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How to choose an SEO company and control its work


Search engine promotion is a very young but popular type of business. Our market cannot boast of a sufficient number of companies specializing in this, which were organized by true professionals. Most of the agencies appeared only because there was a market. Basically, all the owners of SEO companies at one time were ordinary freelancers, and later they began to hire assistants, transferring certain tasks to them.

When you start looking for a contractor, find out the goals of his activities so as not to run into unscrupulous entrepreneurs who only seek to profit, use incorrect methods or do not understand their purpose at all, and, accordingly, do not bear any obligations.

Selection algorithm

To decide on the choice of an agency to which you entrust the promotion of your business, you need to follow this scheme:

  • Correctly prioritize;
  • Check applicants;
  • Give preference to the best and conclude an agreement with him.

Having no experience of cooperation with an Internet agency, we most often trust marketers. But by acting in accordance with the algorithm, you can objectively assess the situation and significantly reduce the risks.

So, let's act!

Step #1 - prioritize

Before you start looking for an agency, think about what criteria will influence your choice. Most likely these are the following indicators (in order from the most significant to the least important):

  • Price;
  • Prospects;
  • Guarantees;
  • Competence;
  • Executor;
  • Work plan.

Approximately 95% of people, according to the results of the studies, have the criteria in this order (possibly with minor deviations). If you think differently, you can be congratulated, as you are on the right track.

It would seem that a completely logical chain is to estimate the costs, understand the possibilities and legally secure the contractor's promises. But if the price is high or there are no guarantees, then these criteria lose their significance.

And which of the criteria would you put in the first place if one of your loved ones became seriously ill? Most likely, the same 95% of respondents would first of all want to find a good doctor. In this case, the priorities would be quite different:

  1. Executor;
  2. Experience;
  3. Workerплан;
  4. Forecast;
  5. Price;
  6. Guarantees.

Judge for yourself, you will not trust the cheapest doctor's life and health, attach the greatest importance to guarantees or forecasts. A decent and experienced specialist should tell the truth, and not guarantee recovery. There is no fundamental difference between choosing a doctor and a site optimization specialist. Why, then, is the order of priorities so different?

The main reason for the future failure of SEO-optimization of the activity of an Internet resource lies in the distrust of the customer in the service being performed. This is understandable, because the owner of a virtual business cannot see or feel the ongoing processes. The result of such distrust may be the choice of an unreliable contractor.

Разумеется, стратегией продвижения никто не станет заниматься, пока не будет произведена оплата услуг, однако вы обладаете правом во время обсуждения будущего сотрудничества познакомиться с подробным планом проведения работ. Получив детализированный план, рекомендуется показать его независимому эксперту с целью выявления недостатков, определения статей для уточнения.

We are often mistaken when we think that by making a minimum investment, we can avoid large losses. But is it better to lose 20 thousand hryvnias in 4 months than to invest 100 thousand hryvnias in the same period of time and earn 2 million hryvnias?

So, you must understand that the circumstance of who will promote your site, the level of his education, his experience, his achievements in this area is of great importance. Try to get into personal contact in order to have a chance to assess the capabilities of the performer. Do not hesitate to ask questions about the age of the company, what it has achieved during its existence, what technologies it uses to promote Internet resources, be interested in which clients have received excellent results from cooperation with the company, ask for recommendations. When making a decision, you must rely on facts, because the success of promotion is determined by the experience of the company, the use of unique modern technologies, analytical systems. If the agency does not have its own automation systems, you can not count on the quality result of its activities.

As for forecasts, nobody will give them to you in SEO promotion. Here you can only plan ROI, determine the thematic potential by summing up all requests. That is, if the executing company gives you some forecasts, you should not take them for an indisputable truth.

The price is also of great importance, however, when choosing an effective agency, one should not bet on a low or, conversely, a very high cost of services. There are no guarantees in the field of SEO optimization!

Step #2: Testing Candidates

Effective candidates for the position of the performer should be selected according to the following scheme:

  1. Request and evaluate the commercial offer for compliance with the basic requirements;
  2. Request and verify the adequacy of recommendations;
  3. Request a contract and check whether legal obligations correspond to verbal promises;
  4. Meet with the candidate
  5. Make a final decision.

The commercial offer must be read carefully. Try to eliminate innuendo, such as "We guarantee", if this phrase is not supported by the contractor's obligation to reimburse your expenses in the absence of a result.

Don't be afraid to contact agency representatives with a request to provide recommendations from clients who are satisfied with the result. The ideal option is a telephone conversation with such a customer, although in reality this happens quite rarely.

Do not take the trouble to visit the office of the selected company. Indicators such as the state of the office, the appearance of employees, the mood of the team in the work process are a brighter catalyst than recommendations and other paper assurances of the viability of the company.

The purpose of this test is to select 2-3 favorites among the applicants. To do this, it is enough to monitor 5-7 companies.

The contract proposed by the company must be submitted to a lawyer who will help you understand your obligations and tell you about the risks that await you.

Advantages over competitors

Undoubtedly, you will turn your attention to the competitive advantages of candidate companies. Each agency makes every effort to stand out from its competitors by attracting interesting clients for the company. However, not every feature presented as a competitive advantage can be taken seriously.

Here are just a few examples of fake competitive advantages:

  • High speed of promotion;
  • Promotion price;
  • financial guarantees;
  • The simplicity of the services provided;
  • individual manager.

