SEO is one of those unregulated professions that have sprung up all over the Internet over the past 20 years. You can’t get a college degree in it, there are no licensing organizations and you don’t have to pass a test to hang up your shingle and pronounce that yes indeed, your firm can optimize websites.
Companies that hire SEO talent are wise to be skeptical about guarantees of first place rankings and wild promises of Internet riches from first place rankings. We have seen way too many companies get “fleeced” month after month with nothing to show for their monies spent other than cancelled checks.
SEO is becoming more and more difficult for a great many reasons, not the least of which are the billions of websites (and more each day) that are vying for the coveted positions on the first page of search engine results. What worked well last month, or last year, may not work as well this month or this year. Potential clients come to us with their sites that used to rank on the first page and now are languishing on page 8 or worse and they have no idea why or how to fix that which is obviously broken.
What is even more troubling is that these very sites were being managed by large agencies. Upon further investigation, these agencies were outsourcing their work to SEO companies that just so happen to have a large menu of “packaged plans” that happen to fit within clients’ budgets with enough room to make a tidy profit for doing absolutely nothing but selecting the outsourcer.
Our tips for selecting a great SEO company are as follows and are gleaned from our experience fixing the problems that clients come to us with:
- Make sure the people you hire are the ones that are doing the work. Communication is a pivotal element in a successful internet marketing relationship.
- Choose honesty. Rankings bounce all over the place. That is the only constant. If someone shows you a suspicious number of steady rankings over a year’s time, listen to your gut. We are reminded of the warning signs from Bernie Madoff’s Ponzi Scheme – no one can produce consistent results year after year without some variance.
- Rankings are great. Conversions are even better. It does you absolutely no good to get traffic that doesn’t convert. Look for a SEO firm that focuses on both traffic and conversions.
- Choose experience. It is part of Internet lore that the young guns are where the brains are. Be careful because it is that wet-behind-the-ears college grad that will be in charge of your multi-million dollar Internet business’ marketing efforts. Make sure they have had bottom line responsibility for more than a lemonade stand in their careers.
Follow these simple tips and you will find yourself, and your website, in a better position a year from now.