While SEO and PPC campaigns can certainly be managed in-house, if you lack specialist search talent and want to fast-track traffic to your site, then bringing in a professional search marketing consultancy can pay real dividends.

If you decide to bring in an external consultancy to help with your search marketing, do your homework and choose wisely. There are many excellent SEOs out there who will do a great job promoting your business online, but equally there are unscrupulous companies looking to exploit the uninitiated. Not all SEO companies are created equal, and it is an unfortunate fact that some of them will stray into less than ethical territory to secure high rankings quickly. Making them and their services look good in the short term.

Here are a few things to bear in mind when you engage with an SEO professional:

- Make sure you’re dealing with a reputable company that has a strong track record to backup their claims.

- Ask to see case studies and get references from previous clients.

- Check their own site – has it been optimised? Does it adhere to search engine guidelines?

- Look and listen for any hint of black hat techniques. If there is any doubt about the ethics and integrity of the company, walk away. It’s your domain they will be playing with and it’s not worth risking your reputation with the engines.

- Once you have engaged an SEO company, don’t just leave them to it. You need to keep abreast of what your SEO company is doing on your behalf – after all, it’s your site.

Adapted from

Ryan, D., 2016. Understanding digital marketing: marketing strategies for engaging the digital generation. Kogan Page Publishers.

Next doc