Many people and companies claim to know how to do SEO (search engine optimization). There are many SEO services to choose from. How do you know what to look for in a good SEO consultant / service? Below are a few tips.
1. With the high competition of SEO professionals fighting for your business, some will offer fixed pricing or low pricing. A reputable SEO company will not offer you any upfront promises or pricing. All companies needs and goals are different from another. An SEO professional should take the time to get to know all aspects of your business and your advertising goals and work with you to come up with a cost for the service.
2. Make sure that your SEO company is not being outsourced to a 3rd party. What I mean by this is that, when you are shopping for professionals, confirm that they are completing the work themselves and not with a sub-contraced company that they hire. Your relationship needs to be directly with the company or person you hire to do your marketing and advertising. Too much miscommunication will break down your advertising campaign efforts. There are certain circumstances where it may be appropriate for an SEO company to outsource a portion of the work. An example would be website design. If an agency is hiring someone to do the graphics and set-up only, then that is acceptable as long as the SEO service is doing the content and optimization of your site. Professional SEO companies with have very tight partnerships with web design professionals.
3. Be sure that they can rank difficult keywords. Ask about their strategy in getting your keywords ranked. A good test is to see if their own company is listed on the front page of Google. There are some circumstances where this may not apply. For example, if someone has been doing SEO for a very long time and decides to start a new company, it can take a few months to rank their own site to the top of the search engines (just as it will for yours).
4. Watch out for anyone who promises to have your company at the top of the search engines within a designated time. There is no prediction nor is there any specific formula that can be completed to know exactly how long it will take to rank websites. If someone is getting you to the top within a few weeks, then they are not doing ethical practices and this will only hurt you in the long run. Google will catch up to SEO’s who are using unethical practices and your site will be penalized which will put you at the bottom of the rankings. It typically takes around 3-4 months to get sites ranked on Google. There may be some instances that you get to the top sooner and some that you may get there later. It depends on how competitive your keywords are.
5. Make sure that SEO is the persons full-time profession. You do not want your SEO advertiser to be putting your campaign on the side because they have other things to tend to. You also need to be sure that they know what they are doing and are not just doing this as something extra to make money. Also watch out for people who think they are SEO professionals because they work in a computer field. Although I have a degree in Computer Information Systems, it did not make me an SEO professional. I learned everything I know outside of college through a team of experts.
As with any new purchase, do the research. Ask questions. Ask for references. Find out what your SEO person does to keep up with the ever changing times of SEO. Search Engine Optimization is never a sure thing so be sure to find someone who has access to the education needed as times change.
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