Most people are shocked to find out that Google gives extensive criteria when choosing an SEO company. Here are the top 7 mistakes I see companies make time and time again when choosing an SEO company. I took some from Google and added my 2 cents.
7. How the relationship starts
We’ve all got that call or email about our Google listing or some other spammy marketing tactic of the day. Google gets hit up as well. Don’t buy from anyone that uses these type of tricks. If it didn’t work they wouldn’t do it.
6. Long term contracts
Let the work speak for itself. Long term contracts can only work in partnerships. Enough said.
5. What success looks like
This problem is on both sides of the aisle. Marketers often fail to set expectations and business owners often want results quick. I’ve found that good SEO work takes 3-6 months to really see lasting results. Google PPC can be more like 2-4 months. One of these days I will write a lengthy post outlining what both sides can do to track, measure and improve the relationship and results.
4. Cheap is cheap
You’ve heard the phrase you can have 2 out of 3 bit not all 3: Fast, Cheap or Good.
I’ve seen time and time again companies actually pay an SEO company to sink their website to the bottom of the search results. What will it cost you to get out of that mess?
3. Reporting success
Back when I was new in this industry I called around to all the big franchise marketers. What I found was flashy and exciting. But in the end it amounted to unless you ask your customers every time they contact you how they heard about you, you really had no clue what marketing dollars got you. All you got was a feeling if things were good or bad.
Website visits and rankings are not your real company success metrics, they are just stepping stones to calls, emails, form fill outs and ultimately sales. Do they help you with those?
2. What are you actually paying for
If the company will not explain what they will do and how much time they will spend, it is a no go. Just so you know most of my friends in agencies plan to charge $100 an hour. So a $500 budget sounds great but 5 hours of work a month on your website, not so much.
Local web marketing is not rocket science. Here are 7 things they should be able to help you with: onsite SEO, link earning, citations, paid online marketing(PPC, Facebook…), reviews, social engagement, and leveraging offsite marketing,
1. Check references
Actually talking with references can reveal a few things. It saved my father in law thousands when he was looking at Yellow page marketing. Yellow pages actually used to offer value up front before requiring a long term contract.
Here are some questions you should ask when checking references:
- What services did you get?
- How satisfied are you?
- Do you plan on staying with them?
- Can you tell me about the process?
Making the decision of which SEO company to go with can get taxing. I hope these tips help you when you go looking. And of course if you need pointed in the right direction connect with me on LinkedIn where I have over 20+ recommendations for my marketing skills and expertise.
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