SEO. You need to rank for many terms to get a decent traffic flow, so by focusing on just a single term they really aren’t getting optimal results, unless they’re a complete authority and dominate ALL synonyms, which is never the case in this game.
What you want for, is the best Value for Money. You need someone who can provide you with the following:
- Rankings in a decent period of time – how long will it take to get page one, how long to be #1?
- Guaranteed results - what happens if you don’t rank? If they said 3 months to get to page one, what happens if they don’t?
- Traffic – are they going to rank you for keywords which will provide you with a decent amount of traffic, or are they picking crappy non-competitive long-tails that have next to no traffic and no chance of converting.
- Stability – will you still rank in a years time? What happens after you rank #1?
Generally once an SEO campaign reaches a point where all of your chosen keywords are ranked at #1, you will have two main options. The first option is that you can continue paying the same amount that you were already paying, and they will branch out and target more keywords and try to get them to the number one ranking. The second is that they may reduce the cost, generally by fifty percent, and put you on a monthly maintenance contract where they simply do a smaller amount of effort and try to keep your rankings solidified in the number one position.
Under a maintenance agreement it is possible that Google algorithm updates can harm your rankings, and you may not be completely solid at #1, it is also possible that one of your competitors could engage an SEO company and aggressively target one or more of your keywords. Generally the maintenance amount will take care of this, but occassionally you may need to temporarily go back into a more aggressive arrangement to get back to the number one spot.
It is important to discuss all of these scenarios when engaging an SEO company such as Newcastle SEO althought a decent provider like these guys will almost always discuss all possible outcomes from your campaign.
You may only hear from your account manager once a month, and this is quite normal as SEO is an ongoing process. But when you do, try to get all of your questions out of the way, as this will lead to you being much more comfortable with the results, and you’ll know what to expect in the coming month.