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July 15, 2014

Is Your SEO Agency Ripping You Off?

SEO professionals take great pains to deliver results and make sure you never have to ask this question

He was so slick.

He talked about algorithms, keywords and the science of SEO. For that fascinating hour, you were completely sucked in to his world. He guaranteed you quantifiable results. He sold you an expensive contract. Now, all these monthly checks later, you cannot help but wonder, “Did he really just rip me off?”

The fact that you’re asking this question at all should be your first red flag. SEO professionals take great pains to include you in the process and show you the steps they are taking to elevate your search rankings. And they very rarely consist of just one guy.

A true SEO agency is comprised of a multitude of pros encompassing a vast area of expertise. There are website designers who build search optimization right into the code of your site. There are developers whose purpose is to create or tweak applications and tools that will maximize your online identity. There are SEO pros whose business is to understand the ever-changing algorithms utilized by search engines to deliver quality results. There are content developers whose role is to create compelling blogs, tweets and posts that will entice users and keep them coming back week after week until they ultimately buy your product or utilize your service.

This is not to say these SEO companies don’t have a sales team whose job is to sell you on the products and services they have to offer. Any good business has to sell itself. The fact is, however, that a qualified SEO agency looks very different than a single consultant.

Consistency is key when it comes to seeing a return on your investment. So is repetition. When an SEO agency works for a client, they have to stay on top of what the client is doing. This doesn’t necessarily mean they need to speak with you every day or even every week, but for the agency’s pros to market you effectively, they must stay abreast of your company’s latest changes, campaigns, and news. All this information is searchable, and publishing it through multiple channels integrates your brand into the Web and ensures search engines make it a priority.

Perhaps the best way to prevent against being ripped off by an SEO imposter is to research the agency. Read reviews and testimonials. Check out bios of the agency’s personnel on social media sites like LinkedIn. Educate yourself about the process of SEO and see if what the agency is selling you matches up with what you have learned. You don’t have to be an expert in SEO yourself, but basic familiarity with the subject can go a long way toward finding the satisfaction associated with knowing your money has been well spent.


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Mike Canarelli is the CEO and co-founder of Web Talent Marketing, a full-service digital marketing agency based in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. As the force behind Web Talent, Mike lays the foundation for his clients’ success by applying his experience, expertise, and passion for excellence to every account. His mission, and the mission of the agency, is to partner with clients to deliver exceptional results. Follow him on Twitter @MCanarelli.

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