So you have finally taken the plunge and decided to work with a professional SEO firm.  First, good for you.  Doing it on your own can be daunting and sometimes it is a better use of your time to let experts handle it besides you doing it on your own.

So before you go and visit with an SEO firm there will be some research on your part that will make you a better informed potential client before stepping in their doorstep or conference call.

First thing you will want to do is to get an idea of their past successes.  This is their virtual portfolio.  Granted a lot of clients will not want to have their information displayed on their websites and that is fine, however there will be clients that will gladly shout their names from the rooftops if you so ask.

If they have a testimonials page that would be a good place to start.  Read over the work that has been done there and what they say about the responsiveness of the company you are to deal with.  One of the most important things when dealing with a SEO firm is making sure that you are given a track record of their progress and what they are doing with the hours they have said they will be working for you.

This is also a double-edged sword.  A lot of really good SEO’s will not want to share with you all of their tactics because then you might think you can go out and do it on your own.  So if this is the case please understand why they might be doing this.

Second thing you will want to do prior is get an idea of the amount of time they intend on working with you.  A lot of good companies will require that you work with them at least 3-6 months.  This is to cover their own butts.  Nothing will happen within a months time, and you have to be understanding of that fact.

Third thing you will want to do, is get in writing what is going to be expected from you.  Being that they may not know your business like you do, there is a chance that they will not be able to develop the kind of content that you could.  Will you be required to do the content, social media maintenance, etc.  This shouldn’t be a surprise.  Because if you want your audience to really mesh well with what you have on your site and what you are about, it will have to come from someone that knows what it is you do.  Which is of course you, right? So don’t be thrown back by this just know that this might be something that happens.

Fourth thing you will want to do is get your keywords over to them prior to meeting with them.  There is no sense wasting your time and theirs if you are trying to rank for some ridiculous keywords and have a budget of a couple hundred dollars a month.  You have to be realistic.  Consider your own customer value and see what you believe you would be willing to invest to get 10 – 50 more of those types of customers a month.  If it seems like a price you can swallow then maybe you should open your wallet, if not keep that money for other things in your business that you think will have the best value.

Dealing with SEO firms can take time, to find the correct one that you get along with and will want to develop an ongoing relationship with for years to come.  Take the time to really think this out and don’t just jump in, do your research.

Source by Brett J Burky

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