Entrepreneurship & Small Business

Looking for recommendations on SEO company

  • Last Updated:
  • Nov 3rd, 2018 11:13 am
Newbie
Apr 15, 2010
97 posts
75 upvotes
I'd like to offer my 2 cents. I have been dabbling in SEO for a couple years and I managed to rank some of my own sites luckily. For those who say that $2000 or $3000 is not worth it then they do not understand the value of SEO.

Compare how much it costs to get paid traffic through Google adwords and you will understand that paying someone $3000 or more is a hell of a bargain (if they know what they are doing of course.)

I guess it all depends on your business to fully understand if it is worth it for you or not.


Comparatively, With adwords you are paying for every click. With SEO you are paying a fixed price. With SEO you are making it so that you get traffic organically from Google for free.

Let's say I started getting 7 to 10k visitors per month and resulted in 500 orders and about 20k monthly profit. So if someone charged me 19k per month then It would still be worth it for me financially.

You have to look at the return of investment. The SEO guy doesn't really know what kind of money you are making, so he will charge a fixed price. For some industries SEO may not be worth it, but for many people it is a hell of a bargain. And I am not expert in SEO, i really just got lucky. My advice is learn the basics yourself so that you don't get scammed. Make sure the person you hire is telling you exactly what they are doing. Someone in SEO has to be learning constantly, so if they are doing things that don't work anymore then you can call them out on it. All resources can be found with some google searches, SEO knowledge is free and easily accessible but it requires patience and a lot of time.

The real trick to SEO is You have to make it appear that your business is growing naturally. If Google catches on that you are doing any type of SEO then you will be penalized. Good luck!
Newbie
Feb 13, 2018
5 posts
There are a lot of SEO companies who are doing great work under $1500 and less. I would recommend Numero Uno Web Solutions in Toronto. They have a great team and provide excellent services.
Jr. Member
Oct 25, 2011
113 posts
38 upvotes
Toronto
I'm looking for recommendations too, but for a slightly different issue. I need an SEO investigator who can figure out why after several years on top, my website suddenly dropped from page 1 in Google search to page 20 for several keywords. (It still dominates on Google maps and some sub pages are still ranking).

Are there forums where SEO people like to figure out challenges that I can post to?
Deal Addict
User avatar
Dec 10, 2004
4748 posts
804 upvotes
Thornhill
inda6ix wrote:
May 3rd, 2018 8:22 pm
411.ca
That's a scam website. There's nothing decent about 411.ca
Deal Addict
User avatar
Dec 10, 2004
4748 posts
804 upvotes
Thornhill
Take it from someone who is somewhat in the field.
Most SEO companies are either scammers or don't know much
1. The reason nobody offers ANY guarantee, because they don't know if what they do will actually work. You pay them upfront and they may or in most cases never show you what they do.
2. A lot of SEO agencies outsource link building to India. Any SEOs related to India are pure scam. They don't know much, it's all about black hat and low quality links. This is why reputable SEO agencies never use work outsourced to India. It costs more to the user, but the work is much better.
3. For $500/month these days you will NOT find anything good. You would be lucky to get a few dozen links built for that price.
4. Don't believe any claims or fake reviews. Find SEO companies that specializes in your field and ask for contact information of a few similar businesses who they are currently managing. Check their stats, send an email or call to confirm they are their clients. I've had a few that would either not able to give me anything or provide fake information.
5. Google them extensively for reviews
6. NEVER deal with anyone who calls YOU or spams you. Those are not legitimate companies as good SEOs are always busy and would never call you or use spam.
7. And while I said in #1 about guarantee, be cautious when you are offered a guarantee. Some fly-by-night seos can spam the heck and get you 10,000 of low quality spam links which may raise your website pretty high for a few weeks or few months, but then Google will find you and severely punish, making you remove or/and dissavow all of those links. Don't expect that seo firm to do it for you... They wouldn't able or want to and just run away.
Member
Apr 13, 2005
367 posts
176 upvotes
flying triangle wrote:
May 11th, 2018 7:50 am
anyone have links they can share for beginners ?
Google is your best bet.
If you google SEO and whoever shows up near the top (non-ads), you know they know what they're doing.
Whether they're doing white-hat or black-hat to get that top rank is a different story. Usually if they're consistently at the top (not a one off) they tend to be reliable.
Member
Dec 23, 2007
307 posts
47 upvotes
Hamilton
Bullseye wrote:
Jun 16th, 2017 5:49 am
SEO isn't some magical secret, most of the methods are out there for anyone to read and learn, just takes time and effort. I am not an SEO expert, but I have taught myself some things, and helped two small businesses I worked for get their site top ranked. These are both local companies, and most of the competitors seemed pretty clueless about SEO, so maybe I just had easy pickings.

