Trying to choose the best SEO company? here’s how

As an agency that provides SEO services to our clients, we find that we consistently answer the same questions to clients who call us to inquire about our services. Now we have a rule in our office that consultants on the phone should say “no” to more offers than they say “yes”. The reason for this is that SEO is a tricky thing and one agency cannot hope to be the solution for every business. Therefore, we must be as picky about who we work with as our clients must be about their agency.

So if you’re like those customers looking to choose the best SEO company for their needs, this guide should help you make your decision.


Before you begin any search for a new SEO agency partner, you need to make sure that you will be able to follow them when they discuss basic SEO. You don’t want to come off as a complete digital marketing neophyte, otherwise you risk falling prey to a predatory group looking for a quick shot at an uninformed customer.

A great resource to start your search is the Moz SEO Guide for Beginners. It’s the perfect way to gain just enough knowledge to ensure you’re sufficiently armed when dealing with experts in the SEO industry.


Everyone hates talking about budget, but it’s an essential evil in any conversation between a business and a potential SEO provider. But it really plays a huge role in whether commitment can really work.

While we never mean to be rude, we do try to discuss what a workable budget is very quickly with our potential clients in conversation. We do this because our services are more expensive than your typical small business focused agency. Our primary target is more established businesses that have the resources to build a holistic and personalized digital marketing campaign.

So instead of wasting the business owner’s time with dozens of emails and a few proposals, it’s better to find out if you’re even of the same budget mindset.

And don’t go overboard just to get the chance to work with a “premium” agency. Always do your homework first to make sure it’s worth it, otherwise you’ll end up blowing your entire budget and not having much to show for it.


This is a critical step when trying to choose the right SEO agency. You should do as much homework as possible about the company and the founders. The reason I mention the founders is that some less reputable agencies tend to rebrand when their old name gets too dirty. But if you’re lucky, you can usually find a trace of the defunct brand through one of the founders.

You’ll also want to check and see what their ratings are on Yelp, Facebook, Google Plus, and any other third-party independent rating agencies.

But make sure you don’t get tricked into searching for the business name and the word review and then clicking on a property they own. This is another common tactic used by agencies who don’t want you to see their real customer reviews.

Once you’ve checked their customer reviews and online reputation enough, it’s time to take the next step.

Case studies

You’ll want to ask your potential partner agency if you could see detailed case studies of some of their previous success stories. Find out if they have any from a company in a position or industry similar to yours. This will give you the best idea of ​​how this agency works with groups like yours and if they have had success.

But don’t stop there.

The references

It’s a big. You want the ability to contact and call or email one of the satisfied customers. Because the truth is, case studies and testimonials are just words on a paper. But if you can talk to a real person, you can ask them questions and really learn all the ins and outs of working with your potential SEO agency.

I personally ask any of our potential clients to ask our references what they didn’t like about working with us and let me know. It shows them that I feel comfortable with their request, but it’s also important feedback for me on what we can improve. Also, you as a potential customer should want to ask about the negatives. There will always be negatives. You only have to decide for yourself if you are ready to put up with the negative aspects that are described.

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Another big complaint I hear from potential clients is that their last agency just put them through the sales process and assigned them to a junior team member who couldn’t answer everything the seller described during the pitch. They experience the pain of working with an inexperienced member of staff and end up leaving with a bad taste in their mouth.

So to avoid this, ask to have a call with your potential account management team, and even one of the founders or a senior member of management. It is well within your right to do so. If you’re going to pay your hard-earned money to this agency, they should be willing to let you peek behind the curtain.

Visibility and objectives

Finally, make sure that you are going to work with an agency that is on the same page as you when it comes to your goals. SEO has undergone massive changes over the past few years. It’s not just about keywords and links anymore. It’s now a symphony of content marketing, social media, on-site optimization, off-site optimization, and about 100 other different aspects.

And your goals should always be tied to your income. Don’t be fooled by the outlandish promise of being number one on Google, Yahoo or Bing. The truth is, search algorithms have become so contextual that rankings vary based on location, time of day, device, and your search history. So, just focusing on keyword rankings won’t be enough.

Instead, discuss what you need to see in terms of sales and conversions in order to get a solid ROI from your marketing efforts. If the agency isn’t willing to discuss these goals, it’s time to find another group.

And when you finally find the band you’re ready to work with, you’ll want to make sure they have the ability to share a behind-the-scenes view with you. You have every right to request monthly reports, weekly phone calls, and even access to a real-time dashboard, if they have access to this software technology.

The thing is, you don’t want to be kept in the dark, because that’s when things can get out of control. Instead, don’t treat them like you’re a watchdog, but more like you’re a partner with them and want to help wherever you can and provide ideas where you can.

If you follow these steps, you should be able to avoid the landmines that limit the digital marketing agency industry and hopefully find the partner you truly deserve.

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