How do I know if my SEO company is worth the $ I am paying them?

I don't know much about SEO. It is the only thing I haven't been able to do myself successfully so far in my ecommerce journey. I first chose a company who was supposedly experienced in my niche, but after working with them for a couple months I realized that was not the case... terrible backlinks, horrible content, even spelled my businesses name wrong in multiple instances.

A much more expensive, much bigger SEO company reached out to me a few months ago and I spoke with the owner and he just seemed to have integrity and a good character. I'm a no bullsh** kind of guy, and I recognize that vibe in others and he seemed to have it. I think it has been just over 2 months and I haven't seen any major, or really any differences. This company has gotten me several 5 star reviews but as far as traffic and sales go, no difference.

My rankings went down soon after hiring them on, but this was likely due to speed issues with my site and a new Google algorithm. They have since started to improve significantly. But again, no uptick in sales or traffic.

I recently had one of those kind of sketchy SEO companies email me a report with a site audit and I have been entertaining them just to get as much info out of them as possible incase any of its useful. They are telling me that I should be seeing way more improvements by now, and that basic errors on my site are not being addressed. Usually I would just chalk this up to a sales gimmick, but for some reason I'm kind of curious if they are right... after all I don't know a thing about any of this.

How am I supposed to know whos telling the truth, and who's not? For example this sketchy company tells me a meta description is too long, while my current company with tons of 5 star reviews and a huge mansion sized office with fountains and everything, they tell me meta descriptions aren't even that important? Who is lying to me?

I'm paying a ton for the current company every month and if it doesn't pay for itself in 6 months like they told me it likely will be able to, then I'm screwed. I'm taking a huge risk investing as much as I am in SEO and I just want to know I'm not making a mistake.

Any help/opinions appreciated.

  1. 1

    I would say the proof is in your traffic. If theres no "significant uptick in traffic" why bother paying them. As its been 2 months or so. I'd wait another month to hit the 3 month mark then stop paying for their services.

    It might also be a good idea for you to figure out how to do SEO for yourself. Neil Patel is an SEO Master - Maybe start having a read through his website.

    Lastly, if I were you I'd figure out how much a customer (on average) is worth to your company and how many customers you'd like to have per month (ideally). Then how much the SEO company is charging you and figure out if the price is worth it.

    1. 1

      Thank you so much for the response. As far as doing SEO myself, I wanted to go that route but I also don't want to put off the growth of my site until I finally learn and then for the work I do to take effect. My thoughts in hiring this expensive SEO company were that if I spend this large chunk of money up front and get my site optimized and ranking, the faster growth will pay for the SEO in the long run. Other websites in my niche are making around $1000 in sales a day, so figure about $500 profit each day. If my website gets anywhere near that volume I will be able to pay for the monthly SEO within a week. But I'm not sure I'll get anywhere near that point in the next 3 months. If I tripled my monthly sales right now I still wouldn't be able to afford the SEO out of the businesses profits.

      Though, my sales are extremely low. I sort of think the site WILL hit that $1000 a day mark eventually. With essentially zero advertising and barely any good rankings, I'm making 20-30 sales a month. Everyone I have talked to has said my on page time is way above average which implies that people are interested. So I feel like if more people become aware of the site, it will really take off. Paying this SEO company is the only way I see of finding that out. I could lose it all or it could actually end up paying for itself.

      I just wish I could trust the company. The reason I haven't spent a lot of time reading up on SEO is everyone tells me it works differently. So I wouldn't even know what or who to believe. 9/10 people I've asked tell me SEO truly takes 9-12 months to even have a meaningful impact. So when someone tells me it should only take 2 months I just don't know what to think. Such a headache

      1. 1

        You're very welcome.
        Glad you found my comment useful. However, in regards to growing your site I would potentially have a look at how others in your niche are doing their marketing/ sales - I'm assuming some of them might be using more than SEO...If so maybe you could look into those channels until your sales increases, so you can afford SEO services again.

        In terms of learning SEO again I would start by reading the blog of a company/someone that is reputable e.g Ahrefs, Moz, Neil Patel etc. Then I would look into doing a highly ranked course on SEO e.g. via Skillshare. That way you wont need to pay an SEO company so much money - We all have to start some where :)

        P.S Forgot to add maybe look into doing PPC over SEO as the returns may be better. PPC works better over short term. Whereas SEO works better long term. Here's a PPC calculator to get you started: https://www.capterra.com/vendors/ppc-bid-calculator

        1. 1

          The majority of other site owners in my niche that I have talked to that are successful today have told me word of mouth and SEO are the main things they rely on. In the industry I'm in it's difficult to use the regular channels out there. I did well using Instagram my first month but I got burnt out really quick and my mental health plummeted from constantly worrying about my next post. Instagram also started disabling accounts of businesses like mine on a regular basis.

          I tried PPC with google ads... I ended up getting tons of clicks and tons of people going to the site but no conversions. Not 1. But again, because of my industry I had to use a really shady landing page and it was probably a huge turn off.

          I think I'm coming to a point here soon though where I will have most of my bases covered as far as having the site up and optimized, having all of my routines on the backend of things pretty much ironed out, and I'll have more time to focus on trying to get the word out about the site.

          1. 1

            Yeah once your landing page/ site is optimised you should then give PPC another try. As clearly the ad was working it was just the landing page letting you down.

            Good Luck. 🤞🏾

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