How We Identify and Evaluate SEO Firms
The MAIN thing you should realize when using our list is that we base our rating system on two main points. One is how well the SEO company optimizes their company website AND the other is the volume of complaints we find about them online. If they have great rankings, aren't spamming and don't have many complaints online, we think they're good. We evaluate their communication skills during the sales process, their proposals and we STRONGLY evaluate their overall pricing.
- Their own rankings: We analyze how well they rank for the keywords they are targeting on their company website. If they can't do it for themselves, why trust them to do it for you? We also evaluate how competitive the keywords are that they are targeting. Anyone can rank for a phrase that is 12 words long. If they aren't ranking for a very competitive keyword in their own business, they won't be at the top of our list.
- Their own on-page optimization: We look at their website, evaluate on-page techniques and look for spammy or black hat strategies.
- Pricing: This is a big one. Are they taking advantage of their expertise or are they charging a fair rate based on the average market price?
- Complaints: Complaints are not always an indication that a company is generally "not good". We're not looking so much for the number of complaints but rather the content and authenticity of the complaints. We dig around to find the most relevant complaints from clients and if they seem real/excessive, we will report them within our review. You should keep in mind that companies with 100's of customers will always have complaints. It's common sense that you can't please everyone!
- Speed of communication: How fast or slow a company communicates with their sales literature or answering follow-up questions.
- Quality of communication: How well does the company explain their services?
- Transparency of sales material: Many companies will list out 100 fundamental seo steps such as "monthly meta tag refreshing", "link submissions", etc.. They use fancy terms to make it seem as if they are doing a lot of work. We frown upon this type of language. We prefer to recommend companies that we believe are performing the right activities and are spending time doing so on all of their clients.