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When we finally put aside the time to do our own marketing (the toughest customer, ourselves!), we maximize our efforts to make the most impact. For us, going after specific keywords in Google is a fool’s errand. We compete with companies 10-1000x the size of our own with an agency worth of individuals marketing for themselves. Making it impossible for a boutique like us to compete for the “trophy” keywords.

We stick to the fringe by ranking for phrases and specialties that we’re known for, like eCommerce SEO & Local SEO, or even more niche by specific businesses in an industry, like law firm SEO & manufacturer SEO.

So when we spend time looking for partners to find more business for ourselves, we weigh them out.

As a top performing SEO agency, we’ve had the privilege to be featured in the biggest and best “top SEO” type websites. One that stands out to us, is Clutch.

Unlike many of the websites that rank SEOs, web designers, PPC companies and the like, Clutch has an algorithm that determines who the best are based on EXPERIENCE. The way they rank businesses in their categories makes them the best place for a business owner to go and figure out who they want to hire for a task.

Between reviews from customers, media presence (What and how often we publish to blog, social media, PR, and more), and client type (are they big, startup, enterprise?) scores determine who ranks in the top of a leaders matrix. Not how much they spend on advertising.

Lately, we’ve been approached by many more places to be listed as top performers based on our scores at Clutch. This is amazing right? We’re proud and grateful to have this sort of presence! An issue arose though as we started talking to all these different agencies… Alright, we have a profile but to be in the top 10 it’ll cost you $$$… what? So you’re saying to be the best at eCommerce SEO I just have to give you money? It has nothing to do with the quality of our work, reviews our customers give, amount of time/expertise we have in the industry?

Unfortunately, this is true for MOST of the boards out there! This got us wanting to reach out to business owners. Use a ranking system that actually gets you experts. The companies buying a top 10 position on these boards are not necessarily experts, and hiring a company who can’t do the work will cost you more than hiring the right company.

So the next time you’re looking for a top-notch social media agency, mobile app developer, or someone like us, head to – they’ll serve up the best based on their merits, not pockets.

PS: No we didn’t write this because we’re #1, we’re #5. Each of us in the top 10 have worked hard to get here and we (W3) felt it was important to note there is a difference in the quality of each boards rankings. Get familiar.

Author John Keller

Cultivating proper SEO tactics along with building sites with excellent User Experience since 2003.

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