Choosing Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Firm
Should it be based on guarantees, client list, price, or something else?
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Top Secret SEO Checklist
There are multiple factors to look at when choosing a search marketing company.
Not every project will work with every search marketing company. It depends on your goals, budget and business style, and may take a few meetings to find the right company that fits.
When you work with a search marketing company, not all companies are created equal. Like hiring a lawyer, accountant, contractor, or carpenter, each person or company has certain strengths, abilities, experiences and knowledge. As well, the cheapest solution may not provide the best value, or provide the results you are looking for. On the other hand, the most expensive may be beyond project budgets.
As a potential client, begin by
- Looking at who the company has worked with. Past clients can tell you what kind of projects the company has experience in and give you a sense of the company’s goals and values.
- Ask for past examples of projects, case studies and testimonials.
- Are they certified by search engines?
- Ask whether the company participates in “black hat” SEO tactics.
- Consider purchasing Marketing Sherpa’ guide to SEO firms – they have a good list of questions to cover during this process.
Google also offers some great tips when researching firms. We highly recommends reading this page if you are looking for a SEM company – https://www.google.com/support/webmasters/bin/answer.py?answer=35291
Be wary of SEO firms that send you email out of the blue.
“Dear website owner,
I visited your website and noticed that you are not listed in most of the major search engines and directories…”
Reserve the same skepticism for unsolicited email about search engines as you do for “burn fat at night” diet pills or requests to help transfer funds from deposed dictators.
No one can guarantee a #1 ranking on Google.
Beware of SEOs that claim to guarantee rankings, allege a “special relationship” with Google, or advertise a “priority submit” to Google. There is no priority submit for Google.
Be careful if a company is secretive or won’t clearly explain what they intend to do.
Ask for explanations if something is unclear. If an SEO creates deceptive or misleading content on your behalf using other pages or “throwaway” domains, your site could be removed entirely from Google’s index. Ultimately, you are responsible for the actions of any companies you hire, so it’s best to be sure you know exactly how they intend to “help” you.
Be careful of mass submission & linking schemes
Avoid SEOs that talk about the power of “free-for-all” links, link popularity schemes, or submitting your site to thousands of search engines. These are typically useless exercises that don’t affect your ranking in the results of the major search engines — at least, not in a way you would likely consider to be positive.
To learn more about an Internet Solution that really works for your business, use the form on “Contact Us” page to secure a free one-on-one consultation session- to help your business gain full benefit from a web presence.