Choosing an agency to ensure that you have good rankings, while still using only ethical methods to gain these rankings can be difficult. There are many agencies who guarantee the world for a relatively cheap price, but are you getting what you're paying for or is it really the bargain they make it out to be?
There are different types of marketing methods ranging between the good (white hat), the bad (black hat) and the ugly (gray hat). Some agencies lean toward the gray and black areas in their methods because it generally provides quick results and it is relatively easy to accomplish, but there is, off course, a downside. These methods are frowned upon by Search Engines and in some cases can get your website blacklisted - never to appear again. That is until you beg and plead for your site to be returned on the search pages of the search engine. That can take a period of 6 months to a year to happen. You will have lost so much business in that time.
SEO Pricing VS Service
Every business has to evaluate their marketing budgets and options, but please be wary when it comes to agencies who seem to charge very little, especially when their promises are beyond belief. We all learn that when something appears too good to be true, it probably is. Performing well in the organic area of a search engine takes effort, effort means time, and time means money. Thus, you will get what you pay for when you use a SEO agency that uses ethical methods to make your website perform well. Should the agency use any form of unethical methods to improve your website rankings, you may risk being blacklisted on the search engines - this is not a risk you can take.
SEO Timing and Planning
SEO and especially organic SEO takes time. Ethical SEO agencies will be open with you about this fact and will tell you what the competition levels are for your keyphrases in the specific regions. The agency should be able to give you some kind of "testing timeframe" that will give you an idea of when you can start to see some real results. Agencies that promise quick results do not use ethical methods of ranking your website and thus you run the risk of being blacklisted. You have to keep a few things in mind:
- The longer you have had your website, the easier it will be to get you above your competitors. Chances are that you have already been "found" by search engines, but now we have to ensure that you rank well.
- If you have a brand new website and you've never been on the Internet before, ranking you might take a little longer
- You are not the only provider for your product or service. If you have a fairly common product, it can take time to rank well
- Your keyphrases make a difference. Some agencies will tell you that more is better - this is not true. Rather use fewer keyphrases, but choose them well. Ethical SEO agencies will let you know what your best keyphrase options are and they will discuss this with you
Content and website traffic
Does the agency place irrelevant content on your website, but they tell you that you have a high visitor count? This might not be completely true. If you, for example, sell flashlights, but the agency has information on your website regarding a famous singer, your visitors might be high, but it is not relevant. Ethical SEO agencies will tell you which of your pages perform the best and they will give you high quality advise about your content.
Ethical SEO agencies will always be open and honest about the methods they use to improve your rankings on search engines. You can also try to establish if they use any unethical methods by looking at the different methods that can be used. Click here for more information about the different methods.