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BizReport : Search Marketing : August 31, 2015

Referral key way in which marketers find SEO services

How do you go about finding a SEO company? According to a recent survey by Clutch, referrals are the most popular route, but not always the best.

by Helen Leggatt

When Clutch interviewed 15 clients of SEO and digital marketing services companies, they found that nearly half (45%) employed SEO firms based on a referral or existing relationship. Meanwhile, not far behind on 43%, were considerations of a SEO company's attributes including knowledge, transparency and customer service.

"Search engine optimization (SEO) can open many doors for businesses. People are going to Google more frequently than ever to find products and services, and as a result, businesses are becoming increasingly competitive with each other for top search keywords. Finding an expert to help with SEO can bolster a company's exposure on the web, ultimately taking it to the next level," says Clutch.

However, finding the right 'fit' for a SEO company is not something that can be guaranteed first time around. Twenty percent of those interviewed by Clutch said they had had a negative experience before finding a solution that worked for them. Clutch notes that this information was offered to them outwith their formal survey questions, and so that figure may be a lot higher.

Ian Stevenson, VP of sales at online marketing agency Straight North, says that to weed out the amateurs from the pros, questions that need to be asked of a CEO company, or any potential vendor or partner, include "Does this company walk the walk? Do they have a plethora of clients that would be willing to talk to you about them? Do they have great reviews online? Can you show me case studies that quantify performance?".

Other factors that influenced decisions on which SEO company to use include company location near the client (15%), client reviews and case studies (14%) and culture fit (13%). Just 5% worked with a company following a cold call or pitch.

Image via Shutterstock

Tags: research, search marketing, SEO

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