The fact is that the real speed of promotion can be assessed only after promotion, and forecasts in this industry, unfortunately, have a high percentage of error. What does the company mean by emphasizing the high speed of promotion? Almost every site theoretically has the opportunity to get into the top ten on their own within a few months. In reality, this happens very rarely. The Agency, indicating the shortest period, uses a theoretical reserve, which has a probability of no more than 5%.

The cost of semantic promotion is formed under the influence of a number of factors, in particular, the level of qualification of employees, the time spent, management and maintenance of automation systems, the use of advanced technologies, analytics, etc. When a company is trying to attract you with a low price, ask what tool the company's management saves on.

Almost all SEO agencies practice overpricing for their services. This is required in order to cover warranty risks. Sites move rather slowly, and full-scale fulfillment of obligations under a legal contract occurs in about 20% of cases. It turns out that in fact these 20% of clients finance 80% of failed projects.

The simplicity of services in semantic promotion is the reason for their lower quality. Complex optimization and promotion processes require deep participation from the customer, comprehensive assistance to the contractor, otherwise it can hardly be expected that the project will be successful.

The individual manager is rare. Each employee can be busy with 5-30 clients at the same time.

These are far from all imaginary advantages. However, there are factors that must be taken into account by you when choosing an Internet agency:

  • The real advantages of the company against competitors;
  • Ownership of own automation systems;
  • Experience;
  • Own analytical department;
  • Low workload of employees;
  • Participation in research.

If a company has its own automation systems, its employees are relieved of tedious work and can devote enough time to analysis. Automation ensures the accuracy of calculations, opens up opportunities to use different tools in analytics. This allows you to reduce the price for services.

Being interested in the experience of the company's specialists, focus not on the specifics of the topic being promoted, but on the type to which your site belongs. That is, if you own an information portal, you need an optimizer who has experience in successfully promoting large information resources.

A semantic analyst must certainly work on the staff of the company. His task is to calculate the technology of website promotion, do research, conduct experiments, take part in developing a strategy for the most complex and problematic projects. This is a significant competitive advantage, since the main advantage of the optimizer is the sharpness of his knowledge.

The amount of time you spend on your project matters a lot. Some companies proudly declare that their optimizer can easily promote hundreds of projects at the same time, while in other agencies at least ten specialists work on promoting one site. Conclusions suggest themselves.

Payment Methods

The payment scheme is also among the criteria that determine the choice of an Internet agency. If the payment program involves depositing funds for different positions, you should expect the report optimizer to report on successful items, but not in any way interested in increasing your sales.

If you pay for traffic, then the significance of the positions will be lost, but the traffic may not be targeted. Key phrases and words for a query in search engines are not always decisive for targeted traffic. For example, the word "price" is used where the stake is on the low cost of products, so it will not be targeted for the premium segment.

Примерный порядок развития оплатных схем выглядит так:

  • Settlement for complex services + payment for additional services;
  • Calculation for the number of requests in the top ten;
  • Payment for positions;
  • Traffic fee;
  • Calculation for specific actions.

An interesting fact is that initially the most efficient payment scheme was used, but as a result of the pursuit of easy sales, the creation of competitive advantages, Internet companies have developed many new transparent, but not so productive schemes. Each of them has its own advantages and disadvantages. Any scheme can lead to an increase in the level of sales, but still the most effective are payment for traffic and payment for the provision of complex services.

Paying for positions, of course, can also become acceptable, provided that the optimizer associates a work plan with this scheme and deals with not only contractual requests, but also the full range of low-frequency requests.

Providing reporting

The payment scheme is solely a method of payment for services rendered. An in-depth assessment of the productivity of the work performed can be made from a detailed progress report. Traditionally, Internet agencies provide customers with a simple report on traffic, positions or other criteria. Your task is to get a comprehensive monthly report from the contractor on the following points:

  • request positions;
  • targeted search engine traffic;
  • leads from search engines;
  • a detailed description of the activities carried out;
  • the cost of each service.

As a result, you will have the most complete picture of the state of affairs and will be able to understand how effective the services are.


Follow all the recommendations of the optimizer, because even the most experienced specialist is unlikely to succeed without your help. For modern technologies of effective promotion of Internet resources, selling opportunities are of great importance, so you are unlikely to be offered to post spam or unreadable text. If nevertheless you were made such an offer, urgently change the artist.

The principle of work of good agencies is to conduct constant monitoring of risk areas and monthly site analytics. Check with the contractor whether such a check is included in his plans, according to what criteria it will be carried out.

You must know how changes will be made to the site, determine the range of actions that require coordination with you, and which ones can be performed by the optimizer on their own if necessary.

For several years now, such a promotion tool as PR links has been in trend. You need to find out if the optimizer plans to use this method. If yes, then his activities will become even more effective when interacting with your PR director.

If you own B2C, then links in social networks can play a big role in productive promotion. If you are already using SMM, the optimizer should be aware of this. Then he can make useful adjustments to the current SMM strategy.

Step number 3: Choosing a favorite and concluding a contract

Now, by owning the information on how to choose an SEO company, you can finally make the right decision. If, after the conclusion of the contract, during the promotion process, a positive, but very insignificant result is observed, you should not chop off your shoulder and look for a replacement for the contractor. In this situation, you need to wait a couple more months.

Good luck with your promotion!

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