Choosing SEO Providers By Their Own Organic Rank

So … how do you choose the right SEO company? I wrote about this long before and there are many, many, articles on the subject. Some of them are accurate and some not.

Reading an article by Dave Davies titled “What to look for in an SEO” got me a bit concerned when he wrote;

“The first thing you should look for when hiring an SEO is whether or not they can rank their own website.”

So you’re saying that I should limit my choice of SEO companies to the Top 10 that are on the first page of Google for a search term “Search engine optimization”? Hey, let’s do this even better. I’ll be choosing between the Top 3. Oh and my budget is let’s say $7,000 / year.

Good Luck with that my friend!

Reading the response from Jordan McCollum at MarketingPilgrim made me join the conversation and do this post.

Let me share my personal experience when I spoke to 40+ SEO companies and consultants at one point of time.

Almost all SEOs that rank very well (Top 10 for popular search), will not be cheap. So if your budget is low you’re out of luck.

One of the SEOs who wasn’t ranking in the top 50 …. actually his website was banned from Google, told me that the reason why his website doesn’t rank in Top 10 is because he doesn’t want to give out his “secrets” of SEO.

I found one important thing though. Always Google the company’s name. In the industry, people talk and every one has the ability to voice their experiences whether they do it on the blog posts, comments, forums, or message boards.

Choosing an SEO based on how well they rank naturally is the same thing as choosing a media company based on how much media they’re getting for themselves. I’d focus more on the results they provide to their clients … not themselves.

9 Comment(s)

  1. Good post, Igor. Getting ranked for “SEO” or “Search Engine Optimization” is for vanity reasons only. The ROI on those terms is insignificant for the time and effort required.

    There is also an issue of control. A top ranking for SEO floods the phones and contact boxes with not-so-serious leads. Those leads take time to follow up on… time better spent helping serious prospective clients.

    We spent a good deal of time looking at our stats and make a conscious decision to go after keywords that have a better conversion rate than those that don’t.

    Stoney deGeyter | Feb 28, 2007 | Reply

  2. Agreed!

    Jordan McCollum | Feb 28, 2007 | Reply

  3. Stoney, that’s a great point.

    Igor Mordkovich | Feb 28, 2007 | Reply

  4. Well I hope it’s true, there’s no such thing as bad publicity as long as they spell your name right. 😉

    Out of all the articles I’ve ever written I’d have to say this one seems to be getting the biggest response from the SEO industry.

    It does appear that the majority of people who are responding to the article have totally misunderstood one of the key lines. This is the second blog where people seem to be under the impression that what I’ve said is that for any SEO to be worth your consideration they MUST rank for either “seo” or “search engine optimization”. Hmmmmm. What I actually wrote was:

    “… Too often when I take a look at the SEO’s website and research their targeted phrases (usually pretty obvious when you look at the title and heading tags) I find that they don’t even rank for their own phrases.”

    Nowhere so I specify what their phrases should be. Personally I’ve found that there are specific types of phrases that convert better than others. We target these phrases. As I indicated in the article, take a look at our title tag and you’ll know what some of them are.

    Would we target “search engine optimization” or “seo”? Sure, once all the higher converting phrases are secured. So maybe I’ll write an article about that in about 5 years. 😉

    Also, I’m saying it’s the first thing to look at, not the only thing to look at.

    Dave Davies | Feb 28, 2007 | Reply

  5. Dave, most SEO companies have a similar meta title tag. So judging just by their title and how they rank for it is probably not enough. As I said … there are only 10 spots on the first page.

    Other than this suggestion, the article was very informative.

    Igor Mordkovich | Mar 1, 2007 | Reply

  6. Well, I suppose we’ll have to agree to disagree.

    There are indeed only 10 spots in the top ten, fortunately there are tons of great phrases for SEO’s. Our site doesn’t rank for “seo” or “search engine optimization” nor have we made any effort to do so. We have picked our terms based on estimated searches/day and conversion data.

    I understand how you would reply the way you did given the assumption that I was saying there are only 10 positions open to any decent SEO. I’ve met more than that on a single day at SES. :)

    Sorry the article got under your skin but I have to stick by my belief that this is a solid benchmark. As I noted on MarketingPilgrim – it might not be fair to judge a dentist by their teeth but I would anyways.

    Dave Davies | Mar 1, 2007 | Reply

  7. Dave …. your article didn’t get “under my skin”. I simply shared my opinion about a part of your article.

    Thanks for responding though.

    Igor Mordkovich | Mar 2, 2007 | Reply

  8. I’d have to agree to the line:

    “it’s the first thing to look at, not the only thing to look at”

    If you wanna sell your doughnut, you better show people you eat it, rather than feeding people on something that your gag reflex cant take. I think its a metaphor everyone can agree on.

    When you market something, make it at least credible.

    Billy Marks | Apr 13, 2008 | Reply

  9. Agreed! Most SEO companies have a similar meta title tag. But there are only 10 spots on the first page.

    James | Jul 23, 2010 | Reply

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