How To Identify A Good SEO Agency To Work For

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So, you’ve decided to work for an SEO agency - great choice! If you’re new to the SEO game, an agency position can lay the groundwork necessary to launch a successful career in the field. Not only can it teach a range of skills, from link building to competitor analysis, but it can also allow you to build relationships with others in the game.

Plus, with the SEO services market size forecast to reach $217,846 million by 2030, there’s no better time to kickstart your SEO career.

But, how do you identify a good SEO agency? With well over 35 thousand established SEO companies currently operating in the world and plenty more guaranteed to crop up, you’re not exactly short of agencies to choose from. The problem is, how do you know the agency you’re applying for is reputable?

Although SEO For Hire will only advertise job roles for reputable agencies, we thought we’d let you in on how we determine the good from the bad.

The Growth of the SEO Industry

SEO may have existed since the dawn of the internet, but it has undeniably reached new heights in the last 5 years. In 2020, the market was worth $46,656.2 million. By 2025, it is forecast to be worth $103,236.2 million - more than double!

As the industry grows, so does the number of reputable SEO agencies to work for.

These trustworthy companies will instil in you ethical SEO practices and provide you with the knowledge that will be useful to you as you progress further in your career.

On the flip side of this, there’s been a deluge of unprofessional SEO agencies cropping up over the past few years, looking to make a quick buck off the rise in demand for SEO professionals.

Being a relatively new industry, there’s still plenty of space for deceit, and these unprofessional SEO companies can pick up work from unsuspecting companies looking to improve their site rankings for the best possible price.

One of the reasons companies hire SEO agencies is because they don’t have the expertise to optimise their site themselves. This limited knowledge means that they are easily beguiled by sketchy agencies that promise to increase site rankings in no time at all.

Although promising on paper, these SEO agencies may not adhere to Google’s guidelines at all. Not only is it bad for businesses, but working with an unprofessional SEO agency can also be destructive to your career prospects.

Why unprofessional SEO agencies are bad for businesses

These agencies will likely implement black hat techniques - i.e., broken link building, keyword stuffing, and cloaking. These unethical approaches can and do increase the ranking of a website for a limited time before the Google algorithm catches on.

Once caught, the website will be penalised severely. In worst-case scenarios, ranking privileges will be stripped from the website permanently. In most cases, it’s often better to start a new website from scratch rather than recover from Google’s penalisation.

Therefore, from a business perspective, hiring an unprofessional SEO agency could tarnish their chances of out-ranking their competitors permanently.

Why unprofessional SEO agencies are bad for you

Not only can clients be deceived by unprofessional agencies, but so can budding SEO professionals looking to make a break in the industry. If you are relatively unfamiliar with SEO concepts, starting with an unprofessional SEO agency could leave you worse off than you were to begin with.

For one, you may be taught shady SEO practices that could tarnish your reputation forever. Despite being such a big, booming industry, word can spread around fast in the world of SEO. Your association with a sketchy SEO project could limit the number of jobs open to you in future.

Plus, if you’re only taught how to unethically optimise a website, then, on top of wasting your time, you’ve learned nothing of value in terms of SEO best practices. You gain no skills that can increase your job prospects, and you’re basically back at square one.

Lastly, working for a bad SEO agency means that you miss out on networking with professionals. The only contacts you have gained are ones you want to distance yourself from, meaning you have made no foothold in the industry you’re trying to break into.

Essentially, you want to make sure the company you work for is to be trusted.

How To Determine A Good SEO Agency

To help you forgo sketchy SEO agencies, and to ensure the one you end up working for offers you the best opportunities possible, here are our tips on how to determine a good SEO agency:

Search for the company on LinkedIn

LinkedIn should be your first port of call when it comes to determining whether an SEO agency is worth working for. It not only provides you with details of the existing team, but also former team members.

The latter may prove to be the most valuable to you, particularly if you notice frequent staff turnovers. Of course, staff churn rate can be quite high for most online businesses, but take it into account if you notice an excessive amount of former employees who spent minimal time working for the company.

If you feel it is necessary, you could always reach out to a former team member and ask for more details about their time in the company as well as reasons for leaving. You could also check what they went on to do after and gauge whether their time at the agency helped them excel in their career in any way.

You could also reach out to the current team and ask for details on what it’s like to work for the company now.

Plus, you can compare the work experience of both current and former employees to see how your qualifications match up. This is not only a good indicator of how likely they are to hire you, but also informs you of their standards. Do they hire professionals or just hire anybody?

