How to Avoid Bad SEO Companies

Practically every business or website owner has received at least one unsolicited email from a shady SEO ‘agency’ promising the world. But have you ever wondered how they can realistically deliver such amazing results? And for such a low price? The short answer is that it’s simply not possible.

On the less extreme side of things, too many agencies promise big things at rock-bottom prices but lack the knowledge and experience to implement effective SEO strategies and deliver the results you’re after. These agencies are typically run by hobbyists, weekend warriors, or underqualified ‘digital marketing consultants’ who sell themselves as experts.

Both these types of agencies have one thing in common: they’ll ultimately leave the businesses who trusted them out-of-pocket and perhaps even skeptical about the SEO industry as a whole. So, how can you weed out the bad SEO agencies from the good ones and ensure your website is in good hands? Here are five ways to avoid bad SEO companies:


Check their Portfolio

Any SEO agency worth its salt will be more than happy to show potential clients a list of current and past websites they’ve worked with. They should also be willing to share with you the specific keywords and phrases the sites rank for. Take your time and carefully check a prospective agency’s portfolio to ensure that you’ll be working with a reputable SEO company.


Avoid A La Carte SEO Providers

There’s nothing wrong with SEO providers listing and pricing their services separately, but most professional agencies should be discussing their services with clients and only recommending the ones that would benefit them the most. After all, you’re paying the company to tell you what your website needs and not the other way round.


Ask About Analytics

There should be absolutely no reason for an SEO agency to deny their clients access to their site’s analytics and they should have no trouble providing monthly reports that include traffic, trends over time, and keyword rankings. If an SEO company refuses or makes up excuses as to why they can’t provide you with analytics or reports then you should run — fast.

Steer Clear of ‘Guarantees’

Avoid all SEO agencies that guarantee specific results like top Google rankings. Period. There is most definitely no way any agency can promise top rankings. On that note, don’t believe any agency who claims to ‘work’ or have a ‘special relationship’ with Google. Google themselves even issued a statement warning against SEO agencies that guarantee rankings or claim to work or have such relationships with them.


Quality Doesn’t Come Cheap

As the old saying goes, “buy cheap, buy twice.” And this can’t be more true for the SEO industry. However, that’s not to say you should always go for the most expensive provider or package you can find but. Use common sense. Despite what others might say, SEO isn’t something that can be automated. It takes real people doing real work and it takes time, which doesn’t come cheap. Certainly not $200 a month cheap!


The best way to avoid choosing a bad SEO company is to take your time and do your research. A genuine, honest SEO agency will be willing to answer all your questions and even ask questions of their own to ensure that you’d work well together. The Three Marketers has helped hundreds of businesses all across Canada, the United States, and Europe since it was established in 2003, so we know a thing or two about what it takes to boost your online exposure. Reach out to us to find out more about what makes us different from other SEO agencies.

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