There are lots of SEO companies out there.
Some of them are pretty good, and others are shit.
The only problem for business owners is understanding what SEO company you should trust.
Here is the definitive answer to “are SEO companies worth the money?”
What you'll be learning:
SEO Isn’t Dead; It’s Actually Worth $80 Billion
I am sure that some of you are wondering if SEO is dead or if it’s dying.
The simple answer is no.
SEO is (in my opinion) the foundation of any business’s digital marketing campaign, and even though I said it’s my opinion, it’s not just me.
Forbes mentioned that by 2018, the SEO industry would be worth $72 Billion (and $80 Billion by 2020).
Forbes mentioned that by 2018, the SEO industry would be worth $72 Billion (and $80 Billion by 2020).
If that doesn’t prove that SEO isn’t going to die anytime soon, I don’t know what will.
The main reason for SEOs rapid increase is due to more and more people understand how powerful it can be for your business.
In 2015, eMarketer published an article stating that nearly $24 Billion was spent on Facebook advertising alone.
eMarketer published an article stating that nearly $24 Billion was spent on Facebook advertising alone.
If that’s how much was spent on FB advertising in 2015, imagine when the huge businesses (such as Coka Cola & Nike) decide to put all of their marketing budgets on digital marketing.
Let's say that we'd all be screwed in regards to seeing any ROI in paid ads.
That is where SEO comes in to play.
As long as you have an incredible SEO company/team backing you, you have an equal chance in the search engines.
Not only do you have a fair chance, but you WILL save a shitload of money.
Just from SEO, Neil Patel saves $2 Million on traffic every single month according to SEMrush.
That’s money that could be put somewhere else.
It’s not just Neil, take a look at Backlinko and Gotch SEO.
They save $257,000 and $90,800 respectively.
Disclaimer: SEMrush's data isn't 100% accurate, but the real data is close to what's displayed.
Hopefully, that data is enough to show you why SEO is growing instead of dying as most marketers think.
Now, let’s talk about SEO companies, because some of you may either not know anything about ranking a website or simply don’t have the time to do it.
Here are some things to do when looking at SEO companies.
Things to Do When Looking for SEO Companies
Considering that I do SEO for myself, I have never needed a company to do it for me.
However, I was planning on creating my own SEO agency.
That was until I decided to hold off on that part of the business since OutRankn isn’t ready (Instead I offer SEO consulting to help you understand what is wrong with your SEO and how to fix it).
Here are some of the things that I thought about when it comes to the client side of this process.
Make Sure to Ask Just as Much Questions to Them as They do You
Usually, when it comes to a business partnering up with an SEO agency, you will find that it’s entirely one-sided.
The agency will ask you a bunch of questions to get a better understanding of your business, and then you will have to make a decision, but what about their business?
If they need to know more about your business before working with you, wouldn’t you need the same information about them?
Sadly, that’s how a lot of shady SEO agencies catch you.
To combat that, you need to make sure that you’re asking just as many questions as they are.
Some basic questions you could ask them are:
What Services Will be Included in Your SEO Strategy?
Believe it or not, SEO agencies that use shady tactics to boost your rankings won’t tell you what exactly they’re doing to your website.
Alternatively, they will beat around the bush.
Any agency that uses best SEO practices will most likely be 100% transparent with what they are doing.
How Will Technical Changes be Implemented?
Some agencies won’t help you fix your technical SEO hands on.
Which is fine, however, you need to know who’s doing those changes.
Do they have a team that can handle fixing your technical SEO?
Will you need to find a developer who can consistently communicate with the SEO team?
Are they just offering you technical SEO and then outsourcing it to a shitty freelancer (which can happen)?
All of these questions need to be answered by EVERY agency that you're inquiring.
How Often Will We Have Meetings?
I can not stress to you enough how important this question is to you.
Fully understanding how many meetings/reports you will be having with your SEO agency is crucial.
You also need to know how these reports will be discussed.
Email is okay. However, it’s not personal, and communication can easily break through email.
I would personally say that your meetings should either be face-to-face or over Skype (if you can’t meet face-to-face).
How Do I Leave The Company if I am Not Satisfied?
I will talk a little bit more about results later in the article; however, if you’re not seeing any results after two years, then you should leave.
Honestly, I don’t know how other SEO agencies work when it comes to letting go of a client.
I can only tell you what I was planning and what I’d recommend.
When I was planning out my contracts, I was going to have a no tie clause.
What that means is that if you wanted to leave the contract for any reason, you could leave.
Of course, you would have needed to give us a notice, but you wouldn’t have been tied to anything.
I would recommend looking for agencies that do not tie you down for any length of time.
Get Them to Run a Technical Audit
Most of the agencies that you had looked at initially should have been weeded out by this point.
Once you have an SEO agency that you feel that you could trust, it’s time to build a deeper relationship.
A great way to do that is by getting them to run a technical audit on your site.
A technical audit isn’t something you should expect to receive for free so do expect to fork out some money.
Also, make sure that it’s an agency that you trust (even if it’s a little bit).
By doing a technical audit, you’re allowing said agency to take a quick peek into your business.
They will get access to your analytics and search console data, so make sure only to give them restricted access.
Check Your Budget/Realistic Prices
One thing that confuses many business owners is the prices that SEO agencies will spit out.
“No way I would pay $1,000/mo for SEO!”
You may not like what I am about to say, but it’s the truth.
SEO can costs money.
A lot of money.
If your budget for SEO is roughly $500/mo, you’re most likely going to end up with an agency that uses a lot of shady tactics (for example, buying spammy links).