I can see it being worth it for a company with $1 Million + in revenues to spend $1-2k/month for someone knowledgeable to do this for them, but smaller companies can't afford this. Better for owner or GM to spend some time to learn it. That's what happened with me, I'm the GM, and marketing is about 15% of my time.
Totally agree with this sentiment. I started my small business in December and the site was barely getting any hits. I tried direct mail and flyers in the local free paper to the tune of $1000/month for 2 months and got 1 sale. Because we are so new I was diligent in asking buying customers how they heard about us and inputted this information in the software. Within two months 90% of my buying customers just saw my sign and storefront and walked in to check it out while 9% were referred by people that purchased and just less than 1% saw the flyer. I started reading about SEO and adwords and decided to call a few companies to come in and get an idea of what this type of project would entail financially. The quotes were all over the map ranging from $700-$3000. The most expensive company actually works in my field and they had clients and testimonials that directly related to my industry but I couldn't justify the steep price at that point. The least expensive one seemed like a con for some reason. At this point I decided that I had enough time on my hands to do some research and try it on my own. I had a friend help me make website using Squarespace and for fun I made my own site on the side to try and learn how to do it and I ended up having a lot of fun doing so. It was frustrating at the beginning but I got the hang of it and it was really easy by the time the site was live. I spent about 6 weeks researching SEO and adwords and created my first ad campaign and things really started to take off. Within a few days I had two calls to the store that ended in sales and the traffic on the site had gone up bigly:) I love the fact that I can see the ups and downs and keep track of the people that are calling the store and the number of clicks my ads are getting. It was expensive but the sales and leads generated were well worth it.
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Newbie
User avatar
Jun 21, 2018
3 posts
1 upvote
OP is probably not going to find anything effective for under $500 per month.

The question to ask, before paying to send a bunch of traffic to your site, is "will it convert to sales?".

Then, if you just serve the local community, and there is not a ton of competition, you can rank high for most of your industry-based keywords just using On-Page SEO. Meaning, you can write a nice headline that ties into your offer or customer pain point, make sure you cover the details in the text, and include a simple call to action. Then you will want to make sure your page url contains the main keyword you are targeting, and your title tag (in the code) should also include it.

A lot of times your current website provider can help you with this for a very low (or no) fee. Or you can learn how to do it yourself.

Here is one of the best online guides about SEO: https://backlinko.com/seo-this-year

Now, if you face a ton of local competition, or you don't sell to just one area of the country, or your business relies almost exclusively on online sales, you are going to need to spend more time and more money on Off-Page SEO and ads. That could be things like link building, content marketing, Google and Facebook ads, etc.

I haven't seen anyone reputable offer those kinds of services for less than $500/month (since it takes time and care to do it right, it involves learning a lot about the industry, following what people are responding to online, and constantly testing and tweaking).

If you do like the poster flying triangle did above, and learn it yourself, just make sure you don't think of online ads as a "set it and forget it" type of thing.

An adwords campaign that starts off looking profitable can easily slip into the red over a month or two.

I'm afraid, like the others have said, it's really hard to recommend a solid small provider of SEO/SEM services. But you can look out for these red flags to avoid:
- the company is called Yellow Pages (overpriced, generic services)
- the provider tries to "blind you with science" (eg. uses a bunch of tech terms and jargon; can't speak the simple language of small businesses)
- the provider is not modest and/or does not set very clear expectations from the start (eg. promises first page for sure, claims it is easy, etc etc)
- provider is not willing to learn a lot about your particular offer, your process, and what your customers care about

But unless you find a young person or someone fairly new to the industry, the opposite of these red flags is not going to come cheap.

That's why, if you can't clearly say what you convert at now (X clicks = Y dollars), then you are flying blind and can't assess what it would be worth to pay someone to bring in more traffic.
10+ years website sales & management | social media marketing | copywriting

Current obsessions: wine and mma
Deal Addict
Jul 7, 2004
4859 posts
629 upvotes
scorbett wrote:
Jun 23rd, 2018 5:12 pm
OP is probably not going to find anything effective for under $500 per month.

