The Yellow Pages lists 236 Denver SEO companies in the Denver metro area. Manta shows 152 listings in Denver for SEO and another 110 for search engine optimization services. With so many Denver Metro website optimization companies, how does one choose a reputable SEO partner? Unfortunately, many individuals simply go online and conduct a Google search and choose one of the first companies listed.
Today, many of these Denver area SEO companies use questionable techniques to be at the top of the list. One cannot simply trust that a top-ranked firm uses SEO best practices. Word of mouth is also a common means for finding an SEO specialist. This method is a bit better, however, unless the person recommending search optimization services knows what they’re talking about, you have no idea whether the company being recommended is using proper white-hat SEO techniques.
Tips for Choosing a Search Optimization Company
When selecting a Denver SEO company for your website, there are a few tell-tale signs as well as other subtle signs indicating whether a search optimization firm is trustworthy and effective. As an experienced SEO professional, I know where to look. I’d like to teach you a few tricks when researching to find the best SEO companies in Denver. I can tell you from experience, that Webolutions Digital Marketing Agency is a leader and awarded web optimization company using best practices to improve client rankings and traffic.
Research Tips for Selecting an SEO Agency
- Online Reviews – One of the most obvious starting points is to spend some time reading customer reviews of the optimization firms you may be considering. PLEASE NOTE: who might be the best at writing and masking customer reviews than an experienced optimization company that understands how important reviews are to site optimization, ranking well and converting potential customers to clients?
When it comes to online reviews for any organization, take them with a grain of salt. As you should know, not all reviews are real. Many parties with a vested interest write fake reviews for various reasons, including business owners and paid agents who may write fake or exaggerated reviews in favor of the business, while competitors (and their agents) may write false negative reviews.
So, how does one gleen whether a review is true? It requires a bit of investigation into the profile of who wrote the review. Within our industry, for example, I’ve conducted competitive analysis on other SEO agencies throughout the Denver metro area. One agency in particular had several reviews (more than average, which was the first red flag), all for 5 stars (this was the second red flag).
Further research into their Google reviews showed that almost half of the reviews were received in the same two-month period about a year ago. I researched every review and found that most of the people’s profiles had no other activity, other than the one positive review for this agency. There was no completed profile (other than name), no “About” information, no associated YouTube channel and similar missing items that would indicate only one abnormal entry favoring the agency. Avoid any agency that appears to have fake reviews.
- WhoIs Research – Go to http://www.whois.com/whois/ and type in the domain of the agencies you may be considering for your website’s optimization services. If the registrant information shows as “Private,” this is a huge red flag. A legitimate agency owner will likely have the domain registered in their name or the company’s name. When you see a private registration, there is clearly something to hide.
What are they hiding? More often than not, they are attempting to hide that they have created several related websites and are inter-linking these websites, creating a network of interlinking domains to boost rankings through shady tactics. My research found several local Denver SEO agencies that were practicing domain interlinking. This is a no-no and goes against Google’s Webmaster Guidelines. Any optimization tactics that attempt to trick Google or fake a website’s popularity can land a website into trouble, including a Google penalty or complete removal from Google’s search engine. Avoid any SEO agency whose registration information is private.
- Backlink Profile – This research technique is a bit more complex, however, it reveals much about the company you may be considering to hire. Though it is a bit more difficult, if one is preparing to invest thousands or tens of thousands of dollars, backlink research should be performed.
Why is researching a firm’s backlinks important? Well, it provides two insights. First, it provides a clear indication of whether the company knows what it’s doing. Ideally, backlinks should be from topically related websites and should not be spammy. There are two very good tools to check backlinks, these are ahrefs.com and MOZ.com (open site explorer).
Ahrefs provides several link metrics to evaluate a website. Ideally, the anchor text (those words that are used to link to the website) should not be overly optimized for one or two terms that state the services offered, such as SEO or search engine optimization. There may be a few of these types of anchor text, however, most backlinks should use a variety of terms related to the brand name, website URL or other generic terms like “website” or “click here.” Google expects to see natural link building. If an agency you are considering has irregular link gains (or losses) as well as irregular anchor text, their link building efforts may be shady. Avoid this type of agency.
Moz provides a great metric called Spam Score, which essentially rates the quality of backlinks. If you see any sort of spam score, particularly above 3, the agency’s back link techniques should be questioned. Avoid any agency who has a Spam Score higher than 6.
One additional metric that may indicate a website is using questionable backlink tactics is to perform a simple calculation and compare to approximately five competitors (in order to establish a baseline or average). Simply divide the total number of backlinks (I like to use ahrefs backlink count as it is a bit more thorough) by the total number of website pages indexed by Google. Find the total number of indexed pages by going to Google and entering “site:domain.com” (replace domain.com with the domain name you are researching).
Here is an example of one competitive analysis. Can you tell which competitor’s links per page is way out of whack? Most every site has backlinks per page around 1 or under, however, one agency has an average of 241 back links per page. Hmm…. I’d avoid this agency.
- Get professional help. If your desire is to hire a local SEO company in Denver, then why not invest a little money to have a SEO agency outside of your local area conduct a competitive analysis on agencies you may be considering. A one-time fee prior to investing tens of thousands of dollars is money well spent. A search engine optimization outside of your local area has no vested interest and, if they know what they’re doing, should be able to help provide insight into who they believe are trustworthy.
There are many, many search optimization companies in Denver, Colorado and across the United States. Because SEO is a long-term investment, one needs to conduct research in order to avoid wasting money. This article has provided a few key tips for selecting an SEO agency, including online reviews, WhoIs research, back-link profile analysis as well as seeking professional help. Following these tips should help improve return on investment (ROI) and achieve higher rankings.