Choose a Dud SEO Agency? Tips You Need to Know For Next Time

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Mattan Danino
By Mattan Danino

August 10, 2015

Were you less than pleased with the last SEO agency you worked with? For every reputable SEO agency out there, there’s one that’s a total scam, or simply uses outdated tactics. Many people claim to be SEO “experts,” so how can you tell the real deals from the con artists? By asking a few key questions before signing anything!

Find out what you need to ask before hiring your next SEO company. Here are some ideas:

“What Specific Results Can You Guarantee?”

Any SEO agency worth its proverbial salt will tell you it cannot guarantee specific results. If the agency claims special relationships with search engines or guarantees immediate page-one rankings, run screaming from the room. What the company should talk about are its past results and give you an idea of what you can expect based on your budget, competition, and strategy.

“Have You Worked With a Business Like Mine?”

While the best answer to this question is, “Absolutely! Check out these examples,” the solid runner-up is, “No, but we’ve worked with businesses in situations similar to yours, and helped them in the following ways…” While finding an SEO agency that has already seen fantastic results with companies like yours is ideal, you shouldn’t necessarily fret if the majority of the company’s clients have been dissimilar. What you’re really trying to determine here is whether the agency is a good fit for your business’ needs. For example, if yours is a substantial company with thousands of pages on its site, working with an SEO company that specializes in small businesses probably isn’t the best idea.

“How Long Do I Have to Wait For Results?”

An SEO company that promises immediate results is shady—very shady. The answer you’re looking for is one that mentions reviewing the competition within your niche and noting that results usually take three to six months to achieve. SEO isn’t a magic trick; it’s something that takes time to develop. The other component is niche, as different niches feature varying levels of competition, a fact that absolutely plays into how long you must wait for results.

That noted, you still want an SEO agency who sends you deliverables from the beginning, such as keyword reports, strategy and link building documents, monthly reports on changes in traffic, ranking, and onsite metrics, as well as recommendations for technical and on-page content improvements.

“How Has SEO Changed Over the Last Few Years?”

The right answer is, “A lot!” A quality SEO company will mention at least some of the numerous ways SEO has evolved over the last few years, such as the Penguin update, which changed link building. The company you work with should know the names and timeline of Google’s search changes, be able to explain thoroughly how such changes have influenced SEO, and otherwise make these issues easy for you to understand. If the agency says SEO is essentially the same as it’s always been, well, that’s a huge red flag.

Be careful out there. The right SEO agency can help grow your company by leaps and bounds. The wrong one, unfortunately, can leave you scrambling in the dust.