How to Evaluate Your Current SEO Provider


What has your SEO done for you lately?

Dear Reader:

Are you currently paying for SEO and aren’t sure what you’re getting in return?

We will be the first to admit that there are far too many SEO Companies out there that promise immediate top rankings for incredibly low prices. The offer is too good to resist and many businesses buy into the low price and promise of fast rankings. All the effort required on their end is to cut the cheque each month!

We’ve put together this eBook to help you evaluate your current SEO Company. How many items on this list do they check off?
If you need a second opinion or if you are looking for a new and trustworthy partner experienced in Search, I would love to speak with you!

Chris Genge
PRESIDENT 1st on the List
1-888-262-6687 ext 705


You directly affect the success of SEO

In our experience the clients with the most successful SEO campaigns are the ones directly involved with growing their online identity and presence.

These clients are constantly updating their website and have a clear focus of what they want to achieve.

Remember: No one knows your business like you do.

The job of a good SEO Consultant is to drive traffic to your site but ultimately the message is your’s to share.

Even if you are not a great writer you have the information needed. Outline it, as if you are talking one on one to a client, and then share it.

This content foundation, with a clear definition of what you want to say, and what you want to achieve, allows a good SEO Consultant to create an optimized website that communicates your message to your visitors with clarity.

How involved with your SEO campaign are YOU?


Defining Accountability in Your SEO

If you haven’t already hired an SEO company or after reading this eBook decide it’s time to start looking for a new one, you should first do your homework.

When researching an SEO company you should consider a number of the following factors:

1. Is the SEO Consulting firm local – can you meet with them in person?
2. Does the company specialize in SEO or is SEO just a side service they offer?
3. How long has the firm been doing SEO work?
4. Are they respected in the SEO community?
5. How involved is your SEO Consultant?
6. Who will be managing your project?

When talking to an SEO company if they start asking you questions about your business, goals, products, customers, marketing ideas, and so on, they are likely already formulating an SEO campaign that is in tune with your overall business objectives … and not just slotting you into a “one size fits all” SEO approach.

Asking questions about your business is the first sign of an accountable SEO.


You need to measure the right thing

If you want online success then you must first define your goals and the specific milestones important in the goal achievement.

Does your SEO have a clear understanding of your goals and each of the milestones?

Don’t stop at just “we want to rank” … how about some of these goals that translate into dollars and cents?

We want to increase our search traffic by 40% in the next year.
We want to increase the number of contact form leads we get from our website by 25%.
We want to get 10 new phone calls through our website each month.

Some tangible goals that can be tracked on your website include:

A new customer calling in to book an appointment
• A quote request
• A visitor looking for more information about your product
• A website sale
• A coupon downloaded
• A location search for one of your stores


You need a solid game plan in order to win

The health of your web presence comes down to two things:

1. Attracting qualified visitors to your website to hear your message AND
2. Getting those visitors to buy in to your message.

You need to understand the power of persuasion by catering to your consumer needs, questions, concerns, fears and surfing habits.

The SUCCESS of your SEO will depend on understanding your persuasive message and making your message heard. In developing this winning strategy you should have confidence in your SEO’s ability to:

Understand your business and the customers you are targeting.
Define your website goals (and these are not just “rank #1”)
Create a strategy or roadmap to help you achieve the goals.
Provide ideas that are outside the box to create interest and action.
Cover both the short term and long term effects of web marketing.

And never forget … If it sounds too good to be true then it probably is

SEO is hard work and doesn’t just occur overnight. Your SEO will need ongoing input from you to help steer the strategy in the right direction.


Work needs to be done in order to see results

SEO is not magic.

An SEO doesn’t just click a few buttons and list a few keywords and your website will rank. If it was that easy, wouldn’t everyone be ranking #1?

In order to see lasting results and visibility in the Search Engines ongoing work needs to be done on your website. Your SEO should be eager to share what they are doing to improve your website.

Your SEO should be transparent in what they are doing on your website. Here are some questions about typical SEO activities you can ask about if you aren’t already aware of what they are doing:

What kind of changes or updates are being made on my website each month?
What work is done on a regular basis?
Are you updating Meta data?
Are you adding new content to the site?
Are you adding new product descriptions?
Are you building any backlinks?
Are you monitoring for duplicate content and broken links?
Are you optimizing blog posts?
Are you adding Schema Markup?
Are you optimizing YouTube videos?


Being #1 doesn’t always matter the most

Type “why rankings are a poor measure of success” and you’ll find endless articles to help you understanding that rankings aren’t the be all and end all.

Rankings constantly fluctuate, are often personalized and geo-targeted, don’t equal targeted traffic and do not guarantee sales!

Does your SEO find and develop keywords or keyword themes that actually bring
Is your SEO building relevance and credibility on search engines?
Does your SEO tell you about how your visibility on Search Engines is coming along?

An accountable SEO will be a highly skilled technician that follows the latest changes to the technical art of optimization and builds your search engine relevance and rankings – they will also report on what they are doing and how well it is working.

Instead of rankings (or in addition to rankings) your SEO should report on the goals you want to achieve.

Wouldn’t you rather know you got 5 new jobs from organic search traffic than the fact that you rank #1 for “appliance repair technician in Toronto Ontario”?


People need to come to your site too!

Building visibility for your website has a natural progression:


First you need to show up (rank) for phrases related to your business to attract visitors.

Once you rank people will click to your website and you’ll see an increase in your traffic.

Does your SEO report on your traffic volumes for each month?
Does your SEO show how traffic is changing from the previous month and from
the previous year?

The primary reason for getting rankings is to attract traffic … is your SEO doing this?

For more information on the process check out The Secret of Turning Rankings into Traffic.


