Have you ever had a first date that just went so well you knew you had found “the one”? If you answered yes, then congratulations, but for the rest of us dating isn’t that easy. It takes time, patience, a little bit of luck and about 40 other things to eventually find your soulmate.

Finding the right SEO partner to work with can often feel just like dating too. Some first interviews go well but often times businesses have to search around for the right fit for quite a while. So, in honor of our month’s “Follow Your Heart” theme, here’s my list of 5 Reasons Finding The Right SEO Partner Is Like Dating.

1. Plenty Of Companies Will Not Be A Great Fit

Just as it is in the dating world, there are always plenty of suitors and not all of them are great fits for you. The world is full of SEO companies who think they are the answer to every one of your problems, but in reality there are many fewer who will actually be able to help. The reason is that every business is different and that means your SEO partner needs to create a custom strategy. It takes the right mix of proven results and being open minded to new ideas to deliver results.

On top of that, some of the SEO companies out there will actually do more harm than good if you let them. Too often a salesperson for SEO will say something like “We guarantee 100 links in 1 month” and it will sound too good to be true. The result from letting them do that may be a Google penalty down the road and then you’ve wound up paying for something that only costs you more money. Make sure you search around until you find someone you genuinely trust and interests you.

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2. First Interviews Can Be Just As Fun As First Dates

When you eventually do find an SEO partner worth interviewing, it can be a very fun experience because you’ll soon realize how much you have in common. Some of the best meetings I have been a part of involved Flashpoint.Marketing believing in the same core business principles and approach to marketing as the client did. Everything just jives really well and you know that a SEO campaign with them will be rewarding to both parties.

3. Asking The Right Questions Can Save You From Future Trouble

As a business, you should be able to define what it is you are looking for in a relationship with an SEO partner. During your interview and proposal stages, be sure to ask questions that give you answers to those must-haves and help you to understand what exactly they’ll do. Do they outsource any part of their work on your campaign? Do they think keyword driven content is as important as content that converts?

 

The key thing here is to not be shy and lay out what exactly your business is looking for. Learning as much as you can before signing a contract can save you from trouble and future issues down the road. On the flip side however, SEO experts won’t want to give away the secret sauce to everything because some companies will steal that knowledge and never hire them. Find the right balance and be honest with yourself about how you think the interview went.

4. Every Once In A While You Have To Spice It Up

After you have signed on an SEO partner and things are going well, it is easy to fall into that day-to-day routine. You know the one if you’ve been dating someone for a while! That’s why it is always prudent to spice things up from time to time and take another look at how things are going with your SEO partner. Is organic search traffic holding steady or is it increasing month to month? New tactics and fresh views on strategy can help your business stay ahead of the curve instead of keeping up.

One of our favorite things to do here is to give our campaigns a 6 month review. We have clients who have been with us for a long time but we have changed our SEO strategy with them multiple times in that span. It’s great to see how trends in the industry can be put to good use. As a business, be sure to ask if things can be changed up every so often with your partner’s approach to SEO.

5. Relationships That Work Take Effort

The goal of dating is to eventually build a solid relationship with someone and we all know that takes time and effort. Even if it all comes naturally, relationships require both people to work together and it’s no different in the business world. Businesses and search providers can’t operate independently of each other and that means open communication and shared expectations.

Good SEO companies also ask their clients what the primary and secondary goals of the campaign are, but great companies also ask how they’re doing. Feedback is crucial to a successful relationship and being honest with each other can lead to amazing results. If things aren’t the best they can be with your partner, put effort into figuring out how they can improve first before moving on.

Have you found an SEO partner match? What sealed the deal?