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I’ve been reminded in the last couple weeks once again at how many businesses are selecting search engine optimization (SEO) companies based solely on price. This simplistic selection method is costing them far more than they think!

The process used by individual SEO companies varies so much from company to company that lowest price is not the factor to base your decision on. It is like buying a $10,000 commuter car instead of a $50,000 luxury European sports car, expecting to get the same level of performance.

Unfortunately, like far too many business owners that I speak to think this way. The truth is if you select a low cost SEO company that doesn’t do a good job you not only end up paying someone else a second time to redo all the work but also end up having to repair any damage done. Do you still think it is wise to buy based on lowest price?

There are simply no short cuts in SEO that will get you great long-term results at the lowest cost – it’s an oxymoron. I am not saying that you have to buy the highest priced SEO Package out there. I am saying that you need to be smart when selecting an SEO and choose the right criteria (not cost!) to evaluate the provider and their ability to deliver on results.

If you are not experienced with SEO it can be hard to tell a good firm from a bad one, so here are my top tips to help you make a wise decision in selecting an SEO company to work with.

1. Established expertise in SEO.

Look for an SEO company with experience. SEO has been around for 15+ so why shouldn’t you choose a firm that has been doing it from the very beginning? Not only will they have years of experience the fact that they are still in business doing SEO is a testament to their ability to deliver on results and keep clients happy.

2. Established manual processes that differentiate you from your competitors.

You should also look for an SEO company that uses an established manual process. Yes they cost more, but at the end of the day you get the quality results you’re looking for. If you purchase SEO that uses an automated process, you can expect to be on page 10 of the results, with the 600,000 other site-owners using automated SEO. You can’t expect to be top ranking if you and your competitors are all doing exactly the same thing.

3. SEO should take several months (not weeks).

Search engine optimization takes time to mature and sites don’t attain instant rankings. Don’t discount SEO companies that tell you it will take several months to get the rankings you are looking for. The ones that tell you that it will take several months are the ones giving you the real facts. Be extra weary of companies that guarantee results in any period of time. There is no way to guarantee any type of ranking!

4. Customer testimonials should back up their ability.

Ask about some of their customers and the results they’ve achieved. You can also ask how long many of their clients have been with them. A high turnover rate of clients likely indicates they aren’t able to deliver or maintain results. An SEO Company that can maintain clients for two, three, four or five plus years is likely achieving results and earning their clients a positive benefit.

5. Don’t abandon SEO if you’ve been burned in the past.

Don’t abandon SEO because you once picked the wrong company to do your SEO. Search is the most cost effective method for bringing large numbers of potential customers to your website. The cost of not being in the search engines far exceeds the cost of paying a good SEO firm to get your site properly ranked in the search engines. Some companies that have the whole equation right are selling over a million dollars a week in sales on the Internet. No Joke! Many businesses are now taking advantage of this efficient way to expand their company’s exposure to new markets.

I have never believed in the fable that everyone who has a website gets rich (that’s media overhype), but the site owners that get it right sure can do very well. The Internet is a place where smart businesses thrive and the weak fall.

Smart business decisions and choosing smart SEO service providers, based on performance rather than lowest cost, is what translates into profit.

For more information about our company’s history and philosophy of SEO please visitor our About Us page or set up a consultation with one of our SEO experts today.

Chris Genge

Chris Genge is the Founder and CEO of 1st on the List. Since 1997 he has helped hundreds of companies across North America with his technical expertise and practical upfront approach to Search Optimization and Digital Marketing. As a pioneer in his field, Chris has the ability to help clients set goals and achieve results all while fostering growth and teamwork amongst his incredible team of SEO experts and Web Designers.