How To Choose An SEO Company
One of the most difficult choices for marketing managers is the choosing of an SEO company. There are literally thousands of companies to choose from, each claiming they are better and get more fantastic results than the next company over. One thing to consider when making this choice is the client list, and the recommendations you can get from current or past clients. One old trick that many SEO companies employ is to simply pad their resume with clients that they never actually worked with, or worked with in a capacity other than SEO. Think about it, if a business worked with Pepsi to make a graphic that was used on a local billboard, they can claim to have Pepsi as a client. If they do SEO as a service, all they have to do is not be specific in the capacities with which they worked with Pepsi, and people searching for a new SEO company will probably assume they did the SEO for Pepsi based on this portrayal in the portfolio. Another trick SEO companies will employ is to work on a campaign that basically did nothing for the client, yet ask the potential client to google something specific that the cleint is well ranked for. There is no proof there that this particualr SEO company achieved those results for the client, and for all you know there may be a better company that gained those rankings after the one you are talking to was fired. Since there is really no good method of differentiating one SEO company fromn the next, we suggest asking them if you can talk to their current and past clients. If they will not allow you to do so, then run away because they are hiding something.
Focus Internet Services was founded years ago when we were working in traditional advertisng firms and attempting to source out SEO companies for our own clients. One thing we found was that there was almost no effective method of figuring out who was any good, and who could potentially get your site banned becasue they were using “black hat” techniques, or some outdated methods they read on the internet yesterday. There is no organization that monitors SEO firms effectively, and the majority of directories just list the ones who paid for the spot. We found we had to research their portfolios and clients, to make a determination.
We found some of the most incredible lies in portfolios we researched. For example, one company who has Tao Nightclub (a popular Las Vegas club) in their portfolio, claims they did a fantastic job creating the website which ranks very well for generic searches. They use this example to show that they as a company understand that design influences rankings, and poor design using tons of flash can destroy them. What they are failing to tell the public, however, is that the screencapture that is being presented in their portfolio is from a website that was done by a completely different company….after they were fired because the website that they built for Tao Nightclub completely destroyed their rankings. The management fired them because the site was built in a way that is nearly impossible to build ranking from, and salvaged their business by taking a massive loss and going with a complete rebuild from another company. The original company, however, still has Tao listed in their portfolio as a website they built (with a picture of someone else’s work, so that nobody gets suspicious.)
The horror stories we heard from small business owners about an SEO company that they hired who did absolutely nothing, or about the designers that destroyed their rankings, or about the PPC companies that bled thousands of dollars in PPC campaigns without creating any sales were just staggering. So we decided to create a business that would help owners navigate the lies an deceit. After a time period, we decided to simply become the company that we were trying to find for our clients. We evolved into the world’s most effective SEO company by studying the failures of other companies, listening to the goals of clients, and keeping ourseelves in touch with the changes that happen every day on the major search engines.
Our best advice to anyone trying to make a decision is to do your research, do not necessarily believe what the salesman in the suit is telling you, and ask to talk to the clients.