How to Choose a Reputable and Trusted SEO Company
In recent years, the SEO industry has seen more and more companies offering SEO services and claiming to bring you to number 1 in the rankings. There have also been a lot of complaints about SEO companies treating an SEO service like a commodity when they are not.
With so many SEO companies to choose from and also plenty of mediocre SEO companies making money fast for terrible service, we thought it would be a good idea to produce this simple guide to the things you checklist. you need to know when to choose an SEO company, as well as tips for asking any SEO company you are considering hiring.
1. Avoid direct telephone sales
An SEO company should first and foremost be interested in your business, not the sales goals their business wants to achieve.
Some SEO agencies use cold calling and aggressive sales tactics to contact businesses to entice them to join. This is a holistic approach taken by some SEO agencies, and your business will be just one contact among hundreds of other businesses, so it’s a numbers game.
They will promise things like guaranteed rankings and # 1 results in Google, however, these calls should be treated with care and taken with a pinch of salt. These types of agencies can also scare you with sales techniques that are neither ethical nor believable.
It is advisable to ask the agent on the phone who calls you if he is referencing, or if the call you receive is just one of the many calls he makes every day to join his call. . targets from the business lists given to them. This sales technique doesn’t give you any credibility on the SEO company and says a lot about their business if they have to resort to cold calling in the first place.
The screenshot below shows an email from an anonymous SEO company.
If you sign up with these types of companies, they will treat your SEO as a production process. Your keywords and business will go into and out of an SEO sausage machine without any thought or SEO solution tailored for your business. If they have other businesses in the same industry and market as you, they will reuse methods for you that they have already used for your competition.
A good SEO company will look at your business, market, competition, and goals, and tailor an SEO strategy that will work for your business and your market.
2. What are you getting for your money?
You should ask your SEO company what SEO services they offer and what all the costs are. Some agencies will include basic reports as standard and charge for additional reports and some may expect you to pay for all of your reports. So be clear about what you will receive. If you are planning to spend any money on SEO then you really need to know these finer details.
3. Get informed
What you should also check is their credibility and whether they will do a good job for you. The best way to do this is to talk to their clients as referrals and also ask them for the length of contracts they have with clients. A client will stay with a good SEO company that produces results. Make sure you have a direct discussion with at least three of their clients. Any company that does not wish to provide references with which you can discuss their work should be avoided; after all what do they have to hide? Any reputable and efficient agency will be happy to give you the references of its satisfied customers!
4. Make sure they are not using spam techniques
SEO can be implemented in a poor and unethical manner that is, not in line with Google policy and guidelines, which will ultimately penalize your website and rankings. If an SEO company uses spamming techniques or over-optimizes your website and links, you are seriously jeopardizing your website’s ranking and your business. Some SEO companies may very well offer quick wins so they can get your money’s worth, however, this is not a sustainable SEO strategy. And with Google increasingly cracking down on spamming techniques and over-optimized websites, this type of SEO comes with a high risk. These types of SEO companies will also know that these methods are not sustainable and take risks with your website.
You can also check their clients’ websites and their own website for any shady SEO practice. There are a number of backlink tools that you can use to verify anchor text. If a high percentage of those backlinks are “silver keywords” then the SEO company is walking on wasteland and risking your ranking with unethical practices.
You can also check the reports you receive from your SEO company, the anchor text they use, and the quality of the websites they are looking for their links from.
5. Check who is actually working on your SEO
Many business models of SEO companies involve outsourcing some or all of their SEO and link building work to reduce costs and use additional resources during peak times. Some agencies will outsource your work to agencies abroad, for example in India, at a much cheaper price and mark it up so that they get more profit.
We think this is a very bad idea because outsourcing means less control, less quality, and less knowledge about your business. You should ask an SEO company if they are outsourcing the work and why, and also ask to meet with the entire team that will be working on your account to make sure you are happy with the team and understand your business.
Making sure they don’t outsource work is even more critical, as your online brand and business reputation are your number one priority. If you have substandard links, online content, and social media, it will negatively impact your brand and business.
6. Do they guarantee rankings?
First of all, no reputable SEO company will promise or guarantee a ranking. Second, no SEO company can guarantee a number 1 position on Google. You should not trust any company that guarantees rankings. Google even says that no one can guarantee a # 1 ranking with them. There are so many variables and criteria that are beyond an agency’s control, that an agency is therefore unable to claim to guarantee a position or a ranking.
The only guarantees SEO companies can give is that Google will systematically make changes to their algorithms and that the playing field is anything but level! But that’s what you pay a good SEO company: design a realistic SEO strategy that will drive quality traffic to your website and that is right for your business and has long term performance.
If an agency guarantees your ranking, there are two alarm bells that should ring.
- The first wake-up call is if they are using unethical practices that are not in line with Google’s guidelines to get your rankings. If they are, they risk penalizing your website.
- The second is what keyword will they rank you for? An easy keyword with no competition that they can choose might rank at number 1, but may not be relevant to your business and not drive traffic to your website because it is not a searched keyword. A keyword that does not drive traffic to your website is indeed unnecessary.
7. How long is the contract?
Some agencies will expect you to sign a long contract; anything from a year to two years. We advise you not to lock yourself into a long term contract in case the SEO company fails to deliver SEO results and performance.
A long contract will always be in favor of the agency rather than yours. Realistically, all SEO results can be achieved between three and six months. If SEO is working for your business, then great, you may decide to continue. However, if that doesn’t work and there is no SEO performance improvement, then you will be locked into a contract that you can’t get out of and pay for SEO that doesn’t work.
A good SEO company won’t lock you into a contract and we recommend that you choose an SEO company that has a monthly to quarterly contract that will get you out of the contract if the SEO isn’t working.
An SEO company will also know when SEO is not working and look at possible factors. It can depend on the market, the competition, the time of year, your budget, and the demand for a product. A reputable agency will let you get out of the contract easily and hassle free if it just isn’t working.