The question to ask, before paying to send a bunch of traffic to your site, is "will it convert to sales?".

Then, if you just serve the local community, and there is not a ton of competition, you can rank high for most of your industry-based keywords just using On-Page SEO. Meaning, you can write a nice headline that ties into your offer or customer pain point, make sure you cover the details in the text, and include a simple call to action. Then you will want to make sure your page url contains the main keyword you are targeting, and your title tag (in the code) should also include it.

A lot of times your current website provider can help you with this for a very low (or no) fee. Or you can learn how to do it yourself.

Here is one of the best online guides about SEO: https://backlinko.com/seo-this-year

Now, if you face a ton of local competition, or you don't sell to just one area of the country, or your business relies almost exclusively on online sales, you are going to need to spend more time and more money on Off-Page SEO and ads. That could be things like link building, content marketing, Google and Facebook ads, etc.

I haven't seen anyone reputable offer those kinds of services for less than $500/month (since it takes time and care to do it right, it involves learning a lot about the industry, following what people are responding to online, and constantly testing and tweaking).

If you do like the poster flying triangle did above, and learn it yourself, just make sure you don't think of online ads as a "set it and forget it" type of thing.

An adwords campaign that starts off looking profitable can easily slip into the red over a month or two.

I'm afraid, like the others have said, it's really hard to recommend a solid small provider of SEO/SEM services. But you can look out for these red flags to avoid:
- the company is called Yellow Pages (overpriced, generic services)
- the provider tries to "blind you with science" (eg. uses a bunch of tech terms and jargon; can't speak the simple language of small businesses)
- the provider is not modest and/or does not set very clear expectations from the start (eg. promises first page for sure, claims it is easy, etc etc)
- provider is not willing to learn a lot about your particular offer, your process, and what your customers care about

But unless you find a young person or someone fairly new to the industry, the opposite of these red flags is not going to come cheap.

That's why, if you can't clearly say what you convert at now (X clicks = Y dollars), then you are flying blind and can't assess what it would be worth to pay someone to bring in more traffic.
I've had a couple people here ask me about SEO. Guy asked where do you think I'll be ranked for xxxx in 3-6 months.
Me - "I have no idea, I can't promise you anything. I hope in the top 20 atleast, but who knows. With the way Google works now sometimes it takes six months for your site to even start moving."
Him - "Oh... well... I got a quote from another company and they said in six months I'll be in the top ten."
Me - "Okay, if they can guarantee that and not use bad links, go for it."

More than once this happened. The company doesn't give a shit, in six months they have six months worth of money from you plus however more months they can lead you on for saying it'll be soon.

I do SEO on the side for a small number of people. It's less than 10% of my monthly income. I will tell you the honest trust, won't use buzzwords, silly graphs, or silly promises. If you don't want to use me, I don't care, that just means more time I spend on my own websites. I'm not going to try and compete with these sleazy agencies that BS you until you commit.

I just stopped someone today from signing a one year agreement with YP. I'm building a website for him. I said I'm not even asking to do your SEO, just don't pay YP that much money for them to do nothing for you.
Newbie
Oct 25, 2018
10 posts
Been there. You won`t get any SEO for $500 - better DIY.
$2000-3000 and up, that's what reputable agencies charge, not some kijiji guy. Just a decent back link would cost you $120-150 + a good article (not for 0.01-0.05 per word) $100-200 or more, depending on the topic.
Sr. Member
Aug 5, 2008
685 posts
176 upvotes
I've been eyeing SEO for our company for a while and what I have come across is:
1. Companies gaming the Google algorithm for short term gain, but potential long-term blacklisting. Not very interesting for a long term stable business.
2. Content generation on demand... by people who are not in our industry and don't know what we do. Hardly appealing.

I think the more I think about it, the more hiring a marketing coordinator charged with Google Ads, content generation, Analytics and driving traffic, makes sense. I don't see value in external SEO "magic". It's a long haul strategic direction and one that makes sense to internalize. The person should understand, live and breathe what the company does and not just opportunistically hack together stuff to drive traffic then cut and run when it stops working.
There are 10 kinds of people in the world... Those who understand binary and those who don't 💡
Member
Dec 23, 2007
307 posts
47 upvotes
Hamilton
It's a real PITA because just as you learn how to do something helpful in SEO land they flip the switch and move the goal posts. Honestly, I think even the guys that are SEO pros are having to stay on their tippy toes and re educate themselves constantly to evolve and stay on pace with the industry changes.

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