When you are in need of an SEO professional to help you with your business or personal website, it is always a good idea to ask some questions to make sure that you get the best service for the what you pay.
For search engine optimization, you aren’t looking just to increase the traffic to your website. What you would be looking for is so much more – an increase in visitors, an increase in conversion, return customers, to be #1 in the search engines, and a good search engine experience.
There are many, many companies that claim to be SEO experts, but in reality there are few that can provide you with a good return on your investment.
There is too much at risk for you to select the first one that sounds like they’ll do a good job for you. There are many variables that need to be taken into consideration before making a decision.
The following are a few questions that you should always ask:
Ask them how they determine the best strategy for your business. This should not be an easy answer for them. If they come back with an immediate response during your initial discussions – you should be wary of their capabilities.
Each business proposal should be thoroughly investigated. That means, as a minimum they should do specific research of your business, your business needs, and your current online presence.
It is only from the initial information that they gather can they determine the best course of action. There is no catch-all strategy; each business should have their own plan for increasing their business online.
Do they have any references to show you?
References are a good thing, but they are not always the most accurate judge of a business’s capabilities. Think of a start-up – there are many companies that are just starting out that could provide you with the best and most current practices. You may be better off making a judgement call from a combination of references (if they are available) and from the answers that you get from questions you ask.
Do they guarantee rankings?
In reality when it comes to website optimizing, no one can guarantee any kind of great success. Having said that, a good SEO company with a good strategy for optimizing your online presence, done the right way using current methods would most likely be able to get you the results you want. There are just too many variables and search engines regularly change their requirements.
A reputable company would be confident in the abilities but would not absolutely guarantee a top search engine placement. It is okay for them to be confident in first page placement and very confident in second page placement. That way, when your business does reach top rankings it would be a really nice bonus.
What are some of the most common tactics that they use?
Make sure that you understand what search engines like and don’t like to see. There are many ways that a website can reach #1 placement, and sometimes really quickly, but keep in mind that in order to do so unethical tactics are most likely being used.
When (not if) search engines find that your website violates their terms of service you risk having your site penalized or banned. It is extremely difficult to recover from either of these scenarios – if at all. In most cases, it is best to start-over with a brand new website.
SEO needs to be done the right way so that you get and keep a good online reputation for the long-term.
Will changes need to be made to your website?
Once an optimization expert reviews your website, it is most likely that he or she will recommend some changes. This is especially important if your website has not been recently reviewed or updated for optimization. Things change very often and very quickly in the online world.
One very important thing that should be guaranteed is that a business providing SEO services will use only ethical strategies. A good search engine optimization plan takes time – in some cases it takes months to see results. It may take a while to see improvements, but you would likely benefit with those types of results for months and years to come.