How To Evaluate SEO Companies in Cleveland

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Evaluating and hiring an SEO company in Cleveland is one of the most difficult parts for improving your SEO. If you hire a good SEO company, you should have no problem reaching your goals. However, if you hire a bad SEO company, you’ll probably have nothing to show for it. Or worse, the bad SEO company destroys what organic traffic you’re currently getting and gets you penalized.

So, in this post, I’m going to give you a few tips on how to evaluate SEO companies in Cleveland (or anywhere really). Please keep in mind, this post doesn’t cover every possible way to evaluate an SEO company in Cleveland. Like always, do your own due diligence before hiring an SEO agency.

So, with that said, let’s begin.

Main takeaway for evaluating SEO companies in Cleveland

If you’re short on time and just need a quick summary on how to evaluate SEO companies in Cleveland – here’s a quick summary (in no particular order):

  1. Inspect their website to see if it looks legit
  2. Analyze their messaging and make sure they have the right mindset
  3. View their case studies
  4. Ask them to show their work
  5. Have them explain the work they did

Look at their website

Looking at their website won’t tell you much about their ability to get good SEO results, but it will give you an idea of how legitimate they are. Most legitimate SEO companies in Cleveland will have a decent looking website. A lot of the extremely spammy SEO companies will either have no website at all or a bad one.

A simple look at the website of the agency that’s trying to pitch you SEO services will help you avoid some lazy illegitimate companies.

Inspect their messaging

While you’re still looking at their website, analyze the messaging on their website. What are they selling you?

  • 1st position in Google?
  • 1st-page rankings in Google
  • Better keyword rankings?
  • Organic results?

A lot of the spammy/illegitimate and poor performing SEO agencies have messaging that’s vague or still stuck in 2009. SEO used to be sold based on getting into the 1st position in Google (because being #1 gets you more traffic). But that’s not the messaging a good SEO company in Cleveland will have.

SEO isn’t about becoming #1 for a keyword or getting “organic results” (whatever that means).

SEO is about helping you reach your KPI’s (key performance indicators) and goals organically. That’s it.

Sometimes the goals can be reached by being in position #3 for a keyword. Other times, you may not even need to target that keyword to reach your goals. A higher keyword ranking isn’t always worth the effort. Higher rankings will require more work. More work will require a bigger budget from you as the client.

If someone is promising high rankings for a low cost, that’s a major red flag.

A good SEO agency will work with you to help you turn your goals into an actionable SEO strategy based on the budget you have. And don’t worry, good SEO companies will let you know if they can’t help you due to your budget being too low.

View their case studies

Looking at an SEO agency’s case studies is another way to weed out spammy/illegitimate companies. Most spammy or poor performing SEO companies won’t have any case studies on their website.

Putting together a case study takes work and time. A lot of SEO companies that are only looking to make a quick dollar won’t bother creating them. And honestly, they don’t need to. Business owners don’t usually know how to evaluate SEO companies well enough – so they don’t look for case studies.

Now, there’s a flip side to this.

There are some SEO companies in Cleveland in that might not have any case studies publicly available. This isn’t due to them being spammy or illegitimate. It’s because like I said earlier, putting together a case study takes time and work. If the agency is small, they may be focused on client work and not acquiring new clients.

If an agency you’re interested in working with doesn’t have any case studies, contact them and ask them for case studies. A reputable SEO agency in Cleveland will either send internal case studies or create them on demand if they don’t have them.

Ask them to show the work they’ve done

If you’ve already hired them and you’re not sure if they’re actually helping you, ask them to show you all of the work they’ve done. They should be able to show the work they’re doing for you every month.

Sometimes, for SEO companies that aren’t really doing much to help their client – they’ll try to confuse their client with complicated terms or unnecessary work.

If you’re evaluating an SEO company in Cleveland and they’ve shown you the work they’re doing but you don’t see the results – hire a 3rd party to audit your current SEO company.

For example, when we someone hires us to audit an SEO company – we are able to look at the website, analytics, and other areas to give them a transparent picture of what’s going on with their business (without trying to steal them from their current SEO agency).

They can then decide what areas they’d like to bring to their current SEO agency’s attention

Ask them why they performed the work they did

A lot of SEO companies in Cleveland (and other areas) don’t like explaining their reasoning behind the work they’re doing. That’s a bad sign.

A good SEO company in Cleveland will answer all of your questions and explain their reasoning behind the work they’re doing. They should be able to show you a path to your goals when things are going good AND when things are going bad.

If an SEO company doesn’t explain what they’re doing and why they’re doing it – run away.