You hire an SEO company to optimize your website. Because you think you are not an expert yourself, you give the people behind it all the freedom to choose which SEO techniques to use. You said, all you want is a better, if not the best, search engine ranking. So they should give you that. All the efforts must come from their end.
Wrong. If they apply Black Hat SEO to your website, who do you think will suffer? It is you, of course. It is your company and not theirs. You want to place on top of the search engine ranking, they give that to you. But because the problem on spam penalty will come after, you will be the one to deal with that. Certainly, you do not want this to happen. So here is what you should do:
1. Educate yourself on SEO practices.
Do your homework. Do not give them the impression that they are the kings; hence, they can do whatever they want. The final decision regarding the activities that involve in the optimization of your site should come with you. In addition, you can also make suggestions and ask questions that will leave the impression that you are well-equipped about the job. Hence, they cannot possible trick you.
2. Ask them to give you a list of their step-by-step SEO campaign activities.
The list will lead you to the right direction. You can make a research about the importance of each activity included in the list. Significantly, you will also determine if it is against the standard SEO practices.
3. Supervise them as they perform each task or double check their work.
Read the content. Do you think it is written both for the search engines and the users? If yes, it is well and good. If not, you have to ask them to edit the content. Do you think the keywords are the ones that will be typed by the users in the browser as query? Are the numbers of keywords used enough or too much? Do they create anchor text? These are the types of questions that you need to answer as you check their work.
4. Find reputable SEO companies.
You have to research over the Internet for credible SEO companies. Do not entertain offers from emails because they may be spammers. Visit their sites and the types of work they do. Project price should be your least concern for this may prevent you from hiring reputable and honest SEO firms.
5. Do not invest everything on optimizing your website.
Optimizing your website may be able to help your company be found by your prospective customers, but please, do not give your all on this campaign. You also have to take full advantage of other Internet marketing strategies, like performing an email campaign and social media marketing.
Hiring an SEO company to do all the works that relate to the optimization of your website is a better option – but not the best. This is because you still have to do your share in their tasks. Do not allow them to do everything because in the end, you may suffer from spam penalty all because they make use of tricks, which will be later on discovered by Google and other search engines. It is not that you cannot trust them. You just have to be with them – as a team member.