According to RankPay, most SEO experts charge about $100/hour for their services.
Agencies charge more, so expect an invoice around these ranges.
Low-Priced SEO: $100 - $749/mo
Medium-Priced SEO (for most businesses): $750 - $2,000/mo
High-Priced SEO: $2,000 - $10,000+/mo
Case Studies/Previous Clients/Their Rankings
The best way to tell which SEO agencies are good to work with and which ones you should run away from, you need to look no further than previous clients/case studies.
Some agencies won’t publicize the work done for previous clients; however, if you ask them to supply examples of their previous work during your initial meeting, they will happily give you some.
Other agencies will use their previous work to publish case studies.
If you’re looking into an agency and you find some case studies, read them.
You will get a better understanding of the company before you even say hello.
If an agency isn’t giving you any examples of their previous work, it could mean one of two things.
Either, you’d be their first client, or they aren’t a good agency, and you should run away, fast.
If they are a new agency and you still feel comfortable working with them, I would recommend telling them to lower their price.
That’s if they are charging you $2,000/mo (which they probably wouldn’t).
The last thing to look for is their rankings.
Think about it, how good is an SEO agency if they can’t even rank their own site on page 1?
That’s why I would suggest only looking at agencies that rank on page 1.
The SEO Promise
I have seen a lot of agencies and freelancers (mainly freelancers) make ridiculous promises when it comes to SEO.
For example, “I can rank your website on the first page in a few weeks.”
If you EVER hear that, cut communication immediately.
Whenever people say that it either means that they use black hat tactics or they will target a keyword that doesn’t have any search visibility.
Even ranking for those type of keywords will take longer than a few weeks.
Here are some “SEO Promises” that you need to avoid at all costs.
We Grantee Rankings
The only people who know where your website will rank is Google.
Actually, they don’t even know who’s going to rank on page one.
Their sophisticated algorithm RankBrain chooses who ranks at the top.
Did you know:
Google make adjustments to their result pages around 600 times a year.
That’s almost twice a day!
All an SEO freelancer or agency can do is put your website in the best possible condition to rank your site for specific search terms.
Nobody can 100% grantee that your site will rank.
So if you ever hear an agency tell you that, cross them off your list.
We Have Inside Knowledge About Google’s Algorithms
Personally, I have never heard of this one, but apparently, it’s a common lie.
It makes sense though.
Very little people know precisely how these complicated algorithms work.
So imagine having an agency that knows all the tricks to rank your site. Don’t be mislead by agencies that claim that they have inside knowledge.
If it sounds too good to be true, then it most likely is.
All You Need is SEO
This one has to be the biggest load of dogshit you will ever hear.
As I mentioned before, SEO is the foundation for any digital marketing campaign.
However, it's not the only channel you where should be putting your marketing budget.
If you want to see an increase in sales, you will need to implement a bunch of different types of marketing.
For example, content marketing is slowly becoming the default marketing strategy for online businesses.
At the time of writing this article, my favourite entrepreneur Gary Vee uploaded a consultation he had.
To cut a long story short, the business sells sofas, but one of the things Gary suggests they should add in their 85,000sqft building is a co-working space.
Why the fuck would a sofa store need a co-working space?
In 2018 and beyond, building a brand is the best form of “marketing,” and by offering a co-working space, they can provide services outside of the box.
Which in the long run, will bring new types of customers to their business.
In addition to that, if somebody sits down in that co-working space and enjoys their experience, they could end up purchasing a sofa down the line, increasing the customers LTV (Life Time Value).
So never listen to somebody if they are telling you that you only need SEO.
I Can Fix Your SEO in [Insert Time]
I am going to keep this one short because there isn’t much to say.
SEO is something that you will need to be consistent to see results.
Even if it were possible to fix the SEO on a website in 2 months, it would need fixing again in a years time.
Claims like this only come from agencies who plan on using black hat techniques and then leave you hanging before your site gets hit with penalties.
SEO Doesn’t Always Increase Sales
I decided to make this one section because of how important this misconception is for SEOs.
People assume that when you have a sales problem that getting more traffic will fix that issue.
There are two essential KPIs (Key Performance Indicators for sales which are how well you've optimized your site for conversions and what the user intent behind specific keywords are).
This also goes in hand with what I said earlier about how SEO alone won’t give you success.
When asking your chosen agency what services they plan on implementing into your strategy, you want to make sure that conversion rate optimization (CRO) is also in the mix.
Whether they outsource that to a web design agency or they do it themselves, they will need to give you your baseline metrics and for the first month run a heat map on your site to find out where users are clicking.
So, Are SEO Companies Worth the Money?
Those are a few things you need to look out for when choosing an agency to handle all of your SEO needs.
So, are SEO companies worth the money you’re about to spend?
It depends on how much money you’re willing to put into SEO.
If you are only willing to spend $50/mo on SEO, then it would be better learning it yourself.
For those of you who are willing to spend at least $1,000 a month and you don’t have the time, or interest to learn SEO yourself, then hiring a reputable agency is a no-brainer.
For example, take a look at DeveloMark.
They have tons of clients in which they increase their search visibility every month.
Even Neil Patel runs an agency that offers SEO, and he brings more traffic to huge businesses like Facebook.
I am not going to list a bunch of agencies here simply because I think you should do your own research.
However, I would recommend looking at the two agencies I have mentioned above, or you could type this search string into Google and go from there:
[Your Location] SEO.Example: London SEO or Los Angeles SEO.
If this article helped you feel free to share it on social media.
If it helped you it could help other business owners as well.
Also, comment below if you need any additional help or you want to continue the discussion.
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