To many businesses, hiring a search engine optimization company is sort of like picking a doctor for your surgery. They all belong to an exclusive esoteric clique, there's really no way you can tell who's really good.
Well, let's take a short look at the kind of questions you need to ask yourself before you actually hire a search engine optimization company. The more ways your choice of company checks the right boxes, the better your experience is going to be.
For instance, how did you come across this company did they cold call you or maybe answer an ad that you placed? Good SEO companies do not do that.
Whatever way you did come cross your choice, do they have good quality references to show you? Don't expect them to show you a bunch of references right away though. Good companies don't want to bother their clients with this kind of stuff. They will insist that you put off the references part as the last thing to do until just before you sign the deal.
Okay, once you get to talking to them about their SEO strategy, what does it sound like? Do they seem to say that all you need do is a little tweaking to your title tags and other such arcane stuff and it'll probably take you to number one? If they do say that, give them the boot. That's a bunch of lies.
On the other hand, if they say that they cannot guarantee you anything, but if you will work with them, and if you will cooperate with them over a proper content strategy, they can probably give you reasonable improvements, don't waste any time signing them up.
Okay, how exactly are you supposed to judge how good a job these people are doing once you hire them? How do you know that they are doing what they promised they would?
Well, a poor quality search engine optimization company will tell you that if you can see yourself going up in the ranks, that's all you should need as proof that their services are working for you.
The good companies will give you proper reporting on top of the rankings. They will give you proper statistics on the kind of site traffic you're getting from organic search, what your conversion rate is, the amount of time that visitors are spending on your website, and so on. That's the only kind of SEO you should ever accept.
And finally, as little test of how knowledgeable they are, ask them if your URLs are going to be keyword rich ones. Unless your company name is exactly the keyword phrase that ranks on Google, doing that kind of thing will just not help. Any good SEO company will tell you that.