A funny thing happened on the way to SEO supremacy. SEO became a commodity, that is, according to Wikipedia, the market treats it as equivalent or nearly so no matter who produces it.
Whether SEO services are offered at $500 per month or $5,000 per month, the average client doesn’t get the difference. In theory, it all looks the same.
It reminds me of the fur industry. For years, you could walk into any garment shop on Spadina and purchase a mink coat for $8,000 – $12,000. You felt comfortable buying your coat from anyone on the street because the variance in price was minimal enough so that when you walked out the door, you didn’t feel ripped off. You understood that when you paid the 12K, you were getting a superior product.
When production headed overseas, all hell broke loose. Suddenly, mink coats were being sold for 1,000 bucks. The difference in price was so incredible that the product became a commodity. A mink coat was a mink coat, so why would you pay 12K when you could get the same coat for 1K down the street? The fact that the garment would start falling apart as you left the building didn’t make a difference.
Well, in a short period of time, you realized; it wasn’t the same thing. The material was inferior, the craftsmanship was substandard and in 6 months you were embarrassed to wear it in public.
Over 50% of our clients came to us after they bought the 1K mink coat ☺.
Frustrated with the end product and the quality of work for the finances invested, they were looking for the “real deal”, as one of our clients put it.
Here are 5 Questions You Should Ask When Hiring an SEO Company
Do they take a holistic approach to Internet marketing? – A leading SEO company will take a broad view of the landscape and provide you with a complete marketing strategy. SEO may not be the way to go. Your particular industry may be more atuned to PPC or Social Media.
Is the company transparent? – A legitimate SEO company is comfortable discussing the tactics they will be using. If you hear the term, “proprietary information”, run, don’t walk away. SEO is manually driven. Proprietary usually means they don’t really know what they are doing or they are using techniques contrary to Google’s guidelines and they don’t want you to know.
Who will you be talking to in the company? – Do you have access to experienced, knowledgeable, seasoned people or are you dealing with someone down the food chain who is just doing the execution?
What reporting metrics Will They provide? –What are your most popular search queries? Which pages are cisited the most? What is the geographic distribution of your search volume? How does your traffic compare to your competitors?
Do they have a guarantee? Again, If they have a guarantee, run, don’t walk away. They don’t get it. Google’s recent Panda update hit Mahalo’s search results so hard, they had to lay off 10% of their employees. In fact, Google’s new changes impacted 12% of US search results. When Google sneezes, you can run but you can’t hide. To guarantee results is suicide, legitimate SEO companies will attest to that.