Last week, I met with a local Denver SEO consultant, and during that meeting one of the frustrations we both discussed was the number of low-quality SEO companies spammings business owner. While we laughed and joked about the ridiculousness of these companies, our conversation got me thinking…How would a business owner with little knowledge of SEO know how to recognize a good, honest, SEO company when he or she found one?
Answer: I have no idea. If I was a regular business owner that didn’t know much about search engines, there’s no reason that I might automatically dismiss an unsolicited email saying “We’ll make your website #1”. I might fail victim to cheap SEO companies that use spammy link-building techniques, invest in SEO software that really doesn’t work, etc.
The SEO industry needs some sort of ethics committee or SEO trustee organization I think.
Anyways, after my conversation with Chris, I started talking to friends, family, and clients to find out what questions they might have about how to find a good, reputable SEO company. Then, I got with MCE Digital Media and made a little video that answered these questions – check it out.
How To Find a Good, Reputable SEO Company
Other questions that I was asked:
What are some SEO company “red flags” – things that should concern me if I hear an SEO company say them?
In addition to the unsolicited phone call or email I mentioned in the video, anyone claiming to be a “Google certified SEO expert” (also in the video), I would be concerned about companies that mentioned the following:
- Regular search engine submission – Search engines don’t need regular notifications – they automatically find your site and will download your latest sitemap.xml file and/or scan your site as necessary. If you’re making a lot of changes and you want to submit your site, there’s no downside, but it’s not necessary. If a company makes this a selling feature, they either don’t get it or they don’t think you get it.
- They talk a lot about META keywords – I like to include 2-4 META keywords on an optimized page, but I have no basis for doing so. My opinion is, so long as it doesn’t cost a lot of time or money, why not? However, there’s little to no benefit to doing this…any company that emphasizes it is probably not up to date and/or they’re holding onto the past. [Note: META descriptions are different than META keywords and very important]
- They don’t want to talk about accountability – A good SEO company will help you find ways to measure their success. A bad one will say “SEO is really beyond our control and it takes months…so we don’t provide data.”
- They require a long-term commitment – This is a smaller red flag – maybe a “pink flag.” It’s a concern for me because I’ve never had a good experience with a company that made me commit to them for a long time before I saw any results. I know that some good SEO companies won’t take a client without a 6 month or 1 year contract, but I know of a few bad SEO companies that do that too. Be careful.
What should SEO cost?
This is the million dollar question. Some SEO companies will do a nice job for you for $500 a month – others won’t talk to you for less than $5k. I don’t have an answer as to what’s right, only I will say this: Good SEO companies find a way to work with all budgets.
Any other questions? The floor is open! 🙂