How to Pick a Good SEO Company

Searching for an outsourced SEO company can be a hard task. You want to make sure that you are going to see a return on investment on the money you are spending. You also want to make sure that the changes that your SEO company makes to your website aren’t going to cause your rankings to drop or even worse, get your website blacklisted from Google.

We have put together a list of questions and answers (Q&A) for you to ask potential SEO companies.

Question 1: How do you choose the phrases to rank my website on?

If they say “we use keyword research software” ask them, specifically:

  • What software do you use?
  • How many tools/sources do you use/look at when conducting keyword research?
  • Over what time frame does your keyword research cover? Year’s worth of data, only a month of data?

Keyword research is the backbone to your SEO strategy. If you don’t identify the phrases that people are actually searching to find your products, the rest of your SEO will be aimed at the wrong target.

For example: If you sell shoes, you may not want to put all of your SEO effort into the keyword “shoes.” Not only would you be competing with Nike and Reebok, you’d be competing against Bumper to Bumper on “Brake shoes” and Sierra Trading Post on “Snow shoes”.  It would make more sense to go after keywords that better define products that you can sell like “black patent leather size 8.5 Jimmy Choo pumps.”

A good SEO firm will go after a good mixture of keywords that are both short head and long-tail. They will also help you find keywords that are closest to moving a website visitor to a customer (conversion).

Question 2: When you optimize a website…what exactly do you do?

On-site Optimization:

They should say:

  • Title Tag
  • Meta Description
  • Headlines (H1, H2, H3)
  • Body copy
  • Anchor text links
  • Navigation buttons
  • ALT tags
  • URL (i.e.:

On-site optimization is very important. There are some locations on your website  that have more muscle behind them, such as your home page title tag. A good SEO company will use all of the places listed above.

A well optimized website will, on average, contain 50 to 100 keyphrases.

Question 3: Will you get links to our website for us?

  • Who do you get links from?
  • How do you get them to link to us?

This is an important and often missed piece of an SEO strategy. Think of a link as a business referral. If Top Draw sends another website a link, Top Draw is saying “I recommend this site” and it would help that site rank better.

The most important part of a link strategy is quality over quantity. It would be better to have the Oprah Winfrey of your industry link to your website than a teeth whitening company.

Question 4: How will you determine the success of your work for us?

  • Do you measure the ranking you get for us on all the search engines?
  • Do you measure the traffic we get to our website
  • Do you measure the leads/sales we get from our website

Measurement is key. If your marketing isn’t being measured, how do you know it’s working? The beautiful thing about a website is everything can be measured using great tools like Google Analytics.

A good SEO company will be focused on results and will attempt to tie back work they’ve done to results you see.  It’s in their best interests.

Overall, you are looking for an SEO company that is going after the right keywords, putting them in the right places and securing quality links to your website. Search engine optimization can dramatically increase the amount of qualified visitors to your website and help these visitors turn into customers.