How Can You Tell If An SEO Agency Is Legitimate Or If You Are In Danger Of Being Scammed?

If you are looking to market your online business and you recognise the fact that you may need to outsource these requirements to a third-party SEO agency, you are likely feeling a little overwhelmed. How can you tell if an SEO agency is legitimate or if you are in danger of being scammed by them? And similarly, how can you know for sure if an SEO agency knows what they are doing or if they are ill-prepared to help you achieve your long-term goals?

In this article, we’re going to share some tips to help you make the right decision when investing in an SEO agency. Follow these tips and you’ll have no trouble avoiding the inequitable.

1. Study their online presence

The first step in determining whether an SEO agency is legit or not is to study its online presence. Type their brand name into Google and see what kind of information comes up.

If you find next to nothing online about them, then they are not worth your time or money. Similarly, if it comes up with negative reviews and horror stories from other businesses who have been scammed by them in the past then run a mile.

On the other hand, if you find their website, a GMB profile, lots of socials, and a wealth of other information then it is clear that they are a real and well-established agency.

You could always take to LinkedIn and type their brand name into the search bar to see what you can find. If you find a number of professionals who work for them, a thriving business page, and multiple posts from other professionals engaging with them then take that as a good sign.

2. Look for social proof

Next, you want to see what other people are saying about your prospective SEO agency. Don’t take their word for it; instead, look for feedback and reviews from real-life people who have engaged with their services.

If you find an overwhelming number of five-star reviews, then it is usually a very good sign that they are doing something right.

If they don’t have many reviews at all – or if their average is rather low, then move along and find an agency worthy of your time and money.

3. Ask for case studies and client testimonials

Any legit SEO agency worth their salt will have a number of client success stories to share with you. If they don’t, then at the very least they should have client testimonials from recognised brands who have experienced success in doing business with them.

If a prospective SEO agency refuses to offer both, then look elsewhere. Unless you can view their previous successes, how can you know for certain that they are legitimate?

You shouldn’t have to hire an SEO agency on blind faith alone. There are tons of well-established agencies out there who will be more than happy to provide you with proof of their performance.

4. Press them with some difficult questions

A highly effective way of separating the wheat from the chaff is by asking difficult questions. Here are some examples:

  • What is your approach to delivering superior results? Which strategies do you use?
  • How will you adapt your strategies to suit my niche?
  • What metrics do you use to measure success?
  • How long until we can expect results?
  • What is your approach to link-building?
  • Which tools do you use?
  • How do you report on progress?
  • What do you need from us in order to be effective?

These are just a handful of the questions that you can ask, however, you’ll learn a lot about a prospective SEO agency by the way they respond to you.

If they come back with very vague responses or seem to try and dodge many of the questions, then run a mile. These are all very reasonable questions to ask and the best SEO agencies will gladly answer them in detail.

5. If you get a bad gut feeling

It might sound silly, but the ultimate deciding factor when choosing an SEO agency should come down to your gut feeling. Yes, do all of the necessary research and press them with difficult questions. However, if you get a bad gut feeling about an agency and you really do not feel too good about them then trust your intuition.

In reality, you should feel excited when moving forward with a new SEO agency. If you don’t feel excited by the prospect, then it is usually a pretty good sign that something is off.

Conclusion: Be unforgiving

We are talking about the future of your business. When you invest in the right digital marketing services, it can be transformative for your business. However, waste your money with the wrong people and it can be devastating.

Save yourself the heartache, take your time, do your due diligence, trust your gut, and you’ll be well on your way to long-term success.