Are you worried that your New York startup won’t be noticeable enough? Have your site rankings been showing a steady decline in recent months? Do you feel your digital marketing efforts aren’t able to generate enough leads?
If so, maybe it’s time to evaluate the SEO elements of your website. And, choosing the right SEO firm to do this can make or break your business.
The difference between a surge in organic traffic and a fall in Google rankings is the difference between good and not up-to-the-mark SEO. When you can hire quality SEO services for your business, new or old, your sales will improve and you can achieve your business goals within the budget at hand.
But, choosing a good SEO company requires you to research extensively beforehand. It’s common to fall into a trap and opt for a company that makes tall claims. Ignore promises of top ranks in record time; this isn’t feasible and you shouldn’t trust a business making such unreasonable claims. These agencies are usually waiting to rob you; if you are careless, they might just succeed.
Why is it best to leave SEO tasks to professionals?
It’s possible to conduct search engine optimization on your own; that will save you money too. But professional expertise may be required for better scalability. You may see some positive results initially, but, without expert help, taking your business to newer heights may be more challenging than you imagined.
Without professional help, your business’s organic growth gets hampered. You soon find your competitors racing past you, taking with them your leads and prospective clients. That’s not what you want at any cost, right?
So, it’s best to look for a New York SEO company that has the expertise and experience to make sure you get noticed by your target audience.
Tips on how to choose an SEO company in New York for your business:
- Identify your goals: Is your goal to increase organic traffic to your website? If so, you need to understand that organic traffic can be of different types, and just because your site gets traffic, doesn’t mean your revenues are going to automatically go up. Instead, you need to take time out and clearly outline your business goals with in-house developers. That will help you figure out what exactly you want to achieve with SEO specialists. Your goals could be to boost conversion rates, reduce bounce rates, increase product sales, or increase revenue from ads.
- Word-of-mouth advertising: Instead of choosing an SEO company simply because it is ranked high in Google SERPs, you should stick to word-of-mouth referrals by satisfied clients. The best SEO experts are usually far too busy taking care of client sites to invest time in their own websites. Rather, they focus on having a long list of loyal customers who can refer their services to people they know. You also need to understand that such lists are never really impartial. You can be sure some companies have paid quite a premium price to get their names featured on that list!
- Avoid companies that claim to know everything: Getting good SEO isn’t magic and it’s best to stay away from people who talk about this abstractly. Since the process of site optimization isn’t easy, it’s usually misunderstood. Those who try to convince you that they know exactly what Google’s algorithms are for ranking sites are usually not saying the truth. Instead, look for people who know how Google and other search engines work, and keep themselves up-to-date with the changing algorithms.
- Avoid companies using Black Hat techniques: You should understand that techniques like keyword stuffing, buying links, and cloaking will get you into a lot of trouble. You may even end up getting blacklisted if you aren’t careful enough. These Black Hat techniques, as these tricks are called, flout search engine rules. When Google discovers these, they can bring down your site rankings and even ban the site completely. You will end up losing your customers! To prevent this from happening, avoid SEO companies that claim to know how to leverage Black Hat techniques.
- Find a firm whose metrics are suitable: Once you have clearly defined your business goals and shortlisted a few companies, you need to choose one that can chart your progress properly. Your SEO experts and you must be on the same page regarding where KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) are concerned. KPIs are metrics applied to different business aspects. For example, when you launch a new product, your KPIs will be quite different from a company that already has a steady clientele for it. Working with KPIs can be an overwhelming task; it’s easy to get confused in the maze of data and track wrong indicators. Your SEO company must identify which metrics mean the most for your business and work accordingly.
- Good communication skills: While you will get easy access to top-of-the-line SEO tools for measuring KPIs, you find it hard to take time out to analyze so much data. This is why your job is to find an SEO firm that has excellent communication skills and can instill faith in you. SEO is an ongoing process and you will probably need to work hand-in-hand with the company for many years ahead. It’s best to opt for a firm that’s easy to tak to and work with.
- Look for experience: This is perhaps one of the most important factors to look into when hiring an SEO in New York. while most NYC SEO companies will claim that have specialists working for them, they usually don’t have enough experience for backing such claims. So, don’t forget to do your background check before committing to a company. It will tell you whether the company you have shortlisted is well-versed in what works in SEO today and updates itself with the changing trends. Only an experienced SEO agency can help you implement time-tested strategies and stay in touch with the latest algorithm updates.
