Getting a startup website off the ground is the necessary first step to solving the visibility puzzle.With nearly every company these days putting heavy focus on online aspect of business, it’s becoming increasingly competitive to get a new brand in front of as many eyes as possible.

Here are three tips to keep in mind when choosing an agency.

1.Gauge the portfolio before reaching out
If you look at the website of an SEO agency, you will most likely find a number of case studies or a list of businesses they’ve worked with in the past.Even though there are certain reasons for some clients to remain private, many have no problem with putting their link on an agency’s website.After all, it’s free publicity.Looking at an agency’s portfolio helps you understand what types of businesses it serves.Look for patterns related to your niche.For instance, if you are a law office and you see the agency has worked with a number of other firms, it shows they are experienced within your industry and know what it takes to see fruitful results.

2.Examine and develop your goals
Once you’ve identified a number of potential agencies, you need to have a firm direction written up before making contact.What exactly do you want an SEO strategy to accomplish?Typically, such goals might be to increase exposure, boost leads or gain more conversions.Keep in mind, SEO is not a field where you generally see results overnight.In most cases, it’s a slow process that requires consistent effort.As important as you overarching goals are, you need to have a clear roadmap developed with reasonable KPIs to judge your success rate.Without it, an SEOagency will find it much harder to help you.

3.Conduct a background check
When you are looking at the testimonials on an agency’s website, they will most likely be the most outstanding success stories.While these are always good for reference, you need more to judge a company.The stories you want to hear are those from the average clients.What was their experience with the company?If you can, try to get a hold of at least three businesses that have used the agency’s services.In addition to asking about the end results, you will want to get a feel for the day-to-day interactions.Choosing an SEO team is similar to hiring a new employee.You need to consider third-party opinions to get a better impression of whether there might be a good fit for you.

Don’t fall in love
Choosing a company to do your online marketing is an extremely important task.As many experts will tell you, the search engines are constantly changing, and it takes a keen eye to stay on top of the trends.One of the most important things to keep in mind is not to fall in love.Thelast thing you want to do is jump the gun and choose an SEO agency that ends up wasting your time and money.


Peter Zmijewski is the founder and CEO at KeywordSpy.His expert knowledge on Internet Marketing practices and techniques has earned him the title “Internet Marketing Guru“ He is also an innovator, investor and entrepreneur widely recognized by the top players in the industry.