What Separates Top SEO Companies from Fly By Night SEOsRead Time: 3 minutes

Here’s a fun game—ask any web design or marketing company if they do SEO. In more cases than not, the answer is going to be YES!

OK. We lied. Not about the “YES!” part, that’s definitely true, but about the part where this was supposed to be fun.

Especially if this is your first foray into the world of optimization, knowing which entities are worthwhile SEO companies and which will get you lost in the digital wilderness is challenging. Fly By Night SEOs can take advantage of the inexperience of potential clientele, throwing words your way that, while enticing, are nothing but empty promises.

The sad reality is that bad experiences with unskilled SEOs can leave you feeling burnt. If this is the case, you may not want to go around the merry-go-round again. While this is understandable, it is advisable to give it another go. When it is done effectively, you will enjoy a long term ROI that will make you thank yourself for your bravery.

We thought we’d help you sort the diamonds from the turds when it comes to the SEO on offer. (Excuse the language. We meant to write turmoil and our fingers slipped.)

Here are 5 phrases that you might hear from amateur SEOs, and our answers to them.

1. “You’ll see results after 30 days.”

30 days, you say? Oh, that’s really interesting. I’m guessing you’re not familiar with how much of a long-term commitment effective SEO is. Actual tactics are long-term, and results will more than likely only start rearing their heads after about month 3. But I wouldn’t want you to take our word for it. Have a little look at this Forbes magazine article. I’m sure they’d appreciate your visit.

2. “We guarantee rankings.”

Still getting over the shock that the tooth fairy is not real? (Oops, apologies for the lack of SPOILER ALERT there.) Now it’s time to tackle a new myth. SEOs cannot guarantee you rankings. SEO is trial and error, and everyone is playing the same game. If a SEO could genuinely guarantee rankings, they would be the Godfather of digital marketing—and you can rest assured that they’d not be getting what they’re getting without a little foul play.

3. “You should check out our link building system.”

Read, “we do not customize our work per client. In fact, we probably don’t know how.”

4. “We rank high on Google.”

This is a confusing one, I know. Ranking high on Google as an SEO often means that you spend more of your time getting found than doing work for clients. (For more on this, read our article here.)

5. “We’ll buy a ton of links for you.”

Unless you have somehow engaged the digital mafia, this is not something any SEO should be promising. Google is 100% against link schemes, one of which is the manipulation of a site’s ranking through the buying and selling of links. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.

It can feel a bit like the wild west out there when it comes to finding a reputable SEO company. If you remind yourself that SEO is a long-term investment that pays off only through meticulously thought-out strategy, it will be easier for you to identify the companies that will provide you with a sustainable ROI.

And when you find the right company, it really can be fun.

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