An SEO agency is a company that provides outsourced SEO services. SEO of course is ‘Search Engine Optimization’, which is a form of marketing that revolves around trying to increase a website’s visibility in Google.
SEO agencies can do a lot of good for your website because they improve your visibility while saving you time that you can spend working on the nuts and bolts of your business. A good SEO company can save you countless hours and drive huge amounts of traffic to your site. On the other hand though, there are also a lot of low quality SEO agencies out there that will try to get you to part with your cash while offering nothing of value in return. Knowing the difference is crucial.
Things to Look Out For
One of the easiest ways to tell a ‘bad’ SEO agency is to look out for some of the less-than-ideal practices that they can be known to engage in. Some of these include:
Private Blog Networks: A private blog network is a network of websites entirely owned by the SEO agency that is selling its services. The SEO agency will be able to sell you links on that network and then brag about the large number of links they have created for you. But if Google recognizes that these sites are all linking to eachother, then it will see this as an attempt to manipulate the algorithm and your site will be penalized accordingly.
Keyword Stuffing: One of the most well known ways to promote a website through SEO is to insert keywords subtly into your content. The operative word here though is ‘subtly’ and if this is done too overtly to the detriment of the quality of the content, then this should raise a red flag.
Huge Numbers of Links: If you have huge numbers of links pointing to your site that are of mixed quality and relevancy then this can now do a lot more harm than good. This is one of the ways that lots of sites have spammed Google and again Google is responding by punishing them. Make sure that you look for quality rather than quantity when you accumulate links and keep the all relevant to your site. And if the SEO company is buying you links (this is a forbidden practice) or inserting them on bad quality sites – it’s time to leave.
When choosing an SEO company, avoid those that encourage these practices. Meanwhile, look for those that are transparent and that will provide you with full, detailed reports of everything they have done. Be very cautious of those agencies that promise impossible feats (like getting you to number one in weeks) and always try to contact the company first in order to make absolutely certain that they put quality and futureproofing at the forefront of their business strategy.