There are so many articles out there on how to choose the right SEO firm for your businesses’ online marketing efforts. Many of the articles are quite insightful and go into painstaking detail – describing some of the most important things to look for in an SEO company that will perform a high quality job for your business. But we thought it would be fun to introduce one simple trick that will help you increase the chances of your success exponentially. Simply put, just look for the people associated with the company. It can either be the founder, some employees – any person will do. Bonus points for those companies that actually include a picture of the individual. After all, SEO companies are a part of the digital age. But if you don’t find the name of at least someone associated with the business on the website, run for the hills.
It’s Simple – It Takes a Person to Trust
Of all industries, SEO professionals know quite a bit about how to optimize a website in order to increase conversions. One of the cornerstones to this process is building trust with the potential prospect. A lot of times, website owners will include awards, certifications, partnerships, case studies and testimonials, among other trust factors. These are all great signs. But there’s nothing quite like a Polaroid of the owner, employees, a founder, or someone else associated with the business. After all, a recent study showed that fake reviews and testimonials are rampant on the Web these days. Even awards that seem credible can actually be paid “awards” that are merely a clever attempt to garner trust. But actually placing a photo online or writing a biography of an individual associated with the business actually holds the individual to a certain level of accountability that can’t be matched by other trust factors.
An Image Means There’s Nothing to Hide
When doing business with someone, it’s almost impossible to imagine conducting business without knowing who you’re doing business with. In fact, this is such a common practice, that it almost begs the question, “if a company doesn’t put information about who’s behind the business, why aren’t they willing to share this information?” It could be a number of things, ranging from the actual location of the business (in a far off country), lack of employees (although many of us have started from very small beginnings), lack of experience or track record. But in other instances, it could signal something far less innocent, such as poor track record. Especially considering the importance of “branding” and “authorship”, SEO firms would be silly not to offer transparency. Even if there’s an innocent reason, it has a high probability of leaving a visitor with a funny feeling.
Okay – So This Isn’t Scientific Data…But…
Now, this isn’t to say that a company with team members plastered all over their website will do a fantastic job for your website’s SEO efforts. In fact, even the best of firms doesn’t perform perfectly all of the time. However, at least knowing who you’re dealing with and being able to look up information about team members and the company on the whole gives you an opportunity to see what they’re about, areas of the Web that they participate, their contributions to the internet community, and perhaps even a little bit about what others say about them. This not only helps give a little peace of mind, but also helps you get a feel for who they are and what they believe in – which is oftentimes forgotten when businesses make vendor selection decisions. So do yourself a favor – dig a little deeper when looking for an SEO company. If you’re investigating the SEO firm, verify the ownership and/or employees. If you’re qualifying firms based upon an SEO Directory or a matchmaking service, then make sure that referral service is transparent. While it isn’t the only thing you should consider, it’s an often overlooked tip that can help you steer clear of some definite trouble.