Twelve Points to Consider Before Hiring an In-House Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Consultant

When a Small, medium or big sized business needs a competent search engine optimization (SEO) consultant, there are four options available:

1 – Assemble a team of in-house webmasters, programmers and marketers to do the job.

2 – Contract the job to a specialized SEO company.

3 – Post an advertisement to hire an SEO consultant to work as an employee in the company.

4 – Get an in-house SEO consultant from a specialized company to work with their staff without being an employee.

So, what is the best option for your company? There are many points to consider before taking your decision.

1 – Assembling your in-house team of webmasters and marketers will never work: From my long experience, assembling a team of in-house webmasters, programmers and marketers to do the job will never succeed as none of them has enough experience in optimization. Moreover, they do not realize what are the challenges that they are up against or the hidden problems from which their website is suffering.

2 – Applying the best SEO practices: When starting any online project, the in-house SEO consultant will work with your managers to ensure that the Best SEO Practices are applied to every project, which will make it much faster to get your new web pages and other internet promotional advertisement to the first pages of Google and other major search engines.

3 – SEO training seminars and workshops: An in-house SEO consultant will be able to organize SEO training seminars and workshops for different departments and different levels of employees on how to apply and include the Best SEO Practices in every online project.

4 – Getting more profitable and productive ideas: The daily discussions and the direct communications between an in-house SEO consultant and the company administrators, managers, directors, programmers and webmasters will spark many new ideas on both sides. A simple idea or a suggestion in such an atmosphere can make a huge difference in starting a new campaign or modifying and existing one to be more profitable.

5 – Creating the most SEO friendly websites: An in-house SEO consultant will be able to work more easily with your managers to apply any necessary modifications or redesigns to your websites in order to convert them into the most SEO friendly websites in the shortest possible time and with the least efforts. This will ensure that your websites will rank in the first pages of Google, Yahoo, Bing and other major search engines in the shortest time.

6 – Detailed SEO audit: working with your webmasters and programmers, an in-house SEO consultant can more easily perform a detailed SEO audit to list all the points that need correction or modification in your website and in your different online advertising campaigns.

7 – Selecting the most effective and profitable keywords to use for optimization: Having a direct contact with your staff in different departments will enable the in-house SEO consultant to finish the process of selecting the most effective and profitable keywords in no time, so the whole process of optimization can start quickly and become more effective and productive.

8 – Adding social media marketing as an integral part of your internet marketing strategies: The in-house SEO consultant will have a direct relationship with a few selected employees in different departments to train them on how to establish a solid presence in different Social Media platforms. Maintaining a healthy presence on different Social Media platforms is a costly and time-consuming process. Having the in-house SEO consultant start and only supervise the selected company employees doing the daily Social Media Marketing activities will significantly reduce the cost involved in the process.

9 – Publishing press releases: Being in direct contact with different levels of administration, it is much easier for an in-house SEO consultant to find dozens of ideas for new press releases every week. He can coordinate and publish many press releases every month to promote the products and services of the company, enhance branding and create hundreds of high quality back links which will post the positions of many keywords to rank in the first pages of Google, Yahoo, Bing and other major search engines.

10 – Blogging: An in-house Consultant will have better chances to get many blog posts from different departments to post in the company blogs every week. An outside SEO company will not be in a similar position to contact different experts in the company to write blog posts. Every well written and optimized blog post is an asset and a testimony for the company. Blog posts will create hundreds of high quality back links in addition to promoting the products and services of the company.

11 – Saving your time and money wasted on interviewing and hiring: Hiring an experienced SEO consultant is not an easy task. Hours are wasted in evaluating and interviewing many candidates. The interviewers usually do not have enough knowledge to enable them to pick up the most qualified candidates. On the other hand, getting an In-House SEO Consultant from a specialized SEO company will ensure having an experienced consultant without wasting any time in the hiring process.

