How to Choose a Reputable SEO Company

July 14, 2012

Many businesses understand the potential benefits of Search Engine Optimization (SEO), but don’t want to invest their company’s own time or talent into the process. The use of an outside firm is an ideal solution, but how can you choose a reputable SEO Company?

  1. Check the Company’s Ranking in Google and Alexa. If an SEO company can’t obtain top rankings for their own firm, they certainly aren’t going to do more for your company. Look for companies on the first page of Google and then check their site rankings on Alexa. Free analysis tools at sites like semrush.com can also help you evaluate which companies compete on a series of top phrases.
  2. Talk to their References. A reputable SEO company should have at least three references of satisfied customers that you can talk with. If the company refuses to provide references, simply refuse to do business with them.
  3. Verify Their Contact Information. Visit the company’s Web site and get information about where the company is located. Use Google to see if it’s a real address. Call the company’s phone number to determine if it’s answered by the firm or by a service. If the company has no street address or phone number, pass and choose a more established company. Don’t work with companies located outside of your own country regardless of the savings.
  4. Conduct an On-line Reputation Analysis. Do searches in Google based upon the company’s name, address, telephone number and the names of the top personnel and ownership of the firm. Also visit top review sites that provide information and your local Better Business Bureau.
  5. Visit Reputable SEO Forums. Visit on-line SEO forums like Jill Whalen’s High Rankings Forum to find out what members think about the firm. The SEO community is still fairly tight and the best and worst of firms are easily identified on-line.
  6. Don’t Use Companies That Spam. Legitimate companies DON’T send out unsolicited emails (also known as sp@m). Don’t open it, don’t read it and don’t even consider it. Simply ignore and delete!
  7. Consider the Age of the Company. A relatively good indicator of success is the amount of time a business has existed—especially with SEO companies. Don’t work with any businesses that have been open less than a year. In SEO, the longer the better!
  8. Take Your Time. Choosing the right SEO company is a critical business decision that may dramatically affect your company’s marketing for many years. It will also probably cost at least a few thousand dollars, so the decision should be evaluated over a period of time. Walk away from companies that try to pressure you into making a quick decision.
  9. Read Their Blog and Articles on SEO. Ask for the Web address of the company’s blog and read some of the articles they have written on SEO. Have they authored any books, moderate forums or speak at major SEO conferences? These are all indicators of professionalism, reputation and expertise.
  10. Read the Contract. Take time to read the details of the SEO contract completely before signing. The fine details are important and you may be very, very surprised by what some SEO companies expect from their customers.

This is a guest post to the Graphics Unleashed Blog by Doug Dickson. Doug Dickson is President and Chief Energizing Officer of Print Source One, one of the Arizona’s leading printing companies. His clientele includes all of America’s largest financial and insurance companies, celebrities, as well as top professionals in the medical, plastic surgery dental and orthodontic specialties. Mr. Dickson is well known for his ability to analyze Web sites and help them achieve front page listings in Google, a process known as Search Engine Optimization (SEO). He is an industry expert and has been recognized by Google as a Certified Adwords Partner.

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