1. Avoid SEO Agencies that offer Menu pricing. Any Company that offers fixed amount pricing for various “packages” is basically implying that the amount of effort that goes into ranking a local barber shop’s website is the same as a large national company going after a MUCH bigger market. So if you think that someone can increase your revenue by hundreds of thousands of dollars by charging you $500 per month, think again!
2. Make sure they have MULTIPLE first page rankings for themselves or their clients. Every marketing agency can make claims but can they back it up with actual results in competitive markets? If they can’t, what makes you think they can get results for you?
3. Don’t rely on your “IT guy/team” for your online marketing decisions. Just because someone works around computers does not mean they know the first thing about Search Engine Optimization. Of course, for their own job security, they’re not likely to admit it. But that’s the truth. Because if they did, you would be on the first page already.
4. Make sure the actual work being done on your website is not being OUTSOURCED. Most firms do this (understandably to keep their costs down) but the quality of SEO work done in India or Philippines is so poor that it will eventually hurt your website more than anything. Once your website is penalized, it is extremely hard and time-consuming to revive. It’s always good to know who exactly is doing work on your website.
5. Choose someone who is a full-time professional. Due to the low barrier to entry in this profession, any person who reads a few blogs, watches a few YouTube videos and buys a $20 eBook online can call himself an expert while working a full-time job at McDonald’s to pay their bills. If they’re not skilled enough to, at least, sustain their costs entirely from an SEO business, then what are the odds they can increase YOUR revenue?