Search Engine Optimization Companies
The popularity of SEO or search engine optimization has sky rocked over the past several years, especially within the marketing agency arena. SEO has been around for a long time but honestly, a company would hire an SEO expert in-house. The popularity of marketing companies led to the rise of SEO services within the small business sectors. Which leads to our topic in todays discussion for some more SEO Bullshit, “Search Engine Optimization Companies.”
This topic is very close to my heart cause this is what led me to start Conquering SEO and the blog “SEO BS,” because of my personal experience and hearing other peoples experience as well. Even with my personal experience, I have worked with companies doing their SEO services. I have worked with digital media agencies and marketing agencies; and I have personally hired marketers and agencies to help me out in the past. So, I have the inside scoop of what’s going on in SEO companies.
Lastly, I have friends and acquaintances that constantly ask me…
“What are the Best SEO Companies?“
Further, clients have told me their stories and experiences around hiring marketing agencies. Plus, I continually interview with companies, and I continually hear within the interview process their negative experiences as well.
Are SEO Companies Scamming You?
All these experiences lead us to the question “Are SEO Companies Scamming You?” or “Are they even doing the best thing for your company?”
Think about it this way. If a company is hiring an SEO Expert to do their search engine optimization for their business full-time as an in-house employee. How in the world are marketing agencies doing your SEO when they manage 80 clients per month? If SEO services is a full-time job, How are marketing companies scaling these services? Further, let me point out this…
There are no short-cuts, no hacks, no special audiences, no special keyword variations and ect.
The only way these companies are scaling SEO services are one of two ways:
1. They are cutting corners. Taking short-cuts.
2. They are not doing it.
What to Look For in a Search Engine Optimization Services Company?
I had one client who ask me one time…
“Chad, how do you know if a company is doing your SEO?
How can you tell?
What can I look out for?
What specific questions can I ask?”
These are tricky questions because search engine optimization (SEO) is a very broad nowadays. We have on-page SEO, off-page SEO, local SEO and Technical SEO. All of these are broad terms and encompasses literally all the areas of intermediate web development, copy writing, digital marketing, content strategy and much more. When we are discussing about search engine optimization, it’s like running down a rabbit hole.
Once someone realizes just how deep SEO can go, they realize that
“How can a marketing company offer SEO services and let alone, handle a massive client load.“
For this reason, this is why I suggest learning how to do your own SEO or at least, knowing the strong basics before you venture into hiring or delegating search engine optimization services.
The Best SEO Companies for Small Business?
With all these questions from above, you have to understand the parameters of the search engine optimization industry. For one, an SEO specialist or expert will work in-house for a company full-time. Or, two, these services are then delegated to a marketing agency. Now within a marketing company back in the day, they would all have higher end clients ranging from $10,000 per month to $100,000. And, even higher!
The last few years, marketing companies have went inside the small business niche because over decades the small businesses have been neglected by larger agencies. Mainly because a small business doesn’t have the budget to afford the marketing fees. At first glance, this seems like a wonderful idea, finally marketing companies are helping small businesses but is it really in reverse? Are they really helping? Even if you have a company that really wants to do the best for people and businesses, either a couple of things happen.
- They go out of business.
- The company learns they have to cut corners to scale their marketing company.
- Or, they charge more money for their services.
This is what exactly happens.
If a new marketing agency opens up, they learn really fast that they cannot work 20 hours a week on ONLY one client (this is what you think they are doing…lol). So, in order to scale their business, they have to cut corners because remember, the only way a marketing company makes money is having more clients.
What’s crazy is that I see marketing companies charge $500 per month for SEO Services. What are they really doing for $500??? What is really happening is that they are working only an hour or two and charging you $500 per month. The same for companies that charge $2,000 per month. They do the exact same thing. And, a lot of times you have to read the fine print of their contract, because most will charge 100-150 dollars per hour. Then put you on a monthly retainer of 2000 per month and eat through the money every single month. Even this scenario, companies exaggerate the time spent on your search engine optimization services.
Real Life Example
If you think I am exaggerating. Let me give you an actual SEO Bullshit example. One digital media company I worked for, I was the SEO Director and the most popular packages were either a $1500 and a $2000 SEO Package. Now, for example purposes, let’s assume a client was paying $1500 per month. In the company’s monthly contract, the company charged $150 per hour. Let’s do the math…
1500 / 150 = 10 hours
So, the client is paying $1500 per month but the company, at best case scenario, is only going to give 10 hours of their time towards the services rendered. And, it does not stop here. I was even told by the COO,
“Chad, if you can get the work done in only a few hours to make the client happy, this is even better.”
Even with this company, they would have clients paying $1500 per month for several months before they would even do any of their SEO work. So, clients would pay for three months $4,500 and no SEO was completed. You might ask, How Chad? How can they get away with it without the client’s knowledge. Remember,
- There are too many ways to fool a client.
- The good ole SEO Reports. Reports nowadays are use too much as a sales tool and sales tactic to fool a client on thinking work was actually done.
- What clients don’t know is that most of the time, the marketing agency is spending most of their time creating presentations, reports and monthly reporting for their clients because the whole goal is to keep the clients paying every single month.
Should You Hire a Search Engine Optimization Services Company
This is a tough one to answer. My very first response would be definitely, “NO, You Shouldn’t!” First and foremost, you should learn how to do it yourself or at least learn the strong basics. Think about it this way. If you have the money to hire an agency, then at bare minimum you have the money to hire someone part-time in-house. If you go the marketing company route, then you have to know the strong basics in SEO and be ready to micro-manage them.