12 – Full-time or part-time: An In-House SEO Consultant from a specialized company can work one or two days per week, one or two days per month or five days a week. Depending or you needs and the turnover of your online projects, the in-house consultant can work one or two days in one week, five days the next week and one day in the following week. This provides you with flexibility which is not always possible when you hire an employee and save your business a lot of money when there is not much work for an SEO consultant.

In Conclusion:

Hiring a competent SEO consultant is never easy especially if the hiring managers are not proficient enough in SEO to identify and pick the best candidate.

An in-house SEO consultant will work wonders for any business website by establishing clear standards for the Best SEO Practices in all company departments involved in the process of launching, modifying, improving and maintaining the many websites of your company.

Getting an in-house SEO consultant from a specialized SEO company is the most productive and cost-effective option. Many companies have realized the value and the cost savings involved in getting an In-House SEO Consultant. These companies have achieved their goals in getting higher returns on their investments in web optimization and internet marketing.

SEO Training Courses: Taking Your Business To The Next Level

Today, website owners and web developers are realizing the importance of SEO training courses. The truth is, if you want to drive more traffic to your website, you need to learn how to properly optimize your site. In order to do this, you must be fully equipped with the latest SEO techniques and information that will guide you along the way.

The Importance of SEO

There has been an increasing number of websites you can find online. With this, the competition to get on top of search engines is getting tougher. A lot of website owners are doing their best in order to increase their site’s traffic.

Search engine optimization, also known as SEO, plays an important role in driving more traffic to a particular website. SEO is considered to be a complex subject but with ample knowledge and skills, anyone can properly optimize a website. To effectively optimize a website, you need to learn the basics of SEO and everything you need to know about it.

Why Take SEO Training Courses?

Latest SEO Information and Techniques – If you want to become knowledgeable about SEO, you can find a lot of resources online for free. However, you cannot fully rely on these resources because they could be outdated ones. With this, taking an SEO course is the best option you can do. You’ll be ensured that with a course on SEO, you’ll only get the latest SEO strategies and information.

Personalized Training – One of the best things about taking a course on SEO is the opportunity of obtaining a personalized training in which you are guided with a step by step learning.

Less Expensive Than Hiring An SEO Company – Today, there are a lot of websites which hire an SEO company to help them reach the peak of success. However, opting for this kind of option can be quite expensive. With a good SEO training, you are ensured with a personalized training at an affordable price.

A Deeper Understanding About SEO – When you want to learn more about SEO, you can always do a self-study by doing a research online. However, SEO is full of technical terms which you are not yet familiar about. By taking SEO training courses, you’ll be able to grasp a deeper understanding about what SEO is all about. A course on SEO will definitely guide you along the way.

If you own a website, it is indeed beneficial to take an SEO training course for you to be well-informed of the latest SEO techniques and information. This way, you will be able to know how to effectively optimize your website. Knowing the most effective SEO strategies can be your edge among other website owners. If you are looking for a reliable SEO course, there are a lot of SEO training courses you can find online. With this, you’ll be able to find a reliable SEO training course to answer your needs.

How Do I Get Visitors to My Site? (The Truth About SEO)

Think of your site as a physical location. How would you get people to come and see you? Direct mail, newspapers, magazines, radio, TV, word of mouth, flyers, business cards, T-shirts, packaging, FaceBook, Twitter, email campaigns, banner ads on websites – traditional advertising works for websites too.

Then there are those methods you can only use for websites: click through advertising and search engine optimization (SEO). Click through advertising costs either by the ad, like traditional advertising, or by the click – each time someone clicks on your ad to get to your site, you pay. As with other advertising channels, the more people who are known to view the page where your ad resides, the more you pay. Ads can appear on various web sites, or at the top of search engine pages. The most popular pay per click app is Google AdWords. Click through advertising may be a good option for you.

This article will focus on the other online only method: Search Engine Optimization (SEO). SEO is all about getting your site to the top of the list when someone does a search in Google, Bing/Yahoo or another search engine.

Watch out for Snake Oil

Many claim that search engine optimization (getting your site to the top of that list) is science or magic or some other sort of mystery that only a few very special people have the brains to understand. – NOT TRUE! Effective search engine optimization is a lot of work. And it does take some technical knowledge. But the basics are just that – basic.

