Search engine optimisation has never been a one-man job, no matter what you might see on the internet. That’s why most business owners turn to SEO companies when it’s time to launch a new site or company.
Just as with any other service offered in the world, there are companies who want to take advantage of the general population. These are unprofessional and unethical companies. They may use unsafe methods that actually harm your site and business. They may not even deliver on their promises and simply disappear after taking enough money from customers.
What to expect from an ethical SEO company
As a business owner, it’s up to you to figure out which SEO companies operate on an ethical basis and which companies gladly walk the grey line. To do this, you’ll have to do things like research and read reviews. Once you’ve started working or communicating with a particular company there are also some things you can do to judge their intentions. For example, there are certain things you should expect from an ethical company and some things you should expect to hear from an unethical company.
You shouldn’t expect a professional and ethical SEO company to try and tie you into an unneeded, long-term contract. Rarely do you want to be tied into any sort of lengthy contract. You really don’t want to be signed into one with a company when your business is still in its infancy. You wouldn’t buy a car without a test drive and you shouldn’t sign long-term contracts with SEO companies unless you know it’s worth it.
Any professional and ethical company knows how to break down the various processes into individual modules. Keeping you up to date as each module is completed lets you better judge their ability to work and how fast they are working.
For example, one of the first modules to complete is the appraisal or audit. After it is completed, the company should then report to you regarding what is currently working with your marketing efforts and what isn’t working. They may offer their recommendations as well.
Other modules include keyword researching, identifying the audience, and analysing the competition. These can be broken down into 2 – 4 week blocks of time in most cases.
You should always expect an open sharing of all information from your search engine optimisation company. This includes sharing all data and account information from third-party accounts. For example, you should have access to any analytic or PPC accounts established on behalf of your company. You should also have access to all data generated for your campaign, such as keyword rankings, lists, and website analysis.
Companies that aren’t eager to share the information they have gathered are usually companies that have something to hide. Don’t make the mistake of working with an SEO company that isn’t professional and ethical.