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How do I know if an SEO firm is worth it?

Gurpreet singh Operations Project Manager at Code brew Labs

October 31st, 2017

We decided to get an SEO firm to manage our social media, and I feel like they are not worth the amount of money we are paying them. From time to time I take a look at our social media and there doesn't seem to be much impact, and when I ask them they give very unclear answers. This is the first time we hire an SEO firm, so I don't know how to tell if they are the right fit for us. Any advice on how to handle this?

James Young I excel at replacing messy Excel sheets with smart web apps

Last updated on October 31st, 2017

There's only so much you can do to optimize existing content. It's better to focus on adding new content to your site. Fire your SEO consultant company and add A LOT of new content to your site regularly and often. Here's a simple way to do this:

  1. Enter short keyword phrases into keywordtool.io
  2. Copy the long-tail keyword phrases suggested by keywordtool.io and paste them into adwords.google.com/keywordplanner to see how competitive those keyword phrases are and how much monthly search volume they get
  3. Stick to low hanging fruit: don't bother with high competition keywords...only use keyword phrases that google's keywordplanner says are low competition and that have at least 10 searches/month (remember that volume is cumulative, so ranking on page 1 for a few keywords with low volume is better than ranking on page 10 for a keyword with high volume)
  4. Write an article with the keyword in the URL, like this: yourdomain.com/put-the-keyword-in-the-url
  5. write up a short meta description that is enticing enough for humans to click on it
  6. Finally, make sure your article is long enough and interesting enough to keep the user's attention on it for some period of time before they click the back arrow of death...break out big paragraphs into smaller ones, summarize paragraphs into big headings, use some pictures, etc
  7. If you are up for it, consider adding an AMP plugin to your Wordpress site so that the article also loads into Google's AMP (accelerated mobile project) servers

Chris M Marketing Professional

October 31st, 2017

If SEO is not working for you right now maybe it is time to set new expectations with your firm, or look for a new one. What are your goals and what do you want to get out of it. One thing I have learned working in marketing is that you need to think of marketing as an investment and you should have clear goals so that you both know if you're doing well.

If you don't trust an agency to do a good job it might also be a good idea to enroll in a web and mobile marketing program and then do it yourself (or hire someone in house). I hope this helps :).

Bobbie Carlton Founder, Innovation Nights, Innovation Women & Carlton PR & Marketing

October 31st, 2017

Hi Gurpreet - I'm going to answer a slightly different question here. Like any service provider, this SEO firm isn't a good fit if you don't know why you are paying them. They should be able to explain what they are doing. But more importantly, while SEO is one reason we do social media, it is not the only reason. Social media can be used for customer service, for media relations, to connect with various influencers and to drive lead generation and capture, and more. You may wish to look at your social media campaigns in a larger context.

Divine Tumenta Founder at Backlinkfy.com

October 31st, 2017

It can be frustrating if the SEO firm doesn't understand your business. In order to hire the right SEO firm for Social Media marketing, you'll have to look at the firm own Social Media Page - are they getting any engagement? If not, then what makes you think they will for you. The best Social marketing firms, build marketing strategies for their own pages and keep them engaged and active. A little bit about me. I'm a digital marketer in Los Angeles, and I've helped more than 150+ startups achieve their goals in SEO, SMM and PPC campaigns. Maybe I can help!

Nathan Burgess Independent Digital Strategist and Tactician

October 31st, 2017

Did you hire the SEO firm on the premise (or was their pitch) that using the research they've already done, and presumably been successful with, they'll know what topics are being searched for, appropriate semantic search info, etc. they'll have similar results on social?

If so, it's important to distinguish search behavior from that of individuals (and the businesses they work with) on social. Organic social leans into the lower half of the sales funnel - someone that is following your brand that is already familiar with it. If your goal is new customers then you need to activate at the awareness level, which leads to....

Another key part to consider is how much latitude and budget they've been given for new customer acquisition, assuming they have the skill set. Existing followers know you - they may grow the business with you but that's probably not going to produce exponential growth. What you want is new customers - and that takes paid social advertising.

One final note (for now) - it's important to decide on important metrics and skip the vanity nonsense. Clickthroughs to site, contact us completions, etc. - forget the follower and individual like count.

Happy to chat more privately as well.

Digvijay Jain 'a'TYPICAL CEO at ExperteLabs Solutions Pvt Ltd | Web and Mobile Apps Development Savant | IT Doyen

October 31st, 2017

Thanks for raising this. This is very popular concern with people, brands and business at a global level. SEO, is a very subjective technique dependent on multiple external factors directly or indirectly related to and impacting your business presence online. Your Website or Mobile App or Social profiles or any other medium in which you present yourself to the Online World impacts your SEO a lot. Your Website structure, the technology behind it, the content quality and the user experience offered on the same has a lot of impact to the SEO performance of your Web Assets. Pre SEO analysis of your keywords by SEO Expert, understanding the competition in your target area and target audience, your target search engine etc is something that needs thorough analysis before commencement of SEO on your Website. So the golden rule is, an expert who asks you all this and analyses the same for you in advance is the man to go with , rest everyone else is joking with you and may never deliver as promises made on thin soil tend to fall down with disasters, I wish you all the Luck :) , reach me for any further assistance required !


Digvijay Jain



Web, Apps and Digital Marketing for the world


naeem sarwar

October 31st, 2017

SEO works and if ur not getting results try another one .in case you need other i can refer which is cheap and coat effective. N

Pinnacle Solution Digital Marketing Technocrat

October 31st, 2017

Hi Gurpreet, SEO takes time, usually you should allow at least 3-4 months to see some traction if that is white hat. However if you are selling something or services and have a revenue model to spend on paid traffic, then try that. Done correctly it can yield result from the day one. All the best Rajib

Asher Elran Co-founder at Ignitur

Last updated on October 31st, 2017

Gurpreet, a reputable SEO company will use both progress signals and success metrics. These metrics are essential to assess if you are getting return for your money as well as for them to make sure they are moving the right direction. Read my article on SEJ about this same thing you asked about: https://goo.gl/JwrxdB and feel free to contact me if you need help at that department. Cheers :)

Madhukar Varshney Technology Geek, yet to looking an convincing idea to start with

November 1st, 2017

Hi Gurpreet, It is very relevant question. What i learnt from my experience ...scope under Digital marketing/Social media promotion is loosely defined. Usually SEO's promote thru various platforms and share the visibility/reachability results...only few platform are actually show you the lead details....so i belive, u should first clarify the clear deliverables from SEO team and let SEO team explain you the methods to achieve higher leads for better success rate.

Do performance analysis of SEO team.