Choosing an SEO Agency can be difficult, especially because there are so many agencies out there that give the industry a bad name.
An ethical agency uses SEO techniques that are accepted and advised by search engines such as Google. Agencies using spammy techniques such as over optimising websites could put your business at risk of being penalised by Google. With this in mind, when choosing an SEO agency, it’s important to look out for certain warning signs…
Nobody Should Promise Position #1 on Google
- You should not trust an SEO agency that promises to get you to “position 1″ of Google. Google’s SEO Guidelines state that “No one can guarantee a #1 ranking on Google.” As this is coming directly from Google, it is strongly advised that you do not choose an agency that claims they can achieve this!
- Some agencies might promise to get you to the top of Google in a short amount of time. Improving visibility in search results will take time, as there are a lot of different factors that are taken into account by search engines, and there is no way of guaranteeing results in any given time period.
- Search engine results are ambiguous. When searching a query at different locations the results can change, and this should be made clear by any respectable agency. Users with Google accounts will also get personalised results.
- Appearing first in a search engine does not reflect the overall performance of a business’s success online. Factors such as conversions and ROI are more important than rankings. If the traffic generated from Google isn’t converting into leads or sales, then your SEO agency isn’t targeting the right keywords.
An Ethical SEO Agency Should Be:
Trustworthy – An agency should deliver what they have promised. They should also not be afraid to admit if they have made a mistake.
A simple step to understand who could potentially be managing your SEO is to look the company up on LinkedIn. Here you can check for personal recommendations on the consultant you have been assigned, and get a feel for the size of the company.
Helpful – An ethical SEO agency will go out of the way to delight customers.
A list of questions should be sent to you prior to the initial meeting. This shows that they are trying to understand your business and its priorities. This is also an opportunity for you to ask the agency questions and gauge their knowledge and experience.
Professional – The use of Twitter is key for SEO professionals.
When researching potential SEO agencies it is useful to assess whether the team members are active on Twitter, and also who members of staff at your potential agency follow on Twitter. This will demonstrate that they are keeping up to date with industry trends.