The purpose of this article is to demystify SEO so that you can select an honest SEO firm. Or if you have a bit of tech savvy you can see that it’s not impossible for you to do on your own. And even for those of you who love to browse, but aren’t so comfortable with the technical details, there is a lot of the SEO job that you are more qualified to do (or at least supervise) than any SEO firm.

How much SEO do you need?

Is your site for your school and everybody who will ever want to find it on Google already knows it exists and will look it up by typing in “Peoria Middle School”? Then you need just the tiniest bit of SEO.

Is your site for your family car dealership and the tri-state area sees Uncle Joe on TV every spring hopping up and down in a bunny suit inviting “y’all” to “come on down to the Kalamazoo Kia Kangaroo Sale”? Yours is not the only car dealer in town and when people search for car dealers they will probably type in something like “Kalamazoo cars” rather than “Kalamazoo Kia”, although if they really like Uncle Joe’s bunny suit, well you never can tell. This situation calls for a little SEO.

Is your business is entirely online? Say you sell remanufactured camera parts that you refurbish in your garage nights and weekends. Then pull out all the stops. You need lots of SEO.

Put Yourself in Google’s Shoes

Look at SEO from the perspective of the search engines. What’s their objective? The same as yours: lots of visitors. How do they attract all these visitors? They put the most useful sites at the top of the search results list. How do they decide which sites are most useful? They look for the most popular ones.

That’s right. SEO is not rocket science. It’s a popularity contest.

So then, how do you make your site more popular? First let’s define popularity in search terms – links from other sites to your site. Think high school. Popularity equals friends. So you want lots of friends, and not just any friends, you want popular friends. But well, when push comes to shove, not so popular friends are better than no friends at all. Translation – friends equals links and you want lots of links, but not just any links. You want links from sites that have lots of other sites linking to them. And those sites should have lots of sites linking to them and so on and so on and so on. A link from CNN.com is going to get you a lot more popularity points than a link from your local newspaper website. But then a hundred links from so-so sites might be better than one link from CNN. It’s hard to tell.

And that’s where the mystery/science SEO legend takes hold. The search engines are not going to tell you exactly how they rank pages. If they gave away all their secrets the cheaters would fake everything necessary to get to the top of the list.

There is a subculture of SEO gurus who spend their entire lives trying to unravel the precise algorithms the major search engines use to rank pages. And then they figure out how to use that information to their advantage. It’s a trial and error process. Eventually they get sites to rank high. Then the major search engines catch on and tweak things a bit so the SEO gurus have to start over again. It’s a never ending game of tug of war.

Not all these gurus are bad guys. Most are honest business people working to get the edge on the competition. But how much careful tweaking does your site really need? And how much money do you want to spend? It’s one of those diminishing returns things. Up to a point spending more time and money will yield a greater and greater ranking, and then, boom, a huge amount more will yield almost nothing.

Is there anything to SEO besides links?

Yes. KEYWORDS. These are the words and phrases that are typed into the search bar. In order for the search engines to find your site these keywords must be coded into almost every page on your site.

The nitty gritty

I am going to show you:

How to pick keywords and
Where to find sites willing to link to yours.

That’s it. That’s the gist of the whole SEO thing. No big mystery.

Keywords

These are the words (and/or phrases) that people type in the search bar when they are looking for sites like yours. They also tell the search engines that your site exists and what it is all about.

You need to pick words that people will use to find your site, but that will yield few enough results that you are more likely to appear near the top of the list.

