Should a good SEO company rank for [SEO] ?

This question “Should a good SEO company rank for [SEO] ?” has popped up a number of times when I meet people to discuss SEO. Also for some SEO firms it’s a point of boasting or a sales pitch, saying that they can rank for some great terms like :

  • SEO
  • Search Engine Optimisation
  • Search Engine Optimization
  • SEO consultant
  • etc.


Note: I’m not slamming anyone company in these examples, well maybe one, but this is not the point of the post. I want to give some tips on picking a SEO company so that you know the right questions to ask and know when someone is pulling the wool (a little) over your eyes.

Reality Time

A sad fact in this matter is that people searching for [SEO] are more likely to be other SEO companies, rather than potential clients looking for some SEO help. So the fact that they rank for SEO probably doesn’t even help their bottom line. Here is a little comparison between the number of searches for [SEO] and the number of searches for [cake recipe] using a popular enough keyword [house prices] as a scale. This graph relates to the worldwide view rather than just Ireland.

It just can’t be that there are similar enough numbers of people looking to bake cakes, as there are people looking for information on SEO. My tip would be if a company says they rank for a keyword, give it a check on google trends or on google keyword tool for adwords to find out exactly how popular it is.

Looking at the amount of enquiries I got last year, and the % of them which came from the keyword [SEO] I would have to say it was close to zero. I would hazard a guess that the a lot of my manual comment SPAM for SEO tools and link building etc, is from dubious firms putting these keywords into their browser and going through the first few pages of Google results to find some links. So the fact that a company ranks for [SEO] doesn’t really help them, rather it probably wastes a bit of their resources, unless they are using it for bragging rights.

Final Thoughtson hiring a SEO company

If you are going to hire a SEO company, ask more about what they do and how they do things. What is their approach to site structure ? And how to they go about procuring back links ? Don’t be fooled when a company says that they are are #1 or #2 for a particular {keyword}, and therefore they must be good and they will be able to get you to rank at a high position too. Rather, ask for real life cases they have worked on, and what the resulting traffic increase has been because of their SEO efforts. Request Google Analytics data (or some other statistical report) of before and after the SEO campaign, and if necessary verify with their client that the SEO company has actually done this.

An aside : And oh, here are our SERPs for SEO 😉 so we do rank somewhere, but just not that high, but then again we are not looking for new clients, so that’s okay.

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