Wednesday, 10 July 2013

Five things to avoid when choosing an SEO agency

With new SEO companies popping up everywhere, some of them are bound to be less than the real deal. How can you tell the good from the bad so that you can make an informed decision?

Here are five things to avoid when selecting the SEO agency that’s right for you:

Paying Too Much or Too Little 

We all want to save money, and there’s nothing wrong with looking for a good deal when shopping for SEO services. But if the company charges too little, that may be a red flag. A good SEO company’s services involve large amounts of research, writing, and expertise in order to deliver the right results, and all of that costs money. So think about how much time they should be taking to look after your needs, and what the cost of that should be. Watch out for the over chargers too. Some companies are just needlessly expensive. Is the fee one-off or monthly? Watch out too for hidden costs or paying by visitor to your site as that can be very unpredictable.

Relevant Content

Cheating on content itself won’t get you far. A common mantra in the business goes, “Content is king,” and there’s a reason for that. People are drawn to content that’s original, interesting, or funny. If the content generated for you by an SEO agency feels like it’s been copied from another site or churned out by a computer, it’s not going to work. You need good relevant content to draw people to your site and increase your domain authority and page rank, and if your SEO agency doesn’t deliver that, it’s time to kick them to the curb.

Skimping on Quality 

In a similar vein, the number of hits your site gets isn’t the only measure you need to worry about. Getting a million hits won’t do you good if those hits come from people who aren’t interested in what you have to offer. A good SEO company will help ensure that people within your target demographic are the ones doing the majority of the clicking. It’s okay if you get a few clicks from people you aren’t interesting in marketing to, because you never really know who might want what you’re selling. But if the interest in your page is made up entirely of people who navigated there accidentally and quickly moved on, that’s not good enough.

Spam

Spamming is another good indicator of a bad SEO agency. Some of them will spit out webs of spam onto forums, blogs, and other sites in a clumsy attempt to get attention for you. This is not the way to do it; it destroys your credibility and may even drive people away from your site. It also irritates those whose blogs you’ve spammed. If your spam repels people from their material, it’s on your head.

Sketchy Guarantees (Or Guarantees in General) 

The Internet is an unpredictable thing, and no SEO company can really predict what it will take to maneouvre your site to number 1 on Google. They can’t with certainty tell you if it’s even possible for your site to get to number 1 (though a good agency will still certainly try). Nor are there any silver bullets, quick fixes, or secret formulas. Remember when that deposed third-world prince contacted you and offered you a million dollars if you would just send him your banking information? Reserve the same level of scepticism to any SEO company that offers promises that seem too good to be true.

Lack of Transparency 

If your prospective SEO company is worth their salt, they will explain their methods to you and answer your questions. They should be open with you about how they achieve their results and will not keep anything back from you. If they seem hesitant to share information with you, their practices may be suspect.

Thanks to Ryan from Fluid Advertising for this post about how to choose a SEO company to help you with all of your digital marketing services. 

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