There’s something to be said for having an eye for the under-appreciated. Being able to pick out the diamond in the rough –– in any walk of life –– is a tremendous skill to have. Some people seem to have an intuitive sense when it comes to finding the right people and organizations to partner with in business. However, for the rest of us, we need to rely on hard work and sensible decision-making to get where we want to go. To that end, today we’ll aim to provide a resource for business owners across industries that they can use to determine the best SEO partner for their company. You don’t have to be a marketing expert to discern which SEO firm can help you grow; just follow these simple guidelines and you’ll likely find someone who can make a big impact for you!

General Rules

The first thing any business owner should do when searching for an SEO marketing agency to team up with is form a general list of deal-breakers. It’s not fun to focus on the negatives, but it will help trim the field considerably. And there are certain red flags that should give any entrepreneur pause when consulting with a potential SEO partner. A few may include:

  • Promising grandiose, over-the-top, or instantaneous results. Savvy marketers realize that good SEO takes time.
  • Using shady/undisclosed methods.
  • Employing a cookie-cutter strategy.
  • Secrecy –– in their methodology, history, or an unwillingness to communicate.

SEO agencies that exhibit one more of the above traits likely aren’t people you’ll want to do business with. At best your business might take a marketing loss and tread water in terms of an online presence. At worst, you could get smacked with a crippling penalty from Google or other search engines for utilizing black-hat marketing tactics.

Deeper Cuts

Once you’ve managed to weed out the abjectly bad choices in the SEO marketing field, you can begin to whittle the selection options down even further with more specific requirements. First, consider your business and your industry. Ideally, the SEO firm you collaborate with should have a deep understanding of both. After all, these are the people who could very well be handling your accounts and writing your content. So knowing that they appreciate your company and understand your business is a must. Furthermore, just as all companies have unique marketing strategies, marketing agencies have unique strengths and weaknesses. Review the work they’ve done previously and see for yourself if their skills are tailored to your needs.

Don’t Discount the Human Element

There’s nothing wrong with being cold and calculating when dealing in the realm of business; indeed it’s one of the most appropriate venues to do so. However, the secret to finding an ideal SEO partner relies on forming an understanding and a trust with the people involved. True, signing up with an SEO agency should always make business sense first and foremost. But if you’re looking to strike onto a truly prosperous enterprise then you need to have a sound rapport with the humans involved in the process. Meet as many people working on your account as possible and make sure they’re willing to keep an open dialogue going with you. Note that one of the most important aspects to SEO success is the closeness of collaboration between a company and its SEO firm. So while certain SEO proposals might look good on paper, remember that the best SEO relationships flourish in practice.

Contact the Pros

Looking to get your feet wet in the digital marketing pool? Then contact the Agile & Co team today! We’re an agile marketing agency –– which means that we’re willing and able to adapt to your business’s needs. Plus, for more information on how SEO will improve your overall marketing performance, download our free eBook here: