SEO, or Search Engine Optimization is easy right? Sure, just change some meta data, sprinkle a few key words here and there and presto, instant results on page one of Google. Five years ago, you could get away with this type of effort and do well on any of the major search engines. Given that this is the depth of most people’s understanding of Search, it is easy for companies to scam businesses. Their model is to promise better results at a cheaper price. Unfortunately, most of the public is not very smart and savvy when it comes to making good, informed decisions. Before you engage with a search company you should ask the following questions:
1. What is your page rank?
Page Rank is the ranked assigned by Google to every single page on the world wide web. We have seen countless companies do business with a search company that has a page rank of 0 or 1. Without a high page rank, they are not ranking for any key words or phrases themselves. If an SEO company has a rank of 0 how are they going to rank your own site?
2. What is your SEO Strategy
Every company should have an SEO strategy. That SEO strategy should be based on sound metrics that drive back directly to your corporate strategy. If an SEO company can’t show you their own SEO strategy and why they have chosen it, then it is time to move on.
3. What Is your linking Strategy?
Just recently Google announced that they will be shutting down link farms. What are link Farms? Link farms were invented so that companies could easily create links to other companies, simply for the purposes of increasing their seo. Unfortunately, unscrupulous search firms use them all the time. Customers only find out about them when they see their rankings plummet or if they use a link analysis tool like Jungle Torch which finds all the bad links before they hurt your ranking.
4. Who are your people?
Search requires thought, experience and also brute force. If your search company has a “Few people” it is impossible for them to rank your site well. At Kirk we often spend hundreds of hours in a month to bring a clients rank up quickly.
5.What about content?
SEO writing is crucial part of not only good SEO but good marketing. We have seen allot of horrific writing both on and off page seo. If you care about your company and your brand, it is important that you hire a company that has professional journalists or writers on staff. Ask them for a sample of their portfolio. If they have not written for a major publication, do you really want them writing for your company?
6. Do you have references?
A good SEO company should be able to provide you with a host of references that are in a variety of different industries. The references should also be a mix of long and short term clients and be able to tell you exactly how the efforts of the search company boosted their profits. If they can’t then find a search company that is focused on boosting your profits, not theirs.