Google released official recommendations for working with SEO companies who try to boost your website’s ranking on Google’s search engine results page. Some SEO companies can actually damage your local businesses’ reputation with the search engine through unethical SEO tactics or simply because they are a scam.
Google released these tips for picking a good SEO agency:
- Be selective. Ask these questions when selecting a third party to work with:
- Has it managed business listings before?
- Has it managed businesses with similar budgets or target audiences?
- What other services can it provide to grow your business?
- Work with one at a time. You may be tempted to divide your budget among multiple third parties to see which one drives the best results, but keep in mind that it’s best to test them one at a time. Your business can only appear once on Google, so it’s difficult to test multiple third parties at once.
- Educate yourself. It doesn’t take much time to get up to speed with how Google My Business works and understand how to use its features. Review the resources and FAQs for a basic introduction to Google My Business, then explore the Help Center to find answers to specific questions. Understanding how Google My Business works will help you make more informed decisions when working with a third party.
- Trust experience. Companies that have managed hundreds of businesses on Google are more likely to have expertise with Google My Business. Before you hire a third party, talk to its staff members to understand their previous experience managing businesses on Google.
- Evaluate your performance. You can find a wide range of insights in your Google My Business account that can give you info about how customers are finding and interacting with your business on Google. Spend time each month reviewing your listing’s performance and evaluating the results you’re getting from working with a third party. Check for things like updated photos and current business hours, as well as changes in how customers are discovering your business online.
To learn more about Google’s tips and things to watch out for, check out their Help Center page.