The Do’s and Don’ts when Hiring an SEO Company
Unfortunately, there are lots of pitfalls/things to look out for when looking for an SEO company, but here are a few things NOT to do when looking for an SEO:
1. Don’t simply trust ‘industry awards’
There are no official independent authorities – often, if not always, there is something in it for the “award giver.” Sites like topseos.com accept payment for listings, so they are pretty much useless as far as credibility.
2. Don’t get persuaded by their ‘customer list’ which includes big corporate names.
A tactic in the SEO industry is to post logos of large corporations on their site as if they are or were their client. Don’t be fooled by this. Get real references from real businesses.
3. Don’t just go for someone who can rank their own company at the top of Google
Yes, they should be able to do this, but it is certainly no guarantee of what they will do for you. I have even heard of a SEO company losing the guy in charge of ‘strategy’ who was effectively able to get them the big ranks, leaving the rest of the agency clueless! At JA Publications, the guy in charge of strategy is Jeff George who is also the registered officer of the company. He’s not going anywhere and our SEO strategies will always be highly effective.
Remember: “Certified Google Partner” is an individual/agency that passed the AdWords certification exams. It does not mean that they are affiliated with Google, Inc. and has nothing to do with organic Search Engine Optimization. It is, however, an AdWords certification. Many SEO agencies will try to use this when selling their SEO services as if the two are connected. They are not, so don’t get fooled.
4. Agencies cannot guarantee a certain position, but they should guarantee a ‘success or else’ clause.
Some companies will guarantee things like 100 directory submissions/article submissions etc. (which have almost no SEO value) to cover up what’s going on in the background (placing links on a network of sites that they own, etc.) Pretty much ignore the guarantees of ‘practical work’, go for guarantees of ROI or overall increase in traffic, etc.
5. Do not get sucked into ‘we are the professionals’ mindset
Be sure to get your decisive answers on a White Hat SEO forum such as ‘Google’s Webmaster Blog.” THEN measure the SEO company in accordance with that advice as opposed to the other way around. Just because your SEO guy claims he’s an expert, doesn’t mean he is the right one for your campaign. Every SEO campaign is different. Each site’s needs vary greatly as far as the approach that must be taken. Any agency that offers one-size-fits-all pricing package is probably not the company you want to choose.
Now the DO’s:
1. Contact any references they provide to you to ensure they are authentic.
2. Get everything in writing. If the sales person says ANYTHING that you like the sound of – get them to send it to you in an email!
3. Read and understand the contract! If there is ANYTHING that you don’t like the sound of then get it changed or walk away. Pay special attention to anything that uses phrases like ‘without limitation.”
4. Specify high-quality back links as part of any package. Back links are crucial to any effective SEO campaign. Please note that ‘free directories’, article sites and press releases are of extremely low quality and do next to nothing as far as your site’s position in search goes.
There you have it. If you stick to the above-mentioned points, you should have no problems finding a reputable SEO agency. Or, you can contact us.
Thanks for visiting JA Publications, Inc. We hope to see you again sometime.