If you have tried to do some Search Engine Optimization (SEO) for your web site all by yourself, you probably found out that it is quite difficult to get your site ranked or you can get it ranked, but you don’t have time for anything else you want to do.  If this is true, you might want to employ an SEO agency to get that work done for you.  There are lots of SEO companies to pick from but how can you figure out which one is credible and will fit your needs?

There may be some SEO agencies that are dishonest and scam people, but if you know what to look for when selecting an digital agency, you don’t have to worry about picking on of those.  Of course, knowing a bit about SEO will always help you choose, but even if you don’t here are some things to look for when deciding on the right SEO agency.

–    If they promise they can get your site to rank number one, it might not be the right agency for you.  Be aware that no one can promise number one rankings in the search engines. No one can control how Google, Yahoo! and MSN rank webpages.

–    Be wise and get referrals from anyone you know on several SEO agencies.  Knowing other people who have done business in a specific agency is a great start.

–    If you don’t know anyone who has done business with an SEO agency, you should go to online forums to find people who know agencies that are reputable and get their clients results.

–    For extra information on the agency, you should look for their company in the search engines.  Don’t judge the business by everything you read; unless there is a lot of negative information on the business.

–    When you have finally narrowed your SEO agencies down, you can ask them for examples of sites they have optimized.  If they refuse to show you some examples, then something isn’t right. No artist can have an art show with bare walls and expect to be paid.

–    Take a look at each agency’s site to see how well their site is optimized.  If they can’t do a good job on their own site, you should not employ them to do yours.

–    Ask each agency what keywords they rank for.  If they don’t rank high for those keywords, they aren’t very good at what they do.

–    Ask them if automated submissions are used, because you want to stay away from agencies that use them.  These automated submissions can get your site banned from search engines.

–    Ask the agency if Black Hat SEO elements are used.  Before you ask, search for Black Hat techniques online so you will be familiar with them.  You don’t want an agency using these techniques; they can also get your site banned.

–    Ask where relevant backlinks are gathered.  Where back links come from can make a difference.  Your site can get penalized if the backlinks are coming from link farms.  Be sure this isn’t the case.

–    Sitting down to have a meeting with people in the agency can help you get an impression of the type of people you could possibly be working with.  What are your gut instincts telling you?

–    Just because one agency’s services cost more, it doesn’t mean that you will get better quality service from them.

–    On the opposite end of the above statement; if an agency charges way below what every other agency is charging, chances are they are leaving many regular SEO techniques out of their work.

–    Ask each agency if they have regular maintenance subscription services.  An agency that offers regular SEO maintenance after the main optimization will probably be a good team to work with.

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