Making the right choice when it comes to choosing the right SEO providor can be the difference between success and failure. There are far too many businesses out there that have made the wrong choice and are now seriously regretting it. I do not know what motivated them to make some of these really bad decisions, but one thing is for certain, if they would have read the following article then this would have more than likely saved them from any SEO catastrophe. These tips are absolute gold. They come from years of experience in the SEO space and dealing with clients that have made all the wrong decisions.
Sorting out the good SEO agencies from the bad is not as easy as it would seem, as there are a lot of slick operators out there that can disguise their SEO inability, with inflated promises and over optimistic guarantees. Simply put they lie to your face and you fall victim to this because you do not have enough knowledge of SEO – read on….
Quality SEO is worth every cent
This is the SEO killer and the main reason why so many companies fail in their attempt to find a good SEO agency. It all comes down to money. So many businesses spend hours on the phone shopping around looking for the cheapest SEO agency. Guess what? They find one and they trust them with their internet marketing. In their quest to locate and engage the cheapest provider people forget 1 golden rule. SEO is difficult and it takes skill to rank a website. Most of the companies that offer these cheap packages have no clue about SEO. What they do know is how to sell cheap SEO to you over the phone, take your money and do absolutely nothing for the next 12 months, whilst you are stuck in their contract. The only looser is you. So, moving forward, when you are shopping around, what ever you do, please do not place too much emphasis on cost. Quality SEO is a rare thing to find. So the question should not be ‘how much are you going to charge me’ but ‘what can you do for my website’.
Are they selling too hard?
The first point of contact is the initial sales call. You should see if they trying too hard to sell to you. By this I mean, what kind of sales talk are they telling you over the phone to get your business. Does it sound as though they are trying too hard and offering unrealistic promises, guarantees that will never eventuate and promises of no rank no pay scams. All of these dodgy tactics are fine tuned by these SEO agencies to lull you into a false sense of security. Even the paper work they send you will be filled with charts, graphs and lines pointing upwards. Everything just looks too good to be true. It’s all smoke and mirrors. This is the time to panic and pull the pin. These are the type of operators that are trying to pull the wool over your eyes. Selling too hard and trying to close the deal over the phone is a good indicator of trouble ahead. SEO takes time, and requires a strategy. For this to happen you need face to face meetings and an analysis of what you intend to do. So if you feel you are being rushed….simply walk away.
What is the first 2 to 3 months going to be like?
All websites require a different SEO strategy. But your SEO agency, should follow a system of contact in the first 3 months. The first 3 months is the critical period. It is here that most of the necessary ‘on page’ amends need to be made and where the back linking starts to come into effect. Plus you get a feeling for how each of you work. You might find that in most cases it’s all about over communication with you till you sign up and then you hear nothing from them. This happens most of the time so be very aware of this. With SEO you need to be constantly informed of what’s going on and what’s happening with your site and rankings. If the calls and emails start dropping off then you have to ask yourself, what are they actually doing?
The SEO space has evolved as well. Simply ranking a site is no longer enough. One needs to be partnering with a digital agency that can utilise these rankings and turn them into actual sales. This means you need to have an agency working for you that knows the digital landscape and how to use it for your benefit. SEO is one thing but you also need Adwords, conversion rate optimisation, web design, content marketing, some form of social media marketing and more. The list goes on so know well in advance that SEO is just 1 component of your marketing arsenal.
If your prospective SEO agency is not mentioning any of the above then this is a really bad sign to begin with.
What types of reports will you get?
What are you going to get for your money? How are they going to communicate with you? Most SEO agencies will provide monthly reports. This is OK so long as the information provided is not just a re skin of your Google analytics. They should be able to tell you the increase in online rankings and site visitors, with recommendations of how to make your website more productive as a sales tool – this is part of the digital marketing process discussed earlier. Analysis, advice and implementation is the best thing that your SEO agency can do for you. All this will be based from the reports you receive.
A good indicator of the work they are doing is if you rankings are constantly on the increase. This must be matched by an increase in the number of website visitors. Essentially, they must be on the increase month after month.
Is the SEO work done in house?
Many SEO agencies are unfortunately going to tell you that they do all their work in house, when in fact nothing could be further from the truth. If you speak with them over the phone, they are relying on your ignorance of the SEO process and if you ask them ‘where they do all the work’? They are going to tell you what you want to hear. That’s is all done in Australia. This is hard to disprove and most honest business people will take them at their word. Watch out for this. It’s very hard to tell if the work is done off shore but a good indication will be your rankings after say 3 to 4 months.
The issue with your SEO being done by a third party is quality control.
How did you find them?
When looking for SEO companies did you find them because they were one of the ads on the top of the page? Did you know that they have paid a lot of money to be there and this is the exact opposite of SEO? If you are using an SEO agency that has paid to be on Google then I’m afraid this is a really bad move. Ideally, you should be working with a company that is ranking organically. SEO companies that have to pay to be on page 1 of Google cannot obviously rank their own website – so how are they going to rank your site? Be really aware of this trap as many businesses do not know the difference between paid ads and organic ads. This is a great SEO tip and one that you should seriously understand.
See some previous work
Make sure they can show you other websites that they have been able to rank on Google in competitive areas. Get at least 3 examples and ask them how long these rankings have been sustained for.
Choosing the right SEO company is more complex than you think. The above points are only there to help weed out a few of the rotten apples.
Do as much research as you can and what ever you do please do not go with an agency that is offering really cheap, discounted SEO packages or an agency that will do your SEO for free till you rank – this is the most important thing that you should take away from this article as these are the worst types of online scams. If you need any further clarification on this point please call us on 1800 916 191.