Like a mechanically-declined drivers getting suckered into buying new air-filters every at every oil change, too often, honest small businesses get caught in a contract with a low quality search engine optimization (SEO) firm. Here’s how to avoid that.
Look For A Company With…
1. A Deep Portfolio
If a SEO firm has had success with hundreds of companies before yours, chances are they will have success with yours. Furthermore, take advantage of a company’s vertical marketing strategy. If you own a legal firm, ask the web company how many law firms’ sites they’ve optimized in the past five years. If you own a chain of restaurants in Ohio, ask the web company how many Ohio-based sites they’ve optimized.
2. Years of Experience.
3. A Holistic Approach to the Web.
Too often, firms will optimize a site to the point of making it cluttered, illegible and ultimately useless . To them, including five keyword-phrases in every sentence is a fast and easy way to increase traffic. As any website browser will tell you, it’s a great way to disengage your customers, as well as eventually get penalized and drop in rankings, and fast. A reputable SEO firm realizes that your site needs to attract two types of users: search engine bots AND potential buyers.
4. Realistic, tangible goals.
Quality SEO companies set baselines; conduct detailed reporting that tracks the number of visitors per month and where those visitors came from (Google? Yahoo? Bing?); and finally calculate your return on investment. Quite simply, any SEO firm that tries to keep you in the dark is not a reputable one.
Avoid Companies Who…
1. Promise first place rankings within a few weeks.
If a company’s claims are too good to be true, they probably are. First place rankings take at least a few months, and even then, are anything but inevitable.
2. Only discuss increasing traffic.
Remember, traffic is good; quality traffic is great; but above all, sales are necessary.