Hello Dear FOMO friends!
Before talking about vendors I need to give a disclaimer: I am an SEO who offers both mobile and ASO marketing services at CircleClick Media. There seems to be a new agency gold rush for shady ASO tactics. Recently I was quoted in an awesome Fast Company article about SEO guest blogging practices. Being interviewed for the piece reminded me precisely how much shady SEOs get my goat. When my agency is brought in and we are asked to put together an SEO strategy, it’s often on the tail end of another vendor who got the axe. I’ve seen some shady, shady things! I cannot even begin to explain the level of incompetence.
Alright, enough ranting… Here are a few tips when hiring a mobile SEO or ASO vendor:
Ask for references
Do they list any clients on their site? If not, definitely ask them why. Their customers may not exist if they cannot reference specific instances where they provided SEO impact for their client.
Look at their website on a mobile phone.
Did they use a responsive design? If your future mobile expert isn’t using a mobile responsive design… Ouch. They don’t practice what they will inevitably preach to you, so how can you trust what they say? Keeping up with the trends is something that a vendor must do for themselves.
Be smart. You simply don’t get something for nothing in life.
Do they use language that seems too good to be true? Did they email you soliciting for your business? Congrats, you are on a mailing list. Nobody can instantly tell Google how awesome you are. Also, be very very careful to ask what you’re getting. If they tell you that you’ll be ranking for top plumbing ghosts in Wichita, Kansas… is that what you really want? I’ve seen many a junior SEO tout their successes for key terms – ones that are highly unlikely to be searched. This is the shell game approach to mobile SEO and one that probably won’t help you.
Ask specific questions about what your SEO goals will be.
Many ASO and mobile vendors secretly use paid search to boost an app. When a search firm or service guarantees traffic or hits for your business, they’re probably mixing some paid search in the mix. It’s OK to do paid search to get yourself off the ground, but don’t confuse the two! While a common practice, it’s also common to claim that this practice provides an SEO benefit. NOT SO! Don’t get fooled. If words like “instant” and “guaranteed” come up a lot, then find someone else.
Just like the way you get through college, common sense and a general knowledge of how things work will carry you far. Trust your instincts, don’t hire your cousin and never be afraid to ask questions! If your vendor doesn’t want to answer your questions then why are you hiring them in the first place?
Best of luck everyone! Happy searching. 🙂