Let’s use the example of Kalamazoo KIA. You don’t want to use “car” for a keyword. I tried that and Google gave me 4.9 billion results. What’s the likelihood that Kalamazoo Kia is going to be anywhere near the top of that list? Zero. Kia” would be better, but still too broad. “Kalamazoo cars”, “kalamazoo kia”, “michigan kia”, “kalamazoo new cars”, these would all yield a smaller pool of results. So how many keywords do you need? 10 or 15 is good. Too many gets us to that diminishing returns thing again. So I’ve thought up four words on my own and now my imagination has run out. What other words might potential Kalamazoo Kia customers type in? I can’t read minds, but I can find out. There is this cool tool, Google AdWords, and it is free. Once you register you can type in various keywords, “Kalamazoo Kia” for instance, and find out what related searches people have used and how popular those search terms are. Da! Da! – more useful key words. I found “kalamazoo kia dealerships”. After doing a Google search for “kalamazoo kia” I found out why it was necessary to add the “dealerships”. Kalamazoo has “kia’s” that are not even cars. Who’d a thunk?

So you’ve got your key words. What do you do with them? Use them in your url (site name – http://www.mykeywords.com ), have your web designer add them to the title and description tags on your web pages, and use them liberally, but not too liberally throughout your site copy.

Now that you have your keywords entered on your site pages, the search engines can categorize you by these keywords. Next you want to make sure that people searching for your category find you and not your competition.

Links

You want to be popular. You have got to get links. It’s time to pound the cyber pavement. SEO professionals can do this work for you but if you’re on a budget you can do most of the work yourself.

Get listed in industry directories. If you are selling necklaces you could search for “jewelry directory”.

Pursue reciprocal links. Look for sites that may be willing to link to your site, so long as you link to theirs. Continuing with the necklace example you would search for “jewelry add url”.

If you have a physical location, get your site listed on local directory/yellow page type sites.

Participate in industry forums, and if the forum allows, work a link to your site into your advice.

If there are any events associated with your site, list them on online community calendars.

Get an article, listing or mention about your site on the sites of any industry associations you belong to.

Write a press release and submit it to free press release sites like freepressrelease.com.

Try to get the sites that link to yours to use your keywords in their link.

BAD – Click here to find out about refurbished camera parts.

GOOD – Click here to find out about refurbished camera parts.

Don’t hide from the search engines

DO have your web designer generate sitemap.xml and robots.txt files add them to your site. The search engines look for these files when they are trolling the internet for sites.

Do NOT expect the search engines to find your keywords in the sections of your site that use: keyword links in images or javascript, frames/iframes, Flash or dynamic pages.

Don’t make the search engines mad

Playing dirty tricks, in an attempt to make your site appear popular, can get you blacklisted. Yep, the Search engines will turn their heads and pretend you don’t exist. You will not appear anywhere in the listings. If this happens you can appeal but your chances are not good. Your best hope if you are blacklisted is to start over with a brand new site.

So what are these dirty tricks? Some are simple, and some are complicated, but make sure your SEO firm doesn’t do any of them. They include repeating your keywords multiple times, keyword stuffing (hiding keywords by making the text the same color as the background), using keywords that don’t relate to your site’s content, automated programs that generate fake links just to make you look popular, robots that create zillions of pages for your site that are really just copies of your existing pages with a few changes here and there, to make you look important and popular. There are many others, but generally speaking, anything that attempts to make you look more popular than you really are is bad.

Putting SEO to work

Let’s go back to our 3 examples from the beginning of this article. How do we apply SEO to each one?

Peoria Middle School – a few keywords – “peoria school” “peoria middle school” and for those who can’t seem to get it right “peoria intermediate school” should do it. That way people who look you up on Google rather than by typing in your url http://www.peoriamiddleschool.com will be able to find you.

Kalamazoo Kia- most of your potential customers already know who you are. They’re “either looking for a new car or a new KIA car. They’re looking for deals, pictures of the latest models, or they want your phone number or customer service hours. There aren’t too many car dealers in town so you are popular among car dealers by default – not too much need to worry about links. You’ll need your keywords. Then you can list with the “local directory” sites and the car dealer and KIA directories. Are you participating in this year’s food drive? Make an announcement on your local online community calendars. A couple of popularity points won’t kill you but you don’t have to work too hard.

