So for the benefit of all, some truths...
The chances of someone from google contacting you about SEO are so remote you have more chance of the president of the USA calling to see if you'd like to go to the cinema tonight and stop or a pizza on the way home.
For sure, there must be some genuine SEO specialist firms. However, what I've seen so far, in general most of what they're offering is actually either common sense or free anyway. A client sent me an itinerary of the SEO features one company were trying to sell to him. It was a long list indeed, a couple of pages full. Lots of interesting items and laid out as a grid with ticks everywhere showing how brilliant their service was. In fact, nearly everything listed was free. Either free to download or free to read. Those things that were not freely available were advisory and for me these fell under “common sense” anyway.
Now we could argue that “common sense” to a web developer or SEO guru is not so common to everyone else. There's some truth there but really! Really?
Not sure if it's still there but google used to have a page saying THEY were contacted by dubious SEO firms saying they were not not doing well on google! - Uh? Google are not doing well at google?
Most useful SEO is common sense, no guru needed.
Google have long since published the do and don't of SEO. Just go to google and read it. Reasonable common sense for everyone. Having taken the google advice on-board, how that expresses itself on your own site is where you might need help but again, for most people this level of consultancy is advisory.
There's not much practical help you can buy-in, the pseudo 'technocrat' guru computer whiz-kid stuff will not make a dot of difference if you don't observe Google's own guidelines.
Further more, I am shocked at the criticism these companies will put forward to back-up their claims. Often it is totally unfounded, fictitious even. And where not, I'd just have to disagree with their concept of what makes a website work. Further more, I can back this up with pretty good results on SEO myself.
Above: This is a genuine Famous Websites® google performance graph. However, it's easy to fake.
So what about the genuine SEO companies?
They're no more mysterious than regular advertising agencies. The best agency in the world (fill the name in yourself) has a history of failed campaigns. It's about probabilities, if they get it right more than they get it wrong they're okay. So sure, there is scope for genuine help. Famous Websites® help all of our clients with advice and where needed practical help.
Where can I buy a juju bag?
Yes SEO is about as near to black magic and voodoo as we're going to get these days and a witch doctor claiming to be from google (I think even these guys have learned not to say this now) will lead to a broken wallet.
It's unlikely your graphic designer can help, if pushed he/she will just call a witch doctor. Just go to google and look for GOOGLE's advice. Clearly if you have read this far on this page a trip to google will be worth it.