When it comes to the SEO industry, you’ll be able to place most companies into four distinct categories. At the end of the day, make no mistake… there’s only one type of SEO company that you want to place trust in with your online presence.
The “Outsource Everything” Company
You’ll see this type of SEO company looming around the United States most prominently. Existing merely as a sales machine focused on selling a product that they don’t personally deliver, these companies will charge you a premium for the flashiness of a great sales presentation and the luxury of English-speaking account managers.
The cold, hard truth here is that all the work you’re paying for is actually being outsourced overseas for pennies on the dollar. You might even be paying these guys thousands of dollars a month to buy you cheap, bulk services for $5 from websites like Fiverr (Disclaimer: No amount of $5 services are going to make you #1 in your industry).
Ah… the “Blackhat” SEO company. These are the guys using “Black Magic” to get you (temporary) results and rankings. If you aren’t familiar with the term, these guys use methods and tactics that are nefarious and spammy in their nature. These methods rely on gaming the system and are against almost every search engine’s rules and guidelines.
Sometimes, these blackhat methods will even get you results. They might even get you quick results. But as you may have come to realize in life, instant gratification usually comes with some repercussions. In this case, they can be deadly for your business.
Getting caught utilizing blackhat SEO methods will result in penalties being placed on your site (AKA goodbye rankings and search traffic) and even worse, being completely blacklisted from the search results. Consider it a deal with the devil in the SEO world and choose a trustworthy SEO company instead.
The “Stuck in 2005”
The SEO company that can’t seem to get over the glory days, when reaching the top tiers of search engines was as easy as listing your keywords in your meta tags and throwing 100 keyword-stuffed links in the footer of your website. These guys walk a fine line that leads to a similar destination as those utilizing blackhat techniques.
Unfortunately (and fortunately), the SEO landscape of today is virtually unrecognizable from what it was 10 years ago. Hell, it’s changed enormously in just the last 2 years. Change in this industry is exponential. As technologies change and search engines continue improving their ranking formulas, having a company that plans for the future of SEO is imperative if you value the long-term survival of your business.
The Good Guys
This is the kind of company you want to be working with. A full-service online marketing company that understands SEO in this day and age is more than just on-page optimization and keyword stuffing.
The Good Guys will have a full in-house team that has expertise in local and national social media campaigns, writers, graphic designers and generally marketing-savvy people. Getting the rankings is only step 1 – your website needs to convert that traffic into customers to make the investment worth it.