Deprecated: mysql_connect(): The mysql extension is deprecated and will be removed in the future: use mysqli or PDO instead in /home/a26f9f83/public_html/articles/includes/config.php on line 159
Finding the Right SEO Company > NetSparsh - Viral Content you Love & Share

Finding the Right SEO Company

I often talk to people who have lost faith in Search Engine Optimization (SEO) firms because of bad experiences. Either they saw no results, felt that they were tricked into subscribing to a service that could not work, or that they wasted money on a firm that did them no good. Although I agree that there are bad SEO firms out there, I know that there are also many good ones. It's your job to make sure you find an SEO firm that will work for you.

Search engines are the basis of Internet existence and survival. Recent studies have concluded that over 90 percent of all web surfers use search engines to find what they are looking for. Thus, in order to be successful on the Internet, your website must be search engine friendly. If people who search the Internet for your products or services are not finding your Web site, you need search engine optimization (SEO).

Now some of you may take on the task of optimizing your own sites. For those people, there are plenty of "how to" articles on the Internet that can help you. If you need more help, drop me an email and I'll give you some ideas. However, many webmasters decide instead to let an SEO company handle their marketing. Search Engine Optimization is a full time job, and many companies need to hire someone to do it for them. If this is your intent, you should know what to look for, and what to watch for, when selecting the right SEO company.

1. Make Sure They, and Their Clients, are Successful and Well Optimized

If your SEO company does not rank high on most major search engines under their specific services, then they probably won't have the ability to get you high ranking on yours. For example, if you're located in Boston, your SEO company should at least rank on the first page in Google, Yahoo, and MSN under such search terms as "Boston SEO," "Boston Internet Marketing," "Boston Web Marketing," or even "Boston Web Design." If you found them through pay-per-click or sponsored listings, this only means that they do not have the ability to optimize their own websites and are forced to pay for their clientele.

In addition, it is a good idea to check the success of their clients. All SEO companies have a client listing, if for no other reason than to offer front page links to their big spenders. Take a good look at these clients' sites. Check for quality of content and keywords. View the source and see how well the meta tags are structured and how well they apply to the content given. And most importantly, go to the major search engines and find where these clients land on the search terms they are targeting. If the SEO company has created a successful marketing campaign for each of its clients, chances are you're looking at a good SEO firm. However, if neither the SEO company or its listed clients have high rankings, I would recommend you find a firm that does.

2. Make Sure Someone Answers the Phone or Responds to Email

Although this may sound funny, I can't stress how important it is to find a SEO company that will be there when you need them. Before choosing an SEO company, call them. If they pick up, you're in good shape. If they don't pick up, but call back within 2 hours, you're still looking pretty good. If it takes you a handful of phone calls and emails, or a number of days to get a response, you might be in bad shape.

Say you've just received a new product that you would like to market. Say that product is seasonal, only for the holiday season, and your ability to sell it relies on the timeliness with which you can get it seen on the search engines. You need a company that you can contact to put immediate marketing efforts to your new pages and products. If it takes 3 to 4 weeks for your SEO firm to make changes and improvements, you might want to look for a company that can keep up with your fast-paced business and demanding customers.

3. Make Sure They Understand How Search Engines Work

Keeping a website at the top of the search engines has become a science. The best search engines frequently modify the way their databases list Web sites, and constantly change the search criteria used to find and present web pages.

To understand the quality of a company's search engine optimization services, you must first understand how search engines work. Search engines list websites in two distinct manners: pay per click listings and organically optimized listings.

Pay per click listings are the listings that appear on the top or right side of most search engines under the heading "Sponsored Links", or some related term. This type of listing is paid for. Web sites that wish to get top search engine placement without optimization can pay a certain cost that is charged to their search engine accounts every time their sponsored link is clicked on by a prospective client. Cost per click rates range anywhere between $0.10 and $10.00 per search. Some bigger-budget eCommerce businesses can spend up to $50,000 a month on pay per click marketing.

Organically optimized listings are the listings that appear at the top of search engine pages without having to pay for these listings. This type of listing is free. However, your website must be properly optimized to appear at the top of all search engines using organic optimization. Search engines use unique programs which send agents referred to as "spiders" and "robots" to your Web site to collect data. Your website must be structured properly to aid these robots in their search for information.

A quality SEO firm will know how to properly structure your website for top organic optimization and, ultimately, top search engine placement. Watch out for SEO firms that take your money and invest in pay-per-click marketing. Although this will get you immediate results, it does nothing to optimize your site in the long run, will not be as profitable as an organic marketing campaign, and will keep you dependent on SEO companies for your success. And pay-per-click marketing is something you can easily do yourself; if that's the route you wish to take.

