Finding an SEO Company You Can Trust


If you’re looking for a new SEO company because your old one didn’t perform, or you’re just getting your feet wet in the world of search engine optimization, it’s important that you work with an SEO company that uses SEO best practices. These are sometimes called “White Hat SEO” as opposed to “Black Hat SEO”.

Steer clear of SEO companies that use black hat techniques, or that speak ill of a competitor. An SEO company should be able to stand on its own merits without disparaging the competition, and should be able and willing to tell you what they will do and how they will do it as far as SEO.

Steer clear of a company that promises you speedy results, which are frequently the result of black hat techniques such as:

  • Duplicate content
  • Invisible text and stuffed keywords
  • Cloaking or re-directing the user to another site or page
  • Link stuffing with links to sites with non-relevant content

Black hat SEO focuses on the search engines, rather than the user experience, and can possibly result in your site being banned from a search engine.

Good SEO, or White Hat SEO, focuses on the user experience. Be prepared to overhaul your existing website to meet best practices. A good SEO company provides search engine optimization including:

  • Website optimized for viewing on mobile devices.
  • Relevant, well-written content. You should look like an expert in your field.
  • Complete sentences with good spelling and grammar. Easy to read without being dumbed down.
  • Content that is informative and more than just a snippet of information.
  • Content that incorporates your key phrases and related phrases.
  • Video content
  • Unique and relevant page titles
  • Well-labeled images (with image alt tags)
  • Title tags and unique description tags
  • Standards compliant HTML
  • Relevant links and references

When you meet with a representative of an SEO company / web design company there are important questions to ask and information they should be happy to share with you.

  1. Show and Tell

The SEO expert you choose should have something to show you about the actual SEO practices that they are planning to do for you. Things you would expect to hear from them are how they will:

  • Optimize the content on your current website
  • Do an SEO audit of your site
  • Add strategic outbound links and inbound links 
  • Do and analysis of the site’s current link profile
  • Conduct an analysis of company social and blog.


  1. Are They Curious About Your Business?

Things an SEO company should ask you for as the owner of the website/ business.

  • Admin access or view to Google Analytics and Google Adwords
  • Editor or admin access to your websites CMS
  • List of targeted keywords – if you don’t have them, they should offer suggestions
  • Access to social media accounts
  • Do they offer suggestions for improvement? 

A good SEO partner would help you out with some website suggestions or improvements in order to get better results. They should view their relationship as a partnership. If they are not telling or suggesting something, then it’s all about THEM.

  1. Do they share their SEO techniques?

An ethical SEO company should be open to discussing their techniques; after all you are paying them for their expertise and time!. A white hat SEO company would have NO problem sharing their techniques, as they are accepted as legitimate ways to get proven results. If your SEO agency says that they need to keep their techniques confidential or “due to the nature of the industry we cannot disclose our practices” then beware!! 

If you’re looking for an SEO company you can trust to work with you over the long term, call Coastal Web Services today at 410-420-9390. We’ll work with you to develop both a short term and a long term SEO strategy that will help you grow your business.