Five Tips to Help You Find a Good SEO Company
It’s no secret that search engines are making life more difficult for SEO experts. Many ‘so-called’ experts have completely given up and opted for different careers. But to suggest that SEO is dead is far from the truth.
In fact, online marketing is more important now than it ever was. Google is faced with around two million search queries each minute. And the success of many bricks and mortar businesses relies on being found online by potential customers. Yet, there are still thousands of ‘self-proclaimed’ experts around the world doing more harm than good because they really just don’t know what they are doing.
As a business owner, you are faced with many challenges on a daily basis. Managing staff, dealing with customers, keeping up with laws, paying taxes, advertising, marketing, finance and then along came the internet. Instead of advertising in the local paper, or on a billboard, it became necessary to promote your business online. It didn’t really take long for there to be a large number of businesses and individuals who could manage the demands of business to support their online marketing. And of course, online marketing has many different areas of specialty. There is Social Media, PPC Advertising, e-marketing and Search Marketing. But today we are discussing the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow, affectionately known as SEO.
SEO or search engine optimization is simply a matter of optimizing a website so that it ranks better than your competitor’s website for certain search terms. Or is it? The search engines themselves use around 200 different signals to determine where each page of your website will rank and for what keywords. Still, sound simple? If your website has 200 pages and there are 200 factors for each page, that’s a lot of stuff right?
WHAT ARE THE SEARCH ENGINES LOOKING FOR?
Search Engines are really just huge machines retrieving information on behalf of their customers. When a user types a query in the search pane, the search engine wants to give that user the best answer or result. They want the user to receive the answer quickly and easily. So it stands to reason that the search engine is unlikely to deliver junk at the top of the page. Your website needs well written, relative content that provides answers to questions and gives your readers the information they are looking for.. Every minute on Facebook there are 684,478 pages of information being shared around the globe. And there are 571 new websites coming online. For your website to stand out, it really needs to be better than your competitor’s website. Your content needs to be regularly updated and read by your users.
There are four reasons why your customers will choose to do business with you or your company. These are:
Frequency (they hear from you frequently).
Recency (they heard from you recently).
Potency (you are that good, everyone wants to do business with you).
Referral (someone suggested that they use you).
Social Media is the greatest referral business of all time. That is why companies, brands and organizations receive 34,722 ‘Likes’ on Facebook every minute of the day. Search Engines also work on referrals. That is when one website which already has trust in the eyes of the search engines, creates a link to your website. This link serves as an indication that you have something relevant to offer their reader and that by clicking on it, the reader will have something to gain. Large, established websites can have millions of links pointing to them. New websites start with none. In order for search engines to see your website as important, you have to get good quality links from other websites. And you can’t buy them!
So ethical Search Engine Optimization Companies that do get results for their customers will do so by creating good quality content. And they will find good quality links to point to your website. They will also address issues such as your website’s design, usability and architecture. As well as the speed of the website and what your specific needs are.
5 Questions to ask your SEO Company
1. How long have you been in business?
You need to find out how long they have been in the business of optimizing websites. SEO is a field in which most practitioners proclaim to be experts. And unless you are, you will find it impossible to determine if they are in fact telling you the truth.
2. What are your address and phone number?
Many online companies are in fact not really businesses. If you are new to the online world, you may not be aware that the owner of the website is in a different country, or how reputable they are. Only deal with companies that have a physical address and a phone number.
3. Show me some current SERPS!
Search Engine Results Pages (SERPS) show the rankings of any website. If your prospective SEO is doing there job properly they will be able to show you results for existing clients. They should have page one results for a range of keywords that are relevant to that business. If they can’t show you results, find someone who can!
4. Do you offer a Guarantee?
It is impossible to guarantee ‘Page One Results’. It is also a practice that is frowned upon by Google. If someone is offering you a guarantee they are not ethical and you should not deal with them. Offering guarantees for 10 or 20 keywords is a common trick. The keywords you will rank for are likely to be low traffic keywords that no one else is trying to rank for. Ranking for competitive keywords is not only difficult it can be very costly.
5. How much will it cost?
To effectively optimize any website takes a great deal of time and knowledge. It cannot be done on the cheap. If someone is offering you ‘Cheap SEO’ then walk away real fast. Companies that do a bad job on your website can cost you far more in the long run. Many cheap SEO companies will build bad quality links to your website for a ‘quick hit’. Trying to get these links removed later on can be costly and sometimes very difficult. You need a Six Month plan, not an overnight success. If someone is going to work for your company for six months, then this is going to cost more than just a few hundred dollars.
There’s an old saying that ‘Nothing good is cheap and Nothing cheap is good’. This applies to online marketing and Search Engine Optimization. You will usually get what you pay for. Ask for a detailed proposal and a written contract to avoid any misunderstandings. But most importantly, obtain proof of the company’s successes.