4. Make Sure They Follow-Up with Internet Research

In addition to knowing how to optimize correctly, an SEO firm should be constantly investigating the Internet's most popular search engines in order to stay aware of the latest techniques for promoting a Web site on the Internet. If they are not giving you monthly reports on the status of your listings, the increasing quantity of your links, and the number of unique visitors to your site, you might not be working with the right SEO company. These reports should not only show where your site is ranked on each of the major search engines for each of the major terms you target, but also show you how you have improved from the previous month and where your competitors stand.

5. Make Sure You Constantly Know What They're Doing

The major problem most people have with internet marketing guys is that they don't see them everyday. It's not like these guys come into the office everyday, or even sit down with the boss for a daily conference call. Most of them work out of their homes, spending 12 hours a day on the computer. Now I'm not saying that they will take your money and do nothing for you, but it's good to keep your eyes on them like you would any employee. On the days that they work for you, have them send you day-end reports detailing the pages they optimized, the content they added, the keywords they marketed, and the links they added. This will allow you a better understanding of what they do on your clock, and allow you to keep your eye on their progress and effectiveness.

Overall, you can find a good SEO company. There are hundreds out there. But it is your responsibility to make sure you find the right one. Don't just pick the first firm you find, then complain when you see no results. Find your results before you hire any SEO company, and you will put your business on the right track for Internet success.

Nathaniel Long is an Internet marketing specialist for Allied Internet Productions, a Denver-based web design and marketing company specializing in graphic and flash design, internet marketing and search engine optimization. Visit their site at http://www.alliedinternetproductions.com, or call them toll free at 800-935-1820.

In The News:

On-Page SEO vs Off-Page SEO  Business 2 Community
Are Questions Good For SEO?  Business 2 Community
Digital PR Dictionary  Business 2 Community
4 Ways SEO Changed in 2020  MarketingProfs.com
How Important is Content for SEO?  Search Engine People
How to Learn SEO: A U.S. News Guide  U.S. News & World Report

How to Manage SEO

Whether you launch a search engine optimization program in-house or... Read More

Search Engine Saturation Tool ? A Must Have SEO Tool

Search Engines have become the soul of the Internet. They... Read More

Emerging Methods for Effective Search Engine Ranking

Search Engine traffic has always been and continues to be... Read More

How To Make Your Website More Successful? (Part II)

In part I of our series of how to make... Read More

Search Engine Musical Chairs

News broke this week that Yahoo has purchased the Inktomi... Read More

3 Deadly Search Engine Marketing Sins

My inbox this week provided glaring examples of three all... Read More

Getting Listed in the ODP, Google Directory

First of all, the Google directory is really just the... Read More

Choosing your Meta-Keywords

Introduction This article assumes you already know what... Read More

Spamglish; A Search Engine Comedy With A Language All Its Own

When the movie Spanglish hit the screens in 2004, it... Read More

Understanding Google - What You Need To Know To Conquer This Search Engine Giant

Use a keyword density of about 1 to 2%. Use... Read More

Are Search Engines Worth It Any More?

The "Number One" Question - the question that I (and... Read More

Is This A ?DMOZ Killer? In The Making?

Is building a Human-Edited Fully "Democratic" Search Directory Possible?The independent... Read More

eMarketing Sabotage - Top 10 Steps To Kill Your Search Engine Marketing Practices

We at America Web Works find ourselves amazed at the... Read More

Search Wars! - MSNs Opening Salvo

With all the recent publicity given to Google as the... Read More

SEO Basics - 8 Key Strategies For Online Business Success

The world of search engine optimization (SEO) can be a... Read More

The Wonders of Wordtracker: Its More than a Hunt for Keywords

For me personally, Wordtracker.com is not just a... Read More

Why Search Engine Marketing Has A Passion for Web Site Usability

Watching a recent football game, I imagined two very different... Read More

Goofy Mistakes that Hurt Your Search Engine Rankings

One thing is for sure, you don't want to spend... Read More

Do Search Engines Like Your Web Site?

Between 75% and 98.8% of visitors to Web sites come... Read More

Local Search Optimization - A Guide to Getting Started

While searching the web these days, it's hard not to... Read More

Reciprocal Link Exchange Management Software

When shopping online for Link Management Software that can... Read More

Google Loosing Fan Base?

"Nothing last forever but the Earth and sky." - from... Read More

Google News - Just another article announcer?

In Google's recent battle towards becoming an international news center,... Read More

When SEO Takes the Value out of a Website

Every webmaster would like to see his/her website to be... Read More

Searching The Internet Without Search Engines

The World Wide Web contains more than ten million websites... Read More