Cal’s Re-engineered camera parts – you are a needle in a haystack. You need all the help you can get. You’ll need keywords of course. And a comprehensive linking campaign. You might not have much money to spend on an SEO firm so you must work like the tortoise: slow and steady. Do a few press releases, check out all the industry sites and camera buff sites and organizations. Respond on forums – become an expert. Find some reciprocal links. Get listed in directories. Do a little bit everyday. Eventually you will become known to those who are looking for refurbished camera parts.

Who can help me get the job done?

Help! You said SEO wasn’t rocket science. This is getting complicated. I can’t do this all on my own – who will help?

Well it’s not rocket science and it’s not magic; neither is styling hair, but you won’t find me anywhere near anyone’s head with a pair of scissors. SEO does require specialized knowledge. If you have that knowledge, great, you can do this on your own if you choose, but for those who don’t the purpose of this article to get you to understand the basics, show you which parts you can do on your own (I can’t cut my own hair, but I do wash and brush it every day), and to help you find an honest vendor for the rest.

SEO firm – as long as they have access to the back end of your site they can do it all for you. Refer to this article and ask questions. Make sure the firm is above board.

Web designer – Your web designer should be able to put your keywords into your pages and create and upload your sitemap.xml and robots.txt files. Beyond that their ability and willingness to help with SEO will vary greatly. You may prefer a web designer who specializes or one that does it all.

What you can do on your own if you choose – you know your business/project better than your web designer or SEO firm. You are in a better position than they are to figure out your keywords and to determine which sites you want to link back to yours. You can also do a lot of the leg work if you choose – contacting sites and asking for links, writing press releases, making announcements on community calendars, participating in forum discussions, etc.

If you do all of the above, tailored to your specific situation of course, you will be ahead of the SEO game. Use common sense. Spend the time and money you need, but don’t go overboard and reach the point of diminishing returns. And remember, SEO takes time to yield results.

SEO a Scam? The Truth About the Industry

I frequent many SEO and Web Marketing forums on a daily basis and every so often there is a debate about the SEO industry and ethics. After being involved in a number of these debates, it has become really obvious that the main problems are the facts that no two SEO companies are alike and there is no unified methodology. It’s very hard to make statements about the industry as a whole because it’s debatable what exactly ‘SEO’ is. Mix in the fact that most SEO companies keep their methodology and campaign strategies secret and we have a situation where every company is totally different with very different results.

Fact 1 : There is no unified SEO methodology. SEO is actually defined by wikipedia as a process of improving traffic from SERPs to a site. Of course, HOW they do that is the real question and causes the debates.

Fact 2 : The effectiveness of an SEO campaign depends on the site structure, site content, keywords, methodology used, and how popular the site is. A site cannot just rank for any random keyword. SEO is also not voodoo. It is logic, problem solving, and Web marketing mixed together. If your site provides no value to users, it probably won’t rank.

Fact 3 : Some ‘SEOs’ do search engine optimization and some do search engine manipulation. Of course, it is all marketed as SEO. Unethical optimization provides results at any cost and is always short term (usually ends in a banned domain name). Ethical optimization opens up the site to the search engines and provides long term benefits.

Fact 4 : Most SEO companies get paid whether or not your site gets any rankings. Unfortunately, this is the case with the industry. Most SEO companies implement A, B, and C and move on to the next client. Hopefully, the site ranks. If it doesn’t, they always have more clients.

Fact 5 : Most SEO companies use both ethical and unethical inbound linking strategies.To maximize profits, it is very common for SEO companies to buy bulk links from India, links on spam/scraper web sites, or sell large directory submission packages. It is also common for SEO companies to place huge amounts of the contract into inbound linking to make up for the poor quality of the site optimization.

I don’t think it is fair to characterize the industry as a whole without figuring out what is wrong with it and how SEO companies can overcome it. So how exactly do we determine what is good and bad about the industry? I have now been involved with the Web for over 10 years and, specifically, with the SEO industry for almost 4 years and I’ve seen the inner workings of major SEO companies and worked with clients who had been burned by their previous SEO campaigns. Combined with numerous Web postings and forum debates talking about the same basic problems, I’ve compiled a list of the most common issues.

