So many Singapore businesses are still hesitant to hire outsourced service providers for SEO services in Singapore. This is mainly because they don’t understand how search engine optimization (SEO) works.
For some, it’s because they’ve been duped by SEO firms before making them lose faith in SEO in general.
Both scenarios are unfortunate because SEO is a must-have strategy. 82% of marketers across the world, as one research by Ascend2 found, say that SEO is becoming more effective by the day meaning companies cannot continue to ignore it as a marketing strategy.
SEO works, but it takes hard work and expertise. Admittedly, many businesses do not have the capacity to do it on their own thus the need to hire an outsourced SEO Singapore company. But like with every other service provider, it’s important that you do your due diligence to make sure you hire right SEO company in Singapore.
To help you make the right hiring decision we have seven rules that you must follow before you hire an outsourced SEO agency.
Rule #1: What you need to know before hiring an outsourced SEO firm
You may not understand how SEO works and that’s why you’re looking for help but you have to have an idea of what needs to be done. Why are you hiring an SEO agency in the first place?
Do you need an in-house SEO expert or will an agency do? How long do you plan to work with the outsourced agency? These are all things you need to decide before you start scouting for an agency.
Know what you hope to achieve from hiring an expert in order to know what to look for in the company that you hire. Do you need more sales? Do you want to rank first on Google? Are you trying to build your brand awareness? Increase your website traffic or simply want good content for your website?
Having a goal in mind is great so that you don’t interview outsourced SEO companies blindly. A goal will make it easier for you to find someone or companies who will help you achieve that goal.
Rule #2: Interview several companies but don’t let them know
Now that you have an idea of what you want to be done, it’s time to get the hiring process started. Find a couple of outsourcing SEO services providers and have one on one discussion with them about what they think you should improve on.
This process is important because it gives you a better perspective of what your SEO needs are from an expert’s view and also because you get to meet the people that you might end up working with.
By having one on one talk with these companies they get to understand your needs and prepare suitable proposals for you. You, therefore, get the chance to get proposals and price quotes from different agencies giving you more options to choose from other than settling for the first ‘good’ company you come across. You can then do your comparison and narrow down to the best.
As you interview companies, avoid letting on that you’re in talks with different agencies. Don’t let them know that you are shopping around.
Most companies will not put their best foot forward when they know that there is no guarantee of getting the job. This is especially true for a lot of the best SEO Singapore companies that have clients fighting to work with them. Even though they are good they need to offer your company only the best so let them prove themselves.
Rule #3: Do some background research and get references
Here is where most businesses go wrong. After the impressive proposals and price quotes, they get hooked and sign the contract immediately.
Before you do that, do some background research on the company that you loved the most during the interview stage.
Look for a track record to make sure that you’re putting yourself in good hands. Run a quick Google search to see how they are performing in search. Do they use keywords and are they ranking well?
If they are promising to help you appear at the top of the search results they should be doing that with their own businesses right?
Ask for referrals and recommendations from their past clients. See for yourself what they have done for others. If they have clients in the same industry as you and they have managed to get them good results, then you can trust that they will get you good results.
Take SEO companies without reviews with a pinch of salt as there’s really no proof that they can actually do what they are promising you they will do for you.
When doing a background consider these factors:
- If they are promising the #1 ranking how well is their own company ranking?
- Do they have any valuable recommendations especially from friends?
- Do they have any bad reviews or scam warnings?
- Do they have a strong social media and online presence?
Interviews should be followed by a little bit of background research on the company of your choice just to have a better idea of what you are getting yourself into and hopefully save yourself trouble in the future.
Rule #4: You will have to spend money
This is the part that discourages most businesses. If you are looking to take the easier way out, financially, remember that cheap is in the end expensive. Good SEO services will cost you some money.
This does not mean that you have to pay an arm and a leg to get good services, just be ready to spend some few dollars if you want to work with the best Singapore service providers for outsourced SEO services. Do not make your search all about finding the cheapest option.
Competition is definitely high and, therefore, you will find lots of companies trying to offer the lowest prices just to get the deal. Cheap SEO services are more likely to hurt your business than help it.
Don’t fall for companies selling the one-size-fits-all SEO package. There is no way all businesses will have the same SEO needs. A good outsourced agency should be able to tailor their services according to your needs.
Rule #5: Get a strategy first before you sign the contract
Once you do your interview, get one or two good options, do your background research and find the best option, ask for a strategy before you close the deal.
This is important because you need to know what the outsourced service provider is going to do for your business, how they plan to do it and the time to be spent. Without a strategy then you will not have anything to measure your return on investment (ROI) against.
A strategy also saves you from having a company that will turn around and say that they never promised something that you expected done. A strategy stipulates clearly what the actions will be and the expected outcomes.
When you have a strategy in place then you can ask for monthly reports to confirm whether targets have been met and what needs to be improved or changed so that you can achieve the highest ROI possible.
It will be pointless to hire an outsourced SEO service provider who will get you results that do not contribute to your business’s bottom line. If this is the case you really aren’t getting your money’s worth. Every dollar you invest in your business should increase your bottom line.
Rule #6: Learn about SEO independently
You may find this a bit unappealing considering you are hiring an independent agency or person to do the job anyway, right? However, if you want to nail it with your SEO company, you must follow this rule. We are not asking you to be an expert, just make sure you understand the fundamentals of SEO.
Think of it this way, you are not the finance manager in your company but you still have an idea of how the books are balanced right? Because it is in your best interest to be aware how every department runs. The same rule applies to SEO even if you are outsourcing the service.
By learning the fundamentals of SEO, you will be able to identify possible outcomes from the SEO package being offered and, therefore, decide if that is what you want. But if you are clueless you will take anything an agency offers you.
You also get to keep your outsourced SEO provider in check. You can tell if what they are doing is the right thing and that you are getting what you paid for. Make sure you play an active role in the SEO strategy. You can only do this if you have a basic understanding of how it works.
If you do not have the time to take an active role get someone in your business, preferably the marketing manager, to learn SEO basics and take up the role. Just don’t let the agency run things unsupervised.
Rule #7: Your SEO company has boundaries too
Now this one is on you and not on any of the outsourced SEO companies you are looking to hire.
There is only too much that anyone, outsourced SEO experts included, can do to help your business. Before you hire an SEO consultant, take a look at the state of your service or product. Are you offering a valuable product or service? If what you are offering is bad no expert will make it sell.
Do not expect your SEO expert to take on the role of a business consultant. Their role is to promote your product or service and it’s your role to make sure that you are offering something that can sell. So take care of that before you start scouting for Singapore service providers for SEO services.
Not all service providers for outsourced SEO services in Singapore are out to dupe you. There are so many agencies available that will help accelerate your business success with expert SEO strategies. You simply have to do your homework and hire the best one available!