What is it you should expect from SEO services?
I find this question fascinating as I own an SEO company and see many sides to it. I wanted to share the differences with you.
They break down as follows (this is a massive generalisation but it gives you an insight into the market place of SEO services.
When SEO services grow to a certain size they generally become an agency. So what makes this different? Generally speaking you end up chatting to a really nice account manager and not the technical wizards, which has its ups and downs.
On the positive side the company is large enough to employ several experts in different fields. So they are all under the same hood. There may be a PPC (pay per click) expert, a conversion expert, an SEO expert and a developer for example.
The down side is that you do end up with an account manager who does not really understand things to a high level. So they have to correspond with the experts and you can feel like asking them to just pass you to the expert.
They generally have good processes though as they have been going a while and have been through many projects.
The one man band. They come with small overheads and you always speak to the expert. Again it comes with good and bad points.
The good points include always speaking to the person that does know what they are talking about. They are generally a little cheaper than an agency as well as over heads are less and the demand from directors for profit does not exist.
The bad points are they can up and leave and you are left with no support. They also do not have an internal team. Any good freelancer though will have a network of skilled people they know who all collaborate on projects. This gives you the stability and expertise you need.
Some freelancer care more as well, they get a better connection with the project as they will have a smaller number of clients and will do everything the can for them.
The Web Developer
This generally always goes the wrong was. If you are a developer then stick to being a developer and not trying to be many other things. It takes all my time and effort to keep up to date with search marketing so do not think you can do that and keep up to date with new technologies in web development. I will leave it at that rather than going on a rant!
There are some massive digital agencies that offer great services. Generally their clients are blue chip organisations and they have big budgets. Their prices are high but in general so is the quality of work. They have the team, the support but like the agency you will get an account manager not the expert.
There are too many of these in this industry. Typically examples are companies using link networks or just trying to get your cash and run. Typical signs of this are very cheap monthly packages (like monthly SEO for £100 per month) and a lack of knowledge to back up the claims they make.
You can see them all over once you start to dig so be careful and do your homework on the company and their clients. Also be aware that some companies offer guaranteed listings and then give you paid averts…different services.
No matter who you use if they do not keep up to date with technology and the market place you will lose a competitive edge and also may end up in trouble if they use border line techniques. Always remember the person or company you employ are only as good as the work they do so check out previous projects.
A good place to get some knowledge about SEO to test a potential company is http://www.seroundtable.com/ and a good example of a small SEO company website that know what they are doing is http://www.seocompanyedinburgh.co.uk/.
Always remember no matter how big the company they can still use and do use black hat/unethical tricks. So ask how they do things and compare it to what other companies are saying. This should highlight the good from bad.
Author J K Harrison. If you want to chat SEO just say, I can chat all day long about it. Comment below for some feedback.
You may also be interested in reading the recent article on what is SEO and what it is not!