#1 If they can’t Google rank their own website, how can you expect them to rank yours!
Search keywords like:
- SEO (town)
- SEO Company (town)
- SEO companies (town)
If their company website, Google listing and a 3rd party review site like Yelp is not on page one, how do you expect them to get you on page one?
Arguably, SEO related keywords are the most competitive. It would be safe to assume since they’re the best ‘proof is in the pudding' when it comes to SEO.
#2 Check SEO the agency's reviews online
Yes this seems obvious but you would be amazed at how many have completely failed at their due diligence after finding an SEO company online.
Just think about it, if an SEO company doesn’t have 3rd party reviews online, most likely the company:
- has failed to market themselves online correctly.
- doesn’t have clients who are excited enough to write a review.
- is a fly-by-night company.
#3 References tell the story
Every SEO Expert should have a few go-to clients who are okay with being a referral. But it doesn't stop there, a name and a number for a reference is not merely enough. Here are a few steps you should take with a prospective SEO provider.
- Ask if they have an referrals
- Ask what keywords their client can be found under (if they give you a company name to search, you should thank them for their time and hang-up)
- Assuming the SEO gave you a two or three word keyword phrase to Google search and you found their client on the TOP of the first page, Ask who their contact at that company and if you can call that person. ( If they give any reason for you not to call the company, thank them for their time and hang-up)
- Call the company, ask how long it took the SEO to get them on page one, how available they seo expert is and how would they rate their overall experience with the SEO.
#4 They offer a package you can afford
Don’t take me wrong, I understand a budget you have to keep but as the old adage goes ‘You get what you pay for'. It is real simple, to get an ROI it will take more than a ‘link building package', it takes a deep understanding for what Google wants, something most SEOs have limited knowledge of. Therefore, SEO is not a commodity, and shouldn’t be treated like one.
Part 2 of #4
How would you know the amount of links built to your website in order to rank on Google? The truth is you don’t, and not even someone like me will know, so how could you make that call?
Let's dive deeper
How can you be sure they….
- are not cheap spam links with no relevance to your industry (Google hates that).
- are enough to push your site up in rankings (Some pages require more links than others).
- are the type of links Google rewards websites.
- are set with the right amount of anchor text diversity.
I can’t tell you how many times a new client came to us with a backlink profile full of spam links which were placed by a convincing person who had the right package price.
Remember, there are very few things you can buy cheap, and SEO isn’t one of them.
#5 No contract so you can quit at any time
Conventional wisdom might say, ‘hey I have no risk so I can’t lose'. I say, “neither does the SEO company you’re considering on giving your hard earned money to”.
Let me go a little deeper for my savvy business owners. Not having a contract is a way to fail without risking a bad review. Just think about it, after some time the business owner will throw in the towel and chalk it up as a loss while the seo scammer goes on to their next victim. Remember tip #1, no reviews!
An experienced SEO company knows there needs to be a contract in place. They know the importance of keeping the client in the game when the there is doubt because SEO is SLOW. Why would the professional SEO experts want to keep the weary client on-board unless they knew they would deliver.
As promised, #1 reason SEO fails
The number one reason SEO fails is simple, not knowing how to qualify the right SEO provider.
In conclusion, the tips provided are from my own experiences as an SEO expert and from my client's past failures. I hope you been enlightened in the protocol of hiring an SEO expert and please, follow each step, I hate knowing people are out there scamming good hard working people like yourself.
In your corner,
Jack Lombardi CEO – Chicago Website Design SEO Company