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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.

Written by: Daniel Griffith on August 2, 2010

Daniel is an Author, Designer, and Entrepreneur. With over 10 years of industry experience, Daniel utilizes his unique blend of mathematics and poetry, engineering and creative thinking to solve both technical and business challenges.

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