There is really only one way to judge a professional SEO expert, and that’s results – It’s the single most important factor for business owners that consider hiring an SEO company to help bring more leads and paying customers to their business websites.

So, is the SEO company actually ranking number 1 for their important keywords? (for example, Google ‘SEO expert Cardiff’ you will see I rank my Cardiff division of Step Change Media, as well as my Upwork profile) If the company isn’t on page one at all, it can indicate they’re not going to bring a business owner a significant return on investment.

To find out if a search engine optimisation firm is an SEO Expert, head over to Google and enter the keyword “SEO Expert and your city”:

SEO Expert Cardiff, SEO Expert London etc

Another popular keyword that agencies fight tooth and nail to rank for is “SEO and the City Name”:

Also consider if you found their website via paid advertising such as Google AdWords, Facebook Ads or an alternative online advertising platform.

Search engine marketing companies that are paying for advertising, and NOT appearing on page one of the search engines for their most profitable keyword phrases indicates they are unlikely to optimize your business website or bring you increased revenue.

Are they ranking #1 or at least on page one? 
Did you find their business via paid advertising?

BASICS
Can the SEO agency provide you with live proof of client rankings? Many firms are bound by a client confidentiality agreement that prohibits sharing portfolio’s with you.

Results in Advance
At our agency, we decided to create some demonstration sites that are ranking on page 1 and position 1 of Google search engines for some competitive keywords. Our demo sites are optimised for local SEO and national SEO.

Hover over our testimonials tabs in the menu at the top of this page and you’ll see some case study sites that we have built. As you’ll see, these sites are ranking highly for some very competitive keywords. It’s a decent demonstration of what we achieve for local and national businesses.

Testimonial
Testimony is the next important research to carry out. When you’re checking out testimonials it’s always best to pay less attention to the ones on the companies website. A company worth its salt will have written testimonials on Social Media platforms and other Web 2.0 sites such as LinkedIn.

When you make contact with an SEO company pay attention to their interest in your business, ensure they are asking probing questions about your products and services? Is there a mention of the specific keyword searches that your business needs to rank for…Because it’s pretty easy for your average firm to rank your site for extremely low competition keywords.

There are some well-known companies that rank websites for just the business name! For example, if your business was St Mellons dentist, and you were based in Cardiff, your site would appear number one in Google when someone used the keyword phrase “dentist in St Mellons Cardiff.” This is the lowest form of SEO.

If you are a small to medium sized business, be honest with yourself about how many people are actually putting your “businesses name” into search. Unless you have a significant presence in your market it’s unlikely you’ll be getting many, if any, new hits.

For your business to grow with SEO, you need to be ranking very high in the search results for keyword phrases that relate DIRECTLY to your business. So the Cardiff Dentist will want their site number one in Google for terms like “best dentist Cardiff” or “Cardiff dentistry”. These are the types of search terms that people are actually using to find them.

Keyword phrases should reflect the products and services of your business

Step Change Media gather dynamic keyword searches for each of our perspective clients, and it’s a critical part of our commitment to delivering targeted leads and customers. But to find the most qualified leads online your website and other social properties need to appear in the right places for the right search terms…

You can find out why Step Change Media are SEO experts by clicking on the Contat Us tab at the top of this page.