At his high school reunion, Peter pretends to be a cowboy-astronaut-millionaire to impress his classmates, but the truth comes out when he meets Tom Brady. He subsequently gets drunk and has to make a run for the bathroom, knocking over everyone between him and the bathroom.
SEO Firms that are Cowboy Astronaut Millionaires
Almost daily I am introduced to another Cowboy Astronaut Millionaire SEO firm. Current clients will hear a new cleaver pitch. Or a prospective client tells me about their current SEO agency or one that they are considering. “Social Media Experts” aren’t the only Snake Oil Salesmen.
7 Tips when choosing an SEO Agency
Tip #1 Best SEO Companies Know their Value
“The best SEO companies keep a steady book of business and know what their work is worth. Unfortunately in SEO, just because you pay a higher price doesn’t always mean you get a higher level of service. It is important to understand that the company you choose should be viewed as a long term partner rather than a task based service provider. ” – Derek Mabie on SEOmoz Blog
Tip #2 Slow down, Get to know each other
Slow down, slow down. If there is any rush – RUN. If it is your idea to rush, then you don’t understand SEO and you will fail anyways. Go on a few dates, hold hands, go out for coffee, a ball game etc before you jump into bed together. ; ) Get to know the company, their values, their strengths, their team, personalities, and mindset etc. They need to know your company, your strengths and weakness, your market, your competitors.
There should be chemistry between the two companies. You will need to communicate well, work well, and play together. Don’t just think about the wins. There are many games in a season, and many seasons in a career. There will be many practices, good nights, and bad nights, home games, away games, etc… This is the draft, its a big contract, the fans (employees), are looking for you to make the right decision, and you don’t want to have to rebuild the team every year.
Tip #3 Do they have a content rich blog?
Do they demonstrate thought leadership in their industry? What have they taught you during the sales process? Have you read their blog and did you learn something. An educational blog with a steady stream of relevant content should be one of your first considerations.
Tip #4 Testimonials and Current Clients
Be cautious with testimonials. It is far too easy to manipulate the results or provide completely fraudulent information. Getting a referral from someone you trust is a much better idea. Consider who their current clients are as well.
Tip #5 Understand the Methodology & SEO Process
This part can be difficult, especially if you lack SEO background. If you lack background and understanding – Slow down. You might even consider – “Learning” before just trying to throw money at the problem. You’ll be amazed how much information you can learn on the intra-web. ; )
It is critical that you know where to look. You don’t want to get SEO strategies from the 90′s. Unfortunately that represents 90% of what is shared out there. I shared a post earlier this year about the SEO Blogs Milkmen Follow. I recommend reading those blogs. Knowing who to follow will not only save you thousands, it will help your business make ten’s of thousands to millions each year depending on the size or your business and market.
Tip #6 If your a pig, maybe you should go on a diet instead of more lipstick
I’m sorry but the “Princess’s Kiss” will not turn you into a Prince, you’ll still be a frog. Top placement in the search engine results will do nothing for you if your product/service offering looks like this:
Don’t get me wrong, we all have room for improvement. In fact, choosing the right SEO firm will improve your brand in many ways; visibility, significance and credibility through solid content creation, a deeper understanding of your audience and their behaviors, improvement in your offering, improved click through, improved conversion rates etc.
A good indicator of finding the right SEO company may be the very fact that they vet your company and offering.
Tip #7 SEO & Running a Marathon
Once you make the decision to move forward it might feel like the decision to run a marathon. You’re excited about the rewards at the end of the race. You’re excited to get in the best shape of your life. You’re excited about challenging yourself, about the growth, about pushing yourself. You are also aware of the work required, the daily practice, the diet, and the competition that you’ll face.
Now you have the right mindset. Now you have found your workout partner, (SEO firm “Y”), your racing partner. Someone running the same race, with the same goals. Someone to practice and prepare with. Someone to compete with, diet with, train with, win with, and sometimes lose a battle with, but ultimately win the war.
If these things happen – RUN!
If they make it sound easy – RUN!
Do they tell you what YOU want to hear? – RUN!
They call themselves Social Media Experts – RUN!
They want to “Close the Deal” quickly – RUN!
If you don’t feel good about them, no chemistry – RUN!
Choosing that right SEO company can be taxing. Making the decision after you’ve already been burned is painful, but you are probably in a better position to pull the right trigger this time. Choosing the right SEO will be a very rewarding experience and well worth the work, effort, and investment. Good luck! And watch out for Cowboy Astronaut Millionaires!
Tags: Best SEO Agency, Best SEO Firm, Best SEO Firm Tips, Choosing an SEO Company, SEO Partner Tips