How to Hire an SEO Company
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Optimizing your website for higher placement in the Search Engines(mainly Google) will greatly increase your traffic and best of all with Google it is usually highly targeted. I don’t know about you but this is the kind of traffic I want. I like Google Adwords and all but nothing beats highly targeted FREE traffic. The only problem with it is like anything else that is free it doesn’t come in to your door in a tv dinner style workload. SEO takes work if you want to do it yourself and a whole lot of patience. But since this article is mainly targeted towards those who want to hire a professional seo company we will talk about that.
How do I determine the expertise of a ‘SEO’ Company?
If only hiring a professional was as easy as finding a gas station. Unfortunately it isn’t that easy. Because there is alot of money in seo there are crooks and there are semi-crooks who are trying to learn seo but just don’t have the experiance to optimize a site yet they will still take your money. As more and more businesses learn the potentials in Organic Search Engine Optimization they will start hiring professionals to get higher rankings for their sites. The more and more professionals competing the harder it gets for all involved so the less real ‘professionals’ there actually are. I am saying this to warn you so that you don’t get caught by someone who knows nothing about seo.
Seo is very misunderstood by many people. Some think it is the optimization of the site while others think it is just changing the meta tags. While SEO includes this that is not the extent of it at all. SEO onvolves writing content, link building, on-site optimization and smooth link structure so that it is easy to navigate the site.
There are some pretty smooth talking crooks who can talk almost anybody(who doesn’t know seo) into thinking they are experianced. Some aren’t so good and you can pick out faults right from their home page or services info.
Beware of sites who charge you for services such as:
“…our high-tech algorithmic hacking has created a program which allows us to create a very professional highly desirable set of meta tags which will force the robots to index and rank your site”
If you start hearing things like this or “…our programming experiance combined with seo knowledge has allowed us to trick the search engines into giving you top ten slots overnight.”
If you start hearing anything that sounds unethical or might be against the terms of Google or just plain nonsense find a new company. Meta tags had their days when they were worth alot more than they are now. Frankly those days are over. The keyword tag is now useless however the title tag and description tag are still a vital part of a site which not only can help you gain a ranking but also has alot to do with if anyone clicks your listing.
Companies that offer only a meta tag service or offer to create thousands of ‘content’ pages for you should be avoided. Anything that is unnatural can get you in trouble so don’t use it. I still believe in on-site optimization done right so a site is easily crawlable so that google can index it. I also believe that link building and natural original content are still the two secrets to success. And neither goes far without the other. A real seo company should offer to help you in these areas to build up some importance for your site.
Hire an Seo Company by the price?
I reccomend being very careful in paying too much and paying too little for seo. Either way you could get ripped off but usually it is the ones offering cheap prices that are ready to rip you off as they want to garnish thousands of webmasters instead of just a few big ones. Again don’t just accept a company that guarantees you top ten rankings. See what they really plan to do and how they effictively plan to bring traffic to your site and then convert it. What good is 1 million hits if they all bounce off your site before covnerting?
And I should also point out that good seo isn’t cheap. So expect to pay for what you get. If you pay $5 for seo expect to get $5 worth. I have yet to find a good seo who is cheap. Also a professional seo won’t just listen to what you want and claim to be able to do it but will offer ideas and different paths that might in the long run prove more valuable. Be warry of a seo who only listens. But there is also the other side where no matter what you want the seo has his own ideas. Either way you won’t be getting much done that will help you.
And then their is the “one price fits all” seo which we have mentioned above breifly. If a seo offers a set price before knowing what he is being asked to do than they should be dumped quick.
Good seo won’t come calling on you. If you get a cold call from a seo treat as you would a tele-marketer. Give them 10 seconds to get off the phone before you call the cops… j/k
But ignore cold call seo requests. Also most anybody who posts on a forum asking for clients is not a real seo however there are exceptions. Just to be save I wouldn’t hire any of them without atleast a little seo knowledge.
Don’t hire a SEO from getafreelancer.com – I have went undercover and have hired many of the so-called seo on there and have not found one and worse yet all of them so far tried to rip me off. So stay away from the freelancer sites. Be careful of seo who don’t have their own sites. These type of seo have a sub-domain or worse yet just a few sub-pages on a site which is unrelated to seo. This means they don’t have much trust in their abilities or they would pay the $10 and get their own domain.
Seo have testimonials…. Look for testimonials on a seo site. And make sure they look legit. Is their a website address, name and maybe even a small description of what was done. If so and you are still worried about the services try contacting the webmaster of that site and ask politely if the seo did the job for them?
That doesn’t mean all seo sites with testimonials are good. Alot of webmasters who haven’t the faintest about seo may think somebody did the job when they really did nothing or very little so will allow their testimonial to be put up when they are clueless. That is why it is always good to have a long chat with the seo. Figure out exactly what will be done and what won’t. It is very important to find out what they won’t do for you. This is usually found out afterwards and is not a pleasent surprise.
Once you get a good amount of info on what the seo will be doing try to find a second oppinion. Preferrably another seo who just doesn’t have the time to take you on or doesn’t want clients but may still be willing to give advise. Two or three oppinions on the services the seo will provide can be very helpful in deciding whether to go through with it or can it.
And lastly you should be careful of seo who beg you for business. Obviously if they want you that bad they must not be getting enough clients. Don’t get me wrong there is a difference between begging and being business minded and wanting to keep a client. I can remember back before I knew seo. I needed some seo done on one of my business sites. I found a company which had alot of testimonials and seemed very reputable. They explained their services well and even allowed me the chance to chat with an associate via a 1-800 #. Seo with 1-800 number are usually real….
I even got to the point where I was ready to purchase their services and so I contacted the head guy and laid it before him. And guess what he said? He told me very politely that I was not ready. He said after reviewing my site that it was not ready for seo. He said it was a very common site(the target was) and was too new to begin seo right away. And that state in my webmaster career if he had accepted me he would have had to do little to make me pay the bill. I knew very little about seo and would have accepted nearly anything he said yet he didn’t want to do it because he thought my company wasn’t ready for it. And now looking back I see he was very right.
So another point to remember is if a seo is willing to let your business go because they think it is the best thing for you maybe you should take that advise and remember the company so later you can come back and request their services again. I now work as a professional seo even but still remember how I was treated by that SEO company and continue to practice the same way. I have had to decline many clients just becuase they weren’t ready for it at that stage in their business.
I enjoy working as a professional especially when I get to work on a site which is very unique in what it offers even if the competition is great. Because of my other sites and other work I have accumulated I do not take on that many new clients but still look for the ones that are unique. I believe they will be the sites that will conquer the big guys one day.
I hope this article has given you a few points even though I am not sure I did the best job of organizing all the information. Sorry about that.
If you find a seo company and wish for a second oppinion I would be happy to help you out. Just send me a note or a comment on one of my posts and I will see what I can do. Feel free to also inquire about my services although I only select a few from time to time.
If you enjoyed this article please send me your comments, suggestions and questions.
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