Problem 1: Responsibility for Results

It’s no secret that the vast majority of SEO companies take no responsibility for results. It is a fact that no SEO company can guarantee results (and if they do, they are lying to you). It is also a fact that the client is taking a risk by spending money with an SEO company that basically says ‘We’ll do what we can’. SEO companies simply guarantee they’ll do the work to ‘optimize’ the site, but without full disclosure of their methodology, what exactly is the client paying for? No other industry sells a product with no guarantees and no specific list of work that will be completed. Of course, SEO work is basically the sales of information and keeping the specifics of a methodology is important, but the combination of secrecy and no responsibility for results really makes SEO campaigns risky. So, how can an SEO company reduce the risk for the client and provide the best grade of service?

Answer 1: Incentive Based Pricing

The only real way to reduce the financial risk of the client is to share the risk. Through incentive-based pricing, the SEO company can charge a certain percentage of the total contract (say 70%) to cover their intellectual property and time while placing the rest of the contract price (remaining 30%) in incentives for success. Of course, incentives and their percentage of the contract would be totally relative depending on the campaign. This first step into sharing in the risk provides both reassurance to the client that the company believes in its methodology and places some of the financial burden of the campaign on the SEO company. At the moment, however, very few SEO companies are willing to share in the risk and charge the same price whether the client gets top rankings or no rankings at all (or possibly even lower rankings).

Problem 2: Unethical Optimization

Unfortunately, unethical (or blackhat) optimization is still very prominent on the Web. It’s also unfortunate that ‘SEO’ has been mistakenly confused with ‘Blackhat SEO’. This is still the biggest problem for SEO companies. Saying that all SEO companies deal in blackhat optimization is like saying everyone who emails is a spammer. Blackhat optimization is not optimization at all…it is search engine manipulation. Because there is so much money tied to top rankings, there will always be a market for unethical SEO and search engine spam. Until companies realize what is ethical and unethical and stop supporting those blackhat SEO companies, they will continue to thrive. This makes the industry as a whole look bad and does not reflect the ethics of good SEO companies. Blackhat provides fast, short term results, but is never a good option in the long run.

Answer 2: Ethical Optimization

There is no quick and easy solution to blackhat optimization’s stain on the SEO industry. I would suggest that all marketing departments research optimization techniques and educate themselves on what techniques are unethical. No SEO company is going to say they do unethical optimization. It’s also not a good idea to immediately trust a company or product based simply on their rankings. Unethical optimization DOES provide rankings…just not for the long run.

It would also be helpful if the major search engines would be more open and accessible to SEO companies. Currently, the major search engines and SEO companies do not deal with each other and have formed a sort of love-hate relationship. Because of this, many ethical SEOs have slowly moved into dark territory. Ethical optimization seeks to make sites more easily accessible to the engines and help to improve the engine’s search results. The problem is that the search engines mainly clump all SEO companies together the same way as uninformed users do: search engine manipulation. This is just not the case. Search engines do not want to reveal what they consider unethical because it would basically be providing a list of holes in their algorithms that blackhat SEOs would be able to manipulate further, but a defined list of ‘what not to do’ would provide a definitive list for businesses looking for an SEO company.

Basic Rules of Ethical Optimization

Any campaign that does not abide by the following rules is dealing in unethical optimization techniques and should be avoided.

1.) What the user sees and what the search engine sees should be exactly the same. Do not hide anything.

2.) Your keywords (and the resulting optimization) should exactly reflect the content of the page.Keywords should always reflect what your site is about.

3.) Do not build out pages exclusively for search engines. The site should always cater to both audiences (users and search engines). Catering to only users is why optimization is necessary. Catering only to search engines is optimization gone too far into blackhat.

4.) Do not participate in manipulative inbound linking schemes like link farms, bulk links, triangle linking, or any other unethical manipulation of your Google PageRank or link authority. Inbound links should be relevant to the content of your site and you should always know who is linking to you and where your links come from.

