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Sounds too good to be true doesn't it? If you are searching for a SEO agency and want to make sure that you aren't getting the wool pulled over your eyes then here are 5 tips on how to make sure you avoid bad SEO companies.
1. Portfolio / ClientsIf you come across an agency that is local to you, affordable and has 'guarantees' plastered across every page of its website, don't just pick up the phone.
Most reputable and trustworthy agencies have a portfolio, client or case studies page that gives you an idea of the kind of clients that agency has worked with. Have a look to see how the agency's clients are performing online; check out their website's usability and the quality of their content.
It might also be a good idea to contact the client directly and ask their opinion on the SEO agency. This will give you an unbiased opinion of their performance. Remember that a lot of the time cheap SEO is not sustainable and, whilst it may produce sudden spikes in traffic for the first month or two, this tends to drop off as search engines notice the poor quality of the SEO techniques employed.
2. TestimonialsCheck the agency's testimonials page. Now, they aren't going to put a bad review on their website, but you can approach the clients who have supposedly provided the testimonial to make sure that what the agency has published on their website is correct. Even if it is, don't stop there; you can't do enough research into the agency, as SEO is a big investment.
3. Don't just go on priceIn today's economy it's tempting to go for the cheapest agency however, put simply: you get what you pay for.
I often come across agencies who are cheaper than us, but then I look at the quality of the SEO and it reflects the price. Basing your choice of SEO agency purely on how much they charge is a big mistake.
4. Backlinks and Fake ReviewsIt is a good idea to check the quality of the links going to the agency's website and the quality going to their clients' websites. To check these go to:
- Enter the agency's website address in the Explore URL box and click
- Click InLinks
- Go to 'Show InLinks:' and click on 'Except from this domain'
You will then have a list of websites that have a link to the website you are exploring. Complete this process for a few of the agency's clients. If they have the same links, or very similar, then they could be part of a network, which is naughty! Don't go there.
5. ContentThe king! We talk about it all the time so let's not stop here. If the quality of their content is rubbish, and by that I mean poor grammar, a spammy amount of internal links, phone numbers thrown everywhere, 'funky' banners blinding you, poor quality videos and if you don't trust the 'guarantees' and 'promises' highlighted, it's a safe bet that this is a poor SEO company.
There are a lot of different things that can set off the alarm bells when you approach a SEO agency, so the key is to research them! I've been working closely with some potential clients recently, and have found that their past experience with disreputable companies has led to them spending more money on rectifying that company's mistakes, and that as a result they are taking a more cautious approach to SEO. Personally, I encourage qclients to askquestions because youshould know what your SEO agency is doing, and for what purpose.
Next time I am going to take you through the impact that a bad SEO agency can have on your website.