Writing by Brick Marketing in SEO
If you are in the market to find an SEO firm to work with, there are certain criteria that you should look for. An SEO firm needs to be responsive, easy to work with, willing to take feedback, and it should practice what it preaches in order to have a positive search engine presence of its own. One item that potential clients often ask for are references and testimonials. While this makes sense, it can also be a flawed approach to deciding which SEO firm to work with for the following reasons:
They could be fake
Think about how easy it could be for the owner of an SEO company to ask a family member or a friend of theirs to be the provider of their SEO references and SEO testimonials. Obviously this is an extremely shady practice, but would a potential client ever really know the truth? If you are looking at testimonials on an SEO firm website and they are from “Josh W. – Owner, E-Commerce site” or “Ann F. – Marketing Director, Local Business” can they really be trusted? What it comes down to is that it’s easy for an SEO firm to provide you with this information, there’s just no guarantee that it’s accurate.
References are busy
Being a reference for a business can be a hassle. Even if you’ve received great results from your SEO firm and would be happy to be an SEO reference, you simply may just not have enough time to do it. Potential SEO clients have a lot of questions, and rightly so. However, references may not be able to speak to you within the timeframe that you’d like to be in contact. Put yourself in their shoes. Would you have time each week to speak with someone (or multiple people) about the SEO services that you’ve received? For this reason, an SEO firm may even be hesitant to ask their happy clients to be an SEO reference or provide an SEO testimonial.
Each client is different
Every website is different which means that each client has a slightly different experience. Therefore, by speaking to an SEO reference you may not be getting accurate information regarding how your SEO strategy would be approached. SEO references also may not want to provide too much information due to confidentiality issues surrounding their website.
Using SEO references and SEO testimonials may not be an accurate measure of how an SEO company will perform. Instead, look to other indicators of trust. Throughout the process thus far, has the company been responsive? Does it have a positive reputation online? Does the pricing and contract structure seem fair?
What it comes down to for any SEO company is that trust needs to be earned. No matter how many SEO references you speak to it is impossible to know whether or not the company is the right match for your business until you start working with them. Initially, the only thing that you can really trust is your gut.