What your visitors do on your website matters

There is an old saying that goes …

“You can lead a horse to water, but you cannot make it drink.”

The same holds true with SEO. You can implement top SEO strategies and drive thousands to your website only to have most leave without interaction.

SEO Job – Typically an SEO’s responsibility is to help bring qualified traffic to your website.

Your Job – Your responsibility is to make sure that your website design, content, message and everything else speaks to them.

If your message and branding doesn’t speak many will leave without doing anything.

They may even go to your competitor’s website.

The moral is that you need to work together with your SEO to make sure traffic comes and traffic does something.

Your SEO can help you understand what visitors do on your website and provide ideas to help increase the number of visitors who turn into buyers.


Rely on your SEO for new opportunities

The job of a good SEO Consultant is to help your website’s revenue grow over time.

You may get the rankings, traffic and even leads but at the end of the day if you aren’t turning visitors into sales you haven’t achieved what you set it out do achieve.

You want profit. You want Return on Investment.

Part of achieving profit or growing your profit is seeking out the newest strategies to find the winning one to turn traffic into sales.

Can you rely on your SEO to give new ideas to grow sales?
When was the last time your SEO gave you a new idea?
Does your SEO make suggestions on how to grow your SEO campaign?
Does your SEO consultant work with you on the newest strategies to find that magic mix of website traffic to conversion rates?

In Finding the Right Mix for Internet Marketing we explore building the foundation needed to begin the journey toward effective online marketing. But there are more steps that need to be considered.

Does your SEO work with you on cultivating engaging content and page variation that draws in conversions?

Your content is the key to unlocking the door to your business online sales potential. We’ve put together 4 Tips for Better SEO Content Writing to help you find your voice. And our President Chris Genge considers outside the box branding and sales with Content Marketing Lessons from Popeye and Duck Dynasty.


When was the last time you spoke with them?

Whether by phone or email you need a steady stream of communication between you and your SEO.

Without this how do you tap into their knowledge and how can they stay current with your business and what is needed on your website?

Do you speak regularly through phone or by email?
Are they available to answer your questions?
Do they give good answers or reasoning to your questions?
Do they give you new ideas?

Remember that communication is a two way street and you need to provide your SEO with new information such as:

Product or service updates
New customer testimonials
Your community involvement
Changes to products
Shifts in strategy focus
Changes in staffing

The more you communicate with your SEO the better they can tailor your SEO campaign.


Are you buried under loads of data?

It’s shocking to see some of the old SEO reports people bring to us.

We’ve been doing SEO for 17+ years and we can hardly decipher what’s going on in the campaign; it’s hard to even tell if there is positive or negative progress.

Evaluate your reports by asking yourself:

What do these reports mean?
Is there positive growth?
Are we achieving our goals?

Are you getting the information you need to set your goals, measure your success and develop new marketing strategies?

Understanding what is being done with your SEO campaign is vital in your assessment of market budget, advertising directions, traffic sources, buying trends and so much more.


What it all boils down to …

Your success is up to you. You define your business. You set your goals. You deserve to be involved in the SEO process because the more you as an owner or marketing manager put in, the more you can get back.

And when it comes to working with your SEO Provider …

  1. You deserve clear GOALS.
  2. You deserve a strong STRATEGY.
  3. You deserve work to be IMPLEMENTED on the website.
  4. You deserve more than just RANKINGS.
  5. You deserve steady growth in TRAFFIC.
  6. You deserve new ideas and RECOMMENDATIONS.
  7. You deserve clear COMMUNICATION.
  8. You deserve easy to understand REPORTS.

Remember, SUCCESS depends on building a message that sells and finding the right SEO team to help you spread the message.

Need a second opinion?

We’d be happy to tell you more about our SEO Company and start piecing together an SEO Campaign that will help your website get the traffic, leads and sales it deserves!

Want to get started with our SEO?

We’d be happy to tell you more about our SEO Company and start piecing together an SEO Campaign that will help your website get the traffic, leads and sales it deserves!

Contact 1st on the List

[email protected]


Results Oriented: Go the extra mile to achieve results, strive to exceed goals and expectations and work to find solutions rather than focus on challenges.

Customer Focus: Understand client needs and goals, listen to what clients are saying, respond in a timely manner and ultimately derive value from satisfied clients.

Teamwork: Share information and resources in order to achieve outstanding results, be realistic and seek to understand others’ points of view and ideas.

Flexibility: Keep the big picture and end result in mind, look for new profitable opportunities and adapt practices to conform to changing trends and Best Practices.

Innovation: Challenge conventional thinking and learn from past experience and use it in the future.


Our primary focus is to help our clients set realistic goals based on their market and to develop long term feasible strategies that have strong potential for sustainable success.

  • As our client you will be assigned a veteran SEO Project leader with at least 10 years of experience.
  • Our proven SEO methods are based on our ability to perform Detailed Site Audits which identify deeper SEO issues and work towards correcting them before optimization even begins.
  • A deep understanding of Search Engine history and how Search Engines work enable us to achieve long term, stable visibility for our clients with scalable growth.
  • We protect your website’s integrity by following a Best Practices approach employing only ethical, industry accepted strategies.
  • The ability to explore the best options to grow your visibility in the Search Engines means that you will have multiple solutions for any issue we come across.

About 1st on the List

1st on the List was founded by Chris Genge in 1997, a year before the birth of Google. For more than a decade, 1st on the List has consistently earned top rankings for “BEST IN SEARCH” by the Independent Authority on Search Vendors, TOP SEOs. 1st on the List specializes in custom SEO services, as well as pay per click advertising and SEO website design.

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Contact Us

To learn more about our SEO Company, 1st on the List, or to inquire about custom SEO services, please call us toll free at 1-888-262-6687 or send us an email. We look forward to serving you.