We started eMagic because we had a genuine interest in helping people to grow their businesses online through quality, transparent SEO services. We decided from day one that we would operate with integrity, transparency and absolute honesty. Having been in the industry for a while now we’re disheartened to say that there’s an astonishing number of companies that don’t share these same values and are more focused on profiting from their clients, as opposed to helping their clients profit.
We’re tired of people getting raw deals from unethical SEO companies and so we’re making a conscious effort to clean up the SEO industry. At eMagic we sometimes feel like an SEO hospital with so many clients coming to us in need of recovery after having been burned. We want to make sure that everyone considering SEO has all of the information they need to make an informed decision and are also aware of the risks of choosing the wrong company. We hope you will find this helpful.
The success of an SEO Strategy lives or dies on the ability of the SEO Company to rank their clients website. If they can’t get a website to the first page of the Google search results – it’s over. Most SEO providers will only show you clients that they’ve been successful with, but what about the failures?
You can ask each potential SEO company to show you their clients results which may or may not be a good indication of their overall client performance, or you could just check how their own website ranks. The reason why this is such a good way to determine their ability is because getting visibility for an SEO website in Google is about as difficult as it gets. If their own website ranks well, that’s a good indication that they’re good at what they do.
Here’s how to check:
1. Open up your favourite web browser and point to google.co.nz
2. Search for the following keywords in Google (these are some of the most valuable keywords SEO Companies will be trying to rank for):
SEO Auckland, SEO, SEO Company
3. Note down which SEO providers have the best visibility overall (i.e. First page organic results on Google)
It’s one thing to get a website to the first page of Google, but will it stay there? At eMagic, SEO is all about long term, sustainable results for our clients. If you want to lose weight you can gain results very quickly through surgery, pills or fad diets. Alternatively you can go for a natural, healthy and balanced lifestyle coupled with time and hard work. We’re not interested in short lived results, shortcuts and nasty side-effects with our SEO work.
One of our most common questions from clients is “how long will it take?” There is no definitive answer to this as it depends on many factors – but would you rather have quick results that don’t last, or would you prefer quality SEO that generates both quick wins and consistent, long lasting results? Is your business fly-by-night or are you in it for the long haul?
Here’s how to check:
1. Ask the SEO company to show you examples of client results over a period of at least 6 months (12 months if possible)
2. If they can provide traffic graphs you want to see an overall upwards trend over time
3. Note down what SEO company’s have the ability to provide long term results for their clients
OK so we’ve placed checks in the ‘can rank a website’ and ‘can rank a website long term’ boxes. Did you take note of what keywords they were targeting for their clients? Were they relevant to their client’s business and target market? Were they non brand, highly competitive and highly valuable keywords? It’s easy to get a client ranking for their brand name, or a series of low competition, low search volume keywords that no one searches for.
The best SEO companies will not only be able to identify highly valuable keywords that their clients need to target, but be able to execute a successful SEO strategy that can get their client high visibility for these keywords.
Here’s how to check:
1. Ask the SEO company to show you examples of keywords they have achieved first page Google rankings for and ask for monthly search volumes for these keywords
2. Make sure that the keywords a) have sufficient search volumes and b) are relevant for their clients business. Would people searching for their clients business services or products likely be using these search terms?
3. Note down what SEO company’s show competency in targeting the right keywords for their clients (relevancy + sufficient search volumes = good target keywords)
Why do you want to do SEO? What do you hope your SEO company will help you achieve? Betters rankings? Yes of course – but why? Improving your search engine rankings is a feature of SEO, not a benefit. What’s the end goal? It’s likely you’re looking for a way to grow your business through increased traffic, visibility, sales, leads, bookings etc. You’re looking for a marketing solution to help you to achieve this while delivering high value and profitability (ROI). We’re interested in why our clients want to do SEO, beyond just rankings, because it helps us to better position our SEO strategy to help them to achieve their goals.
Here’s how to check:
1. Ask the SEO company what metrics they use for tracking their clients SEO campaign (do they just measure rankings, or do they track traffic, goals, conversions and revenue?)
2. Note down what SEO company’s use multiple metrics to track the success of their clients SEO work
Take note as this is the most important section you will read.
Did you know that choosing the wrong SEO company can lead to your website being literally wiped off the face of the Google search results? Are you aware of all the latest Google algorithmic penalties such as “Penguin“? or that unscrupulous SEO companies will feature your website in low quality, spammy and even adult websites? We’ve seen it all (yes even the last one) and the negative impact on your website and business reputation is two fold.
The search results are determined by Google, using a highly advanced Google algorithm. It uses over 200 factors to determine the quality, relevancy, trust and authority of websites on the internet, and positions them accordingly when a user completes a search in Google. The algorithm is constantly refreshed to find and penalise websites that are using spammy techniques to manipulate the search engine rankings. If your SEO company is taking part in low quality, cheap, spammy and down-right dodgy SEO strategies, then the likelihood is your website will be flagged by Google, and you will receive a penalty. This can mean that your website is severely demoted in the search results, or dropped completely.
At this point you might have already invested thousands of dollars with this SEO company and you have nothing to show for it. You will need an SEO recovery strategy to undo the damage, which takes a serious amount of time and expertise, and is never a guarantee that your website will recover to full health again. To make matters worse you’re losing business because customers can’t find you online anymore, except in spammy directories, articles and other low quality websites which is harming your brand.
Here’s how to check:
If you’re not an expert on SEO it can be difficult to go through, analyse and gauge the quality of an SEO companies work. You will also need to have access to specialised tools to properly assess the SEO strategies that they employ on their clients websites.
Here are some key questions you can ask potential SEO companies:
1. Do you outsource your SEO? (outsourcing isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but it can very easily lead to quality control issues)
2. What is your primary link building strategy? (does it sound like a natural way of acquiring links such as press releases, content creation, relevant business directories etc or are they taking part in artificial high risk methods, often referred to as black hat SEO, such as link networks, blog comment spam, mass article syndication, link exchanges and link farms?)
3. What do you see as an ideal link? (simple answer here is quality links on relevant, high quality websites)
Unfortunately you’re still relying on the honesty of the SEO company here unless you have a deeper understanding of SEO and can manually check their SEO work yourself.
Choosing a good SEO company can be the difference between the success and failure of your business online. Do your due diligence and don’t just settle for the cheapest provider (a surefire recipe for disaster). Quality SEO that delivers long term, sustainable results requires a huge amount of expertise, time, effort and resources and there are no short cuts. Familiarise yourself with Googles SEO guide here, beware of any companies providing ranking guarantees (these violates Google’s guidelines). Ensure they have a proven track record, provide transparency on all work carried out and leverage effective SEO strategies that don’t violate search engine guidelines.