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How to Choose a Reliable SEO Agency

Intelligent business owners can easily make mistakes when selecting an SEO agency for their business. We’ve listed the common mistakes organizations make when searching for an SEO company.

Local SEO Agencies vs an SEO business across the US

Only working with a local SEO agency will limit your options.  It’s already difficult to find a reliable SEO company, but limiting yourself to local only will increase your risk.

When it comes to finding a good SEO firm, location is not a factor. Prioritize performance and client experience over location because that is what impacts the quality of your service the most.  Local services may keep your business from achieving bigger results.

For example, if your competitor partners with a more experienced agency several states away, yet you settled for a local business with less experience; that will prevent your business from ranking at the top of the search results.  Which means fewer leads, sales, revenue for you, and more for your competitor.

Ranking Position on Google

Top 3 positions, 1st page of Google called "money positions" if you're not in the top 3, its unlikely to receive calls or foot traffic.  

A good SEO company will not travel to meet with you in person even if you are in the same town. They will use video conferencing or phone calls to check in with you and your team.  It saves everyone time and money, after all, that’s what digital marketing is all about!

Black-Hat SEO Agencies

We all like quick results but an honest and reputable SEO will be straight-forward and explain, there is no such thing as immediate SEO results.  In most cases, SEO requires six months to one year to start seeing a return. However, it’s possible to see results sooner within less competitive industries.  This could be frustrating if you don’t know how SEO works in advance. 

BEWARE!  Many agencies “black-hat strategies” to speed SEO along which is unethical and ineffective, long-term.  It’s a cheap attempt to earn more business and most will not admit they are using them. Black-hat strategies can be the downfall of all your online efforts.  

SEO tactics will make you fall from page one fast and eventually get your site blocked from ranking at all. Hiring cheap costing SEO businesses that uses illegal tactics will cost you much more in the long run, than hiring a top-quality agency from the start.  Low-cost SEO services typically use black-hat tactics.

White-Hat SEO Agencies

Focus on establishing a good relationship with a white-hat SEO agency that uses best practice, ethical strategies to help your company rank in search results.  

How will you know?

Check out their website testimonials to get more insight from their client’s experiences.  You can learn about the agency’s strengths and weaknesses, plus preview their strategy and reporting process.

Do they return calls or emails within 24 hours? Did they give you a dedicated point-of-contact or many different people?

Do they explain it will take quite some time to see results or did they promise you a faster turn around?  If they are super inexpensive will most likely be honest about it taking longer than expected.  


All this information can help your company choose the best SEO agency for you. It can also make narrowing your list of options easier; check each requirement on your list.

Past Performance

Look at their client testimonials; ask for case studies of past performance.  A good SEO company is like a reputable source you may rely on for deep-level work on your online business.  SEO agencies that are truly committed to your success will have very specific questions that most digital services have never asked before.  That’s what it takes to achieve verifiable results so you may go into an agreement with confidence.

Listen When Selecting an SEO Company

  • How quickly do they respond to your calls or emails?
  • Will you have a dedicated point-of-contact?
  • Was multiple lists of keywords mentioned?
  • Did the ask other indusrty specific details?
  • Questions about vendors, events, and publications?
  • How long will it be before you see results?

Some SEO agencies are afraid to tell clients the truth about the time it takes for SEO to yield results, and that’s not good!  

You want them to be unabashedly honest about everything.  That’s one more area for you to feel confident in your choice.

These questions will help you choose the best SEO agency and narrow your options. They should go over these questions with you and more.  Don't pre·empt these questions, simply listen and take notice if they are asked or not.


Final Step  

Before final decisions are made, the SEO agency, will ivite you to meet on a virtual call, such as Zoom or another form of a video conferencing.  All decision-makers should be on the call at this time. This is when you will determine if this SEO business is an investment you should take on at this time. 

It should be a casual comfortable process where they will ask more questions to learn more about your business and give you a much clearer understanding of what all is involved in SEO.  The more concise they explain the process, should be a good indication of how skilled they are at performing SEO.  

A well-rounded firm will know all aspects of digital marketing, beyond SEO.  This will ensure their expertice level and to put you at ease.

We tell our clients, SEO is not a matter of if, it is when.  For certain clients, we recommend helping them get a nice rythym of cash flow going before we begin their SEO.  Most SEO firms do this backward, otherwise it can be a long-drawn-out process before they see a return on their investment.


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I would like to see how your services will benefit my business.

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