Find out who the founders are

The founders of all good SEO companies tend to be engaged in the wider landscape of SEO and partake in regular interviews and interactions with other SEO agencies. Find out who they are, either from the company website or on LinkedIn, and do some searching for their personal social media accounts.

From here, you may be able to uncover more info on their backstory, perhaps other SEO agencies they have been involved with, and what their general training for the executive role involved. They may also detail more specific information regarding the company here that you can’t find anywhere else, including its success and future plans for it.

Normally, a clear involvement in the wider sphere of SEO - vlogs, conventions, interviews, etc. - is an indicator that the head of the agency is dedicated to the advancement of SEO practices. This involvement will most likely trickle down to the company they own and suggests that the agency is managed by someone you can trust.

Review the agency’s website

A good SEO agency should, ideally, have a strongly optimised website - it’s what they’re supposed to be good at, isn’t it? A good agency should view its own website as a vital piece of its portfolio. Not only should it display their achievements so far, but it should also stand as proof of their SEO prowess.

If their own content doesn’t rank or if they don’t show up in searches for their keywords, you’ve got to consider their validity as SEO professionals. You could use tools such as Moz Pro and SEMRush to determine the current ranking of the site.

However, be wary of judging an SEO agency solely on this factor. If you find the site to be top-ranking, then this could be a result of spamming or other black hat SEO techniques.

If it’s not stated on the website, use the likes of DupliChecker's Domain Age Checker to determine the age of the site. This will allow you to see the history of the site, and get a better sense of the agency’s origins. Have they been established for a while, or did they form quickly to profit from the need for SEO?

Review the agency’s social media accounts

A good SEO agency should have highly active social media accounts. These accounts, ideally, should be persistently sharing news, updates on the company, offers, and client testimonials.

A successful SEO agency should be striving to create a buzz about its achievements and future plans. If all is going well with an agency, they are likely to shout about it on Twitter.

On the other hand, an inactive social media account suggests that the agency doesn’t have much to share in the way of success stories or milestones completed. Stagnancy is a clear indicator of a failed or failing SEO agency and generally should be avoided.

Other good indicators are plenty of interactions - both with employees and clients - and blog postings. Blog posts are a good way to pick up the tone of the agency and learn a bit about how they approach SEO in general. If they’re taking the time to promote themselves via blog posts, then you can most likely trust them to take SEO very seriously.

Check reviews

An agency will likely display a few positive testimonials on its homepage. These are good for gaining a sense of the type of work the agency has completed in the past, as well as the kind of clients the agency most commonly works for. However, they don’t provide the full picture, as an agency is, of course, unlikely to paste some negative or even mediocre reviews on their homepage.

You should also check reviews on sites such as Trustpilot and Fatrank to get a greater sense of how they are as a company and what clients are saying about them. This should give you a more cohesive understanding of how well they perform as an agency, with both positive and negative reviews to refer to.

Reviews made by employees are, of course, also vital, so you should check these too on sites such as Glassdoor. This anonymous review site will provide you with an honest reflection of what it's like to work for the company from a former employee’s perspective.

Phone the agency

If you’re feeling confident enough to do so, you could simply phone the agency up and ask to speak with a senior member of the team. A one-on-one conversation, albeit over the phone, can give you a greater sense of the company’s ethos than an e-mail ever could.

If you are a strong conversationalist, you could elicit plenty of valuable information out of the person you are talking to, including more information about the job role that needs filling.

It’s them that need to fill the job, so they should be keen to provide you with as many details as possible. If the member of the team appears cagey or doesn’t seem to want to give you straight answers to your question, definitely treat this with suspicion.

For a phone call to be effective, it would be best to rehearse a few questions you’d like to ask before phoning. This will give your conversation a general drive, as opposed to phoning up and having no good questions to ask. The latter would result in a meandering conversation, leave a bad impression on the company, and may even impair your chances at the job.

Come To SEO For Hire

A good way to forgo all of the above would be to go directly to SEO for Hire. We’re one of the few companies in the country that deal exclusively with job postings for SEO.

Our team consists of individuals who either used to work or are still working for SEO agencies. Therefore, we know good SEO agencies and only intend to work with ones that meet our quality standards. We wouldn’t post an SEO job that we wouldn’t consider!

We can even go a step further by analysing your skillsets and qualifications and pairing you with a job opening that we believe to suit.

Based on your requirements, we’ll be able to find you an ideal role based on your location, salary requirements, and so on.

Benefits of using us:

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