- Look at past portfolios: While it’s easy to find companies that will claim to be good at optimizing your website for search engines, it’s a good idea to look at their past work. Any reputed SEO company will not mind sharing its portfolio and case studies with interested clients, like you. Why not talk to its previous clients directly to get genuine feedback about the company’s efficiency? So, it’s not a good idea to trust SEO company websites blindly. Do your own background check to make sure they are authentic and trustworthy.
- Ask for a plan: Hiring an SEO company isn’t a guarantee that your site rankings will go up. It’s vital that they have a proper plan in place to meet your goals. For that, you need to check if the company has correctly understood your goals. Accordingly, they should be able to make a plan to achieve the targets. For instance, don’t trust a company that says it can guarantee an increase in traffic within 6 months; look for metrics, like a 10% increase in traffic per month. These figures are believable and can convince you about their capability.
- Best practices: The best SEO agencies are those which conform to the best search engine optimization practices. Even the most skilled and capable experts won’t be able to guarantee results unless they stick to guidelines. SEO specialists may not be able to control every new update or rule, but they must have the power to anticipate these and fine-tune your strategies accordingly.
- Look for reports: Don’t forget to check whether the SEO agency offers consistent SEO reports on a site’s progress. Reputed companies will not hesitate to provide routine white-label reports containing every detail. They will make it a point to keep you informed about changes they make to your site and whether these are working out. Avoid companies that only offer such information when asked for it.
- Frequency of reports: It’s always better to look for an SEO partner that sends you reports from time to time. It’s preferable if the reports are delivered every month; you can also request them for weekly or bi-weekly reports if needed. Any company which wants to keep its clients in the loop will never hesitate to provide reports, even if these must come in regularly. Comprehensive SEO reports will show activities like the number of outreach campaigns built, the number of links created, the status of traffic, and its increase or decrease over months, rankings for targeted keywords, and conversion rates.
- Find out about its services: Since SEO involves a variety of tasks, including guest posting link building, content marketing, etc, it’s important to know whether your SEO firm offers all or a few of these. So, if you need to add links to your website to gain more traffic, there’s no sense in approaching an SEO firm that offers content marketing only. If you feel that your SEO requirements will keep changing over time, it’s best to choose an agency with a wide portfolio. That way you can get all the services under one roof!
- Inquire about their SEO methods: Once you have explained what your business objectives are, you should ask the agency how it plans to achieve these targets. Any good SEO agency will first carry out a technical SEO audit. This is done to detect problems with the site and to find out why rankings are low. Once the loopholes are identified, they will come up with an SEO plan to boost rankings. In case your site requires links, it’s important to ensure that these come only from authoritative and credible sites. Low-quality links are detrimental to your site’s SEO.
- Ask how it measures success: You may find a higher ranking for your website or an increase in organic traffic and consider it to be an improvement. These are green signals alright, but the real success of any SEO campaign is conversion. Only when you find visitors becoming paying customers and contributing to your revenue can you consider your SEO company to be effective. It is the increase in ROI that tells you whether you made the right choice of an SEO company or not. If your SEO agency measures success in other ways, it’s not the right choice for you.
- Ask about penalized sites: To know whether you made a good choice, you can inquire whether the SEO agency has fixed penalized websites in the past. Penalizing sites isn’t unheard of; it’s quite common when a site employs black hat techniques to manipulate Google rankings. Algorithmic penalties arise when a site doesn’t meet the new changes to Google’s algorithm. Manual penalties happen when Google’s spam team finds that a site has been flouting webmaster guidelines. This can happen to you at any time; so, you need to be sure that the SEO partner you choose has the required expertise to fix it.
- Ask about outsourcing projects: Did you know that many SEO firms outsource some of their work because they can’t handle them all on their own? So, if the in-house teams struggle to meet deadlines, they start giving the work to freelancers. This can affect the quality of work and of course, end results. So, make sure the SEO firm you choose doesn’t ever outsource its projects. Choose a company that is equipped to take care of its work independently.
- Pricing structure: The budget is of utmost consideration when you plan on signing up with an SEO firm in a place like New York. Different agencies have different pricing structures but prices typically depend on the kind of services you are requesting for. Most SEO agencies will charge you on a project basis; some may even offer price-by-the-hour rates. Whatever the model, you need to ensure there are no hidden fees involved and the prices don’t exceed your budget.
Use these guidelines to choose a leading SEO firm in New York. Never assume that a firm that is ranked amongst the “best” on Google is necessarily the best for you. Beware of spammers who use Black Hat techniques to guarantee higher ranks. And most importantly, never agree to fixed SEO packages. Your business’s SEO needs will change from time to time; it demands a custom approach. So, there can never be a one-size-fits-all SEO package for everyone.