What to Look for in an SEO Company
How do you know what to look for in a Search Engine Optimization Partner?
There are many search engine optimization companies out there and it can be hard to find someone you trust. Achieving optimal search engine results is different from optimizing your site for the web. It's a little harder to see tangible results and measure your return on investment. Often, there are undisclosed costs in the fine print of the proposal or contract. Here are a few thoughts for you to keep in mind when looking to invest in Search Engine Marketing.
What do they promise?Do they promise #1 results in all search engines? If so, beware. It is extremely difficult to achieve this without paid listings or unethical practices which can actually harm your search engine longevity in the process.
We recommend you request your vendor to specify whether they are talking about paid listings or organic listings and to specify the means by which they intend to achieve the promised results. For top dollar, you can get #1 results through paid listings, but that gets expensive quickly and is typically a temporary means of driving traffic to your site.
Look for a company with a history of achieving results ethically. Work with someone who understands the dynamics of search engines and how to apply the proper search engine optimization techniques within your website. Understanding your industry will also be beneficial in reaching attainable results. The bottom line is this: ethical practices equal fabulous results.
How long have they been in business?When shopping for an SEO company, it's sometimes hard to decipher exactly how long a company has been in business. The longer they've been in business, the more likely they are to understand search engines and web development, and to be able to compete in the marketplace. There are many businesses that have invested thousands of dollars in search engine optimization, only to find out that the company they contracted with no longer exists.
You should request a list of references and sites that they have worked with for search engine optimization. Be sure to follow up on the claims they're making. Do your homework; you have a reputation to maintain.
What's in the fine print?If it's not included in the proposal, assume you aren't getting it. For example, find out if you have options as to where you can host your web site. Some companies exclude that information, only to over-charge you for hosting services later.
Monitor incremental costs that crop up to actually make the changes recommended on a regular basis. It's one thing to receive recommendations that can change the way people find you online; it's another to pay additional unanticipated funds month after month to get the recommendations implemented. Preventing this is easy: find out if the actual changes are included in your ongoing monthly charge. A true partner will disclose this up front and not keep you guessing.
Pay attention to how many actual pages are being optimized. Often times, "package" deals will sell you short in terms of how much optimization is included vs. what you actually need. Work with professionals who evaluate you as a unique client and who take the time to tailor their optimization program to your specific needs.
Be careful of ambiguous statements, such as "and much more"or "behind the scenes" work. A good SEO partner will be forthright about all aspects of optimization, including sharing the nitty-gritty details if you want them about website code, recommended changes and overall strategies.
Bottom line: find out what all possible charges could be for your project and get it in writing, as well as what is expected of you during this project.
What is their process for optimizing your site?Do they keep you in the dark about what they're doing? If so, they're not the right partner for you! It's your money and you should make sure that they will submit everything they'll be doing on your site to you in writing.
All too often, SEO companies will submit sites to irrelevant and unethical "link farms" for a quick fix. This ends up hurting the site in the long run. Make sure all work is spelled out in writing before it's done.
What else should I consider?Consider the possibility of more content generation as the site grows. Having a professional copywriter on hand will be important for your website's growth. Oftentimes this can be included as an addendum in an ongoing monthly agreement for a set fee/set deliverable by month.
What kind of reporting will you get? After investing in site-wide changes and modifications to better your rank, the report you see each month will coincide with your success and progress. A true partner will be more than willing to share a sample with you so you understand exactly what you'll be seeing each month.
Can you make changes to the site yourself? You may already have the capabilities in-house to make changes to your web site. Check to see if your search engine optimization partner will work as a consultant, letting you retain control of your site.
5 Reasons to Create a Partnership with a Search Engine Marketing Firm
Constant Search Engine Updates
The major search engines are constantly updating their algorithms and the way they report results within a search query. It is very time consuming to keep up with their continuous changes and updates. It's definitely a full time job.
Commitment Needed for Search Engine Optimization & Pay Per Click (PPC) Campaigns
A commitment is needed when pursuing a search engine optimization program or PPC campaign. These programs require consistent website updates and strategic individualized tweaking of your optimization plan. Having an SEO or SEM consultant will help you free your time to pursue other marketing ideas.
Competition in Organic & PPC Results
There are millions of web pages competing for #1 placement in organic search engine results and in first page results for Pay Per Click. A trustworthy SEO/SEM partner will provide you with constant site monitoring and assist in interpreting results and maintaining budgets.
Fresh Eyes for Your Website to Help Increase Conversions
You have been part of the growth and development of your company, know the ins and outs, and have spent plenty of time on your company website. Having a fresh set of eyes and an experienced professional's point of view may be just what you need to enhance your presence and increase your online conversions. It's sometimes helpful to have someone help you see the forest for the trees!
Analytics & Support
Partnering with an SEO/SEM firm opens the door to new interpretations and possibly new software for tracking and viewing analytics on your website. Most companies should report on web traffic, keyword visibility and conversion rates on your website and help you interpret the data presented. Along with analytics, the support you will receive from your partnership will aid in your SEO and SEM campaigns. There is always an efficient team behind your program, rather than one or two people in-house that can get hung up on the same problem.
To learn more about search engine optimization and what you should look for in an SEO partner, please visit the Industrial Search Engine Marketing Blog. Our brings industrial manufacturers, distributors and suppliers up to speed with the latest search engine marketing trends and technologies, to help support and enhance their current advertising programs, and help them make more informed decisions when it comes to evaluating their search engine marketing partners. This blog, in addition to our Internet Marketing Blog is maintained by our SEO professionals.
Interested in partnering with Ecreativeworks? Contact us to request more information on search engine optimization and search engine marketing.