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How to Choose an SEO Company (8 Quick Perspectives)

By Tim Brown
Updated November 9, 2020
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How to Choose an SEO Company
Tim Brown
Tim Brown

Tim Brown is the owner of Hook Agency, an SEO and Web Design company focused primarily on driving traffic and leads for small businesses, roofers and construction companies.

Have this post read to you in a natural voice, so you can do other things:

Ranking on Google is hard. It takes time, and it’s even worse if you can’t trust the person you partnered with to make it happen.

But if you do rank – it can lead to a lot of COLD HARD CASH. So here’s how to choose and SEO provider you really trust. But first – a note from another reputable source about why it’s so important to choose and SEO provider carefully:

According to Entrepreneur – “The difference between a boom in organic traffic and a decrease in  comes down to choosing between a good and bad SEO, or , specialist. “

How to Choose an SEO Company
How to Choose an SEO Company

How to Choose and SEO Company – from customer perspectives

I’m starting out with customer perspectives first, because SEO professionals, of course, will over-emphasize the things they do, and play down the things that may be useful but not part of their process. Here you go – these perspectives were all from customers of different SEO companies on the SEO Signals lab Facebook group:

Customer perspective: Ask for case studies

“Ask how transparent they are in their reporting and ask for some case studies. I work with a guy who shows me how my chosen keywords rank across the month, and what action he takes to improve. Great service really.” – Matthew Fowell

Customer perspective: Look for a company that is Transparent

“I hired an SEO expert to run my website. Before our contract even started, He gave me access to every tool he had. Ahrefs, a software he built and even screen shared his computer to show his process and a shit ton of stuff I don’t even know about (he did this live) took the time out of his day to teach me what he does. The amount of money I paid this guy doesn’t do justice to how much value he had given me. When he gave me access to Ahrefs, I was kinda shocked and from that moment on. I never asked to look for someone’s service other than his. He also told me, that if I never want his service anymore. I can always ask him for advice or help free of charge. who does that anyway? When i asked him for work proof and he sent showed me some, I was blown away. If I remember right he did SEO for a company that finds a cure for cancer. From making 10k to 90k per month. That’s just a few things about his work. Cool dude” – Ivangell Serquina

Customer perspective: Ask for an audit, pay for value

“As them to do a simple audit. Then listen to either recommendations. It’s either BS or a strategy. Now it all depends on your budget. There are experts and they cost a lot. But then there are those rising stars, who have affordable rates.” – El Bokito

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How to Find The Best SEO Company – from SEO professionals

Why ask pro’s?

Well – even though they might be self-aggrandizing, professionals have an inside track to what makes sense to potentially ask for. These perspectives were all curated from the SEO Signals Lab group on Facebook as well when Michael Yoon asked:

Whats the best way to go about finding an SEO expert to help me rank my websites? What should I be looking for when selecting one? How would I know if the person is an expert?”

From a pro’s perspective: Ask for numbers and real rankings they’ve helped earn

“It’s all about results and transparency. If an agency your person can show you actual numbers and rankings of current clients they are working with and are willing to go over their process and what that looks like and that’s a good reputable source for SEO.” – Brian Robinson

From a pro’s perspective: Find out if they are Ranking locally

“Find out if they are ranking on page one for SEO in their own local area. Then ask for an audit and recommendations and find out if they do the same stuff every month or do they mix things up so it looks more natural to Google.” – Ron Kloth

From a pro’s perspective: Ask for referrals (reports can be faked)

“Reports can be faked. On the other hand there may be confidentiality agreements. Call past references. Old school referral checks still work.” – Kenny Holloway 

Google themselves answers – “How to Hire an SEO”:

“There was already a video “How to hire an SEO” in 2017 by then Google employee Maile Ohye. It highlights some of the aspects that are important in the selection process, and also provides at least indirect clues as to where Google sees the focus of search engine optimization.

Among other things:

1. Conduct a 2-way interview with your potential SEO. Check that they seem genuinely interested in you and your business.
2. Check their references
3. Ask for (and you’ll probably have to pay for) a technical and search audit” – Heiko Possel

My perspective: How to Hire an SEO (and how to support them, and win)

Hiring the SEO isn’t the hardest part.

Hiring a company with 5 years plus of strategy and case studies to support their cause is a great start – but then you have to let them actually do what you hired them to do.

And SEO does take time.

We use this image to show how enthusiasm dips after kickoff and the 1st month strategy meeting – while we get diligently to work, clients often check out, and this is the most dangerous thing to give into. Because real change in Google organic traffic takes 3-6 months, and lead increase can take 6-9 months, while truly astounding ROI can happen months 9-18.

The SEO Emotional Rollercoaster

But all SEO companies say that type of thing, and you need to do your due diligence. So let me reiterate some of the points above.

TLDR – Cheatsheet on how to choose an SEO company

  • Ask for case studies
  • Look at reviews
  • Learn the basics of SEO, enough that you can smell BS
  • Understand their process
  • Create clear benchmarks, and hold them accountable.

The rest is patience – no matter who you choose they should be able to show real improvements months 3-6-9, and increase your ROI if they include the fundamental components of technical, content, and links. Good luck – and have fun.

“Play long-term games with long-term people. You have to be able to play a longterm game. And longterm games are good not just for compound interest, they’re also good for trust.” – Naval

The game of SEO is more rewarding than almost any other long-term game I’ve ever played.


 

Watch this quick video to see how savvy businesses save time and hook better leads:
 

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Tim Brown
Tim Brown

Tim Brown is the owner of Hook Agency, an SEO and Web Design company focused primarily on driving traffic and leads for small businesses, roofers and construction companies.

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