Picking an SEO Agency is like picking a shampoo – you understand the basic function, but with 500 options and promised features,picking one becomes endlessly complicated. Explaining every detail that should factor into your decision would require a dozen posts, but let’s make one thing very clear – an SEO company “guaranteeing” you a result is like a shampoo that advertises “now with less arsenic!” So many red flags should be raised you could host a May Day parade.
I know that seems counter-intuitive. Normally, a guarantee is a good thing. You certainly want your mechanic to guarantee that he’ll fix that weird ticking noise in your car. But your car works the same way now that it did five years ago. Whereas Google’s already complex algorithm could change completely by tomorrow afternoon.
SEO is too complicated for anyone to guarantee anything. Full stop. It’s like a baseball team guaranteeing a World Series win in January. There are simply too many factors and variables that can’t be accounted for. This is the exact reason that Google’s FAQ on SEO includes a disclaimer about guarantees. If a company is promising you a number one ranking, back away. If they’re promising to deliver it through some sort of special relationship with Google, run away screaming.
It’s not hard to see why some agencies offer guarantees. When a customer is spending thousands of dollars on a product, they want the promise of results. A guarantee offers comfort and security in a market that’s full of anxiety, and they can always come up with some excuse for when their “guarantee” falls through. If a customer is new to the world of SEO, guarantees look like a seal of quality rather than a sign of a scam. Don’t fall for it.
So, what should you look for instead? Well, a company that’s upfront about the ambiguous nature of the business is always a good sign. Look for a company that’s willing to talk expectations, goals and strategy. A business that will have an open and honest conversation about what their services can do for you is going to accomplish a lot more than one that tries to dazzle you with bold claims and an avalanche of statistics.
Picking an SEO Agency is a time-consuming and stressful process. Like SEO itself, so many factors go into it that it can be difficult to ever know if you’ve made the right call. But by ignoring any company that “guarantees” results, you’ll make the decision so much easier – and spare yourself future regrets.