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How to Choose an SEO Company to Work With

how to find an SEO agency

We have asked our SEO account managers to put some thought in to the considerations you should make when choosing an SEO company to work with.

Search Engine Optimisation has become a crucial aspect of any successful business. Here at CTO Digital, we work with a multitude of businesses that vary in size and niche, from one man band locksmiths to large corporations. As a result, choosing the right SEO agency to collaborate with is a critical decision that can significantly impact your online presence and success. With countless agencies claiming to be experts in the field, it’s essential to know how to differentiate the reputable ones from the rest. In this blog, we will discuss some key factors to consider when selecting an SEO company, including reviewing online reviews, assessing their own website, asking relevant questions, tracking success, and the importance of building a strong agency relationship.

Review Online Reviews:

Online reviews can provide valuable insights into an SEO agency’s reputation and performance. Check platforms like Google My Business,, Trustpilot, and industry-specific directories for honest feedback from previous clients. Look for consistent positive reviews, but also pay attention to any negative feedback and how the company responded to them. Keep in mind that a few negative reviews are normal, but an overwhelming number of dissatisfied clients should be a red flag. Also be considerate that generating reviews in this day and age that are not completely true or ethical is something that can happen, it is worth scrolling through their reviews and just checking if they look real. Do they mention the service they have received? Does the profile picture look real?

online reviews

Assess the Agency’s Own Website:

A reputable SEO agency should not only preach but also practice what they advocate. It’s crucial to thoroughly analyse their website to gauge their expertise. Look for key indicators such as search engine ranking, website design, content quality, and user experience. Additionally, observe their activity on social media platforms. Do they consistently update their profiles? Are they actively creating and sharing content? If they neglect their own digital presence, it raises doubts about their ability to effectively manage yours.

Ask About Contracts and Flexibility:

Before entrusting your business’s SEO to an agency, it’s crucial to delve into their contract terms. Beware of firms that push for lengthy, restrictive agreements lacking transparent exit clauses. A reputable agency will exhibit confidence in its capabilities by offering flexibility and showcasing the tangible value it can bring to your enterprise. Look for options akin to CTO Digital, where SEO services are provided without contractual obligations. This practice underscores the agency’s confidence in its ability to deliver results. Mutual trust forms the foundation of a successful partnership, and both parties should approach the collaboration with a shared commitment to success.

Enquire About Reporting and Transparency:

Transparency is crucial when working with an SEO agency. Ask about their reporting process and how they measure and track key performance indicators (KPIs). A reliable agency should provide regular, detailed reports that show the progress of your SEO campaign and the impact on your website’s rankings and traffic. Clear communication and a willingness to share insights are vital signs of a trustworthy SEO partner.

Evaluate How They Track Success:

In the realm of SEO, setting clear objectives and establishing measurable outcomes is paramount. A proficient SEO agency will engage in a comprehensive discussion about your business goals, tailoring a bespoke strategy to attain them effectively. When vetting potential partners, inquire about their methodologies for tracking success. Whether it’s through enhanced keyword rankings, heightened organic traffic, or bolstered lead generation, understanding their tracking mechanisms is key to assessing their capacity to deliver concrete results. Transparency in measurement practices not only fosters trust but also provides insight into the agency’s expertise and commitment to achieving your business objectives.

Consider expertise

Consider Their Industry Experience and Expertise:

Experience within your industry can be a significant advantage when choosing an SEO agency. Agencies familiar with your niche understand the unique challenges and opportunities your business faces. They can leverage their knowledge to develop tailored strategies that resonate with your target audience and outperform competitors. Ask for case studies or examples of successful campaigns they have executed within your industry. We work with lots of locksmiths and tradesmen, this is the niche we try to take new clients on in as it is what we know best.

Check for Ethical Practices:

Ethical SEO practices are essential for long-term success and avoiding potential penalties from search engines. Beware of agencies that promise quick fixes, guaranteed rankings, or engage in black-hat tactics like buying links or keyword stuffing. A reputable agency will abide by search engine guidelines, focusing on organic growth and providing sustainable results.

Look for Client References and Testimonials:

Ask the SEO agency for client references, online reviews or testimonials from past and current clients. Speaking directly with their clients can give you deeper insights into the agency’s strengths, weaknesses, and overall satisfaction levels. A reliable agency will gladly provide references, demonstrating their confidence in the quality of their work.

Evaluate Their Communication Style:

Effective communication is vital in any successful partnership. Assess how responsive and transparent the agency is during your initial interactions. A reputable SEO agency will be proactive in keeping you informed about the progress of your campaign, addressing any concerns promptly, and providing strategic recommendations.

Compare Pricing and Value:

While cost should not be the sole deciding factor, it’s essential to compare pricing and the value offered by different SEO agencies. A higher price doesn’t always guarantee better results, but be wary of suspiciously low prices that may indicate subpar services. Look for an agency that offers a fair and transparent pricing model, with a clear breakdown of the services included.

Speak with the Agency:

This is the most crucial part for us, don’t underestimate the power of a conversation. Set up a meeting or phone call with the SEO agency to get a sense of their team, communication style, and their enthusiasm for your project. A great working relationship is built on trust and understanding, so make sure the agency is genuinely interested in your business and shares your goals. Here at CTO Digital, we employ SEO Account Managers for that reason, we are aware of how critical communication is to the businesses we work with.


Choosing the wrong agency can have a massive impact!

Choosing the right SEO agency is a critical decision that can significantly impact your business’s online success. By thoroughly reviewing online reviews, assessing their website, asking relevant questions about contracts, reporting, and success tracking, speaking with the agency to understand whether you will be compatible, considering their industry experience, and ethical practices, evaluating their range of services, and checking for client references, you can make a well-informed choice.  The question you need to ask yourself is, what damage could the wrong SEO company to do your business and online presence? Some things to consider:

Traffic Woes and Lost Opportunities:

A reputable SEO agency like CTO Digital understands the intricacies of search engine algorithms and stays updated on evolving trends. However, a subpar agency might engage in “black hat” tactics that can result in penalties from search engines. These penalties can lead to a significant drop in organic traffic, causing potential customers to slip through your fingers.

Budget Drainage:

Quality SEO requires investment, but choosing an agency solely based on a low price can be detrimental. Ineffective strategies can drain your budget without delivering tangible results. It’s crucial to assess an agency’s track record and proposed strategies before making a decision.

Reputation Ruin:

Search engine penalties not only impact traffic but can tarnish your brand’s reputation. Unethical practices can label your business as untrustworthy, making it difficult to regain the trust of both customers and search engines.

Missed Target Audience:

SEO success is rooted in understanding your target audience’s behaviour. A mismatch between your business and the agency’s expertise can lead to misguided strategies that fail to resonate with your audience.

Remember that building a successful relationship with an SEO agency requires open communication, trust, and shared goals. Take the time to research and choose an agency that aligns with your business objectives, and together, you can achieve lasting success in the competitive digital landscape.

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