Skip to content

Considerations before paying for SEO services

There are many companies and individuals selling SEO services - you may already have been approached out of the blue. How can you be sure that what they are recommending is valid, worthwhile and going to deliver results?

Google Webmaster Tools offers helpful advice if you are thinking of hiring SEO services. We would encourage you to read the full article, but here is a summary of the key points.

Useful questions to ask of somebody selling SEO services

  • Can you provide examples of your previous work? What success stories can you share?
  • Do you follow the Google Webmaster Guidelines?
  • Do you offer any online marketing services or advice to complement your organic search business?
  • What kind of results do you expect to see, and in what timeframe? How do you measure your success?
  • What's your experience in my industry? In my town/city?
  • What are your most important SEO techniques?
  • How long have you been in business?
  • Will you share with me all the changes you make to my site, and provide detailed information about your recommendations and the reasoning behind them?

Be wary of SEO firms and web consultants or agencies that contact you out of the blue

Be sceptical of unsolicited emails and phone calls about search engines, just as you would for "burn fat at night" diet pills or requests to help transfer funds from deposed dictators.

No one can guarantee a first place ranking on Google

Be wary of anybody making claims about guaranteed rankings.

Be careful if a company is secretive or won't clearly explain what they intend to do

Ask for explanations if something is unclear. Ultimately, you are responsible for the actions of any companies you hire, so it's best to be sure you know exactly how they intend to "help" you.

Be sure to understand where the money goes

Some companies/agencies will promise to rank you highly in search engines, but place you in the advertising section rather than in the search results. Make sure to ask in advance which fees go toward permanent inclusion and which apply toward temporary advertising.