Problem 3: Assembly Line / Software SEO

With the growth of the SEO industry has also come the automation of SEO. The absolute first thing any prospective SEO client should know is that all effective SEO campaigns are custom. There is no checklist of items that will work exactly the same on every site. If the SEO company claims there is, then they are not doing full optimization and the campaign is minimal. A good optimization campaign optimizes the site architecture, text content, and code of the site. Assembly line SEO does not take into consideration the unique needs/design of the site and may even deal in blackhat optimization. SEO software especially should be looked at closely. There are really only two things SEO software could do that would work for any site: doorway pages (showing engines one thing and users a different thing; which is unethical) or a system of pages build exclusively for search engines (often called info or information pages and linked in an out of the way part of the page). Doorway pages are 100% unethical and info pages are deep in the gray area. Neither of those two methods address the architecture of the site, proper keyword analysis, or effective text content. The following links are examples of automated SEO software freely available on the Web. All links contain ‘nofollow’ to prevent the sites from getting inbound link credit from our site. These sites are NOT recommended by TreeHouse SEM.

How Much to Pay for SEO Services?

The question comes up often. Many people have been burned by SEO Services, but many have also been rewarded by SEO Services. Like any business transaction or purchase you should only spend your money when you feel comfortable. Your comfort zone should pull from various dependencies, such as how well do you know this business, how long have you been doing business with this person or entity, what is your first impression, how do you personally feel about this person or entity ability to provide this service, and how well have you done your homework.

The truth about SEO services is that it is normally not hard work, but that doesn’t mean its easy. It still takes time, dedication, effort, strategy, technique, method, skill, and experience to perform quality SEO services. Anyone can use SEO services because it is within your reach to learn, but not everyone can apply sensible strategy to make SEO work. That is why SEO engineers are needed to accomplish the almost impossible, but the question is how do you know you are making the right choice and not overpaying for SEO services?

I can honestly say for the most part SEO service providers are on the up and up who want nothing more than to do professional business and provide quality SEO services. Identifying every shady SEO service may not be possible, but I have some recommended advice which should help anyone get a fair and quality rate for SEO services.

– Set yourself a “realistic” marketing budget and goal

– Shop around

– Don’t buy until you feel comfortable

– Remember “cheap does not always mean better”

– Ask for references / referrals / portfolio

– Verify references / referrals / portfolio

– Ask for statistical growth and progress reports

Set Yourself a Realistic Marketing Budget and Goal

This simply mean do not kid yourself and think you can pay $200 and overnight you will make thousands. Instead, create a budget depending on your marketing needs, competitive industry, projected outcome, and length of time. If you are looking for your website to rank in the Top 10 search engine result page for a particular keyword or keywords then expect to pay in the thousands, often times tens of thousands, for quality, professional, and reliable SEO services, almost always depending on the competitiveness of the keyword. If you want to rank in the top 10 for the keyword “Google”, this in most cases impossible, but I am sure there are some SEO companies who will accept the challenge, but will charge in the thousands if not millions to attempt this insane marketing goal.

Shop Around

Find the most appealing SEO services and compare those to other competitive SEO services. Don’t settle for “cheap” or “inexpensive”, but settle for “effective” and “strategy”. Anyone can do SEO work, but not everyone can improve results using SEO services. This is because, SEO is about technique and strategy. It’s not about just throwing thousands a links around the web and sitting back waiting for the explosion. Its actually a lot more complicated than that, as it is about having strategy, technique, and competitive edge. You must find SEO services which live by this principle and can offer you the strategic road map you need for success.

Don’t Buy Until You Feel Comfortable

You should always feel comfortable with entrusting your money into an SEO service provider paws. If you have special needs such as you want to sign a contract, you want a specific pay schedule, or you have any questions, make sure you get answers and are comfortable with the projected outcome then move forward. I personally suggest getting a contract which outlines the projected outcome and any other bullet points, then also exploring the consequences or possibilities if the projected outcome is not met.

Remember “Cheap Does Not Always Mean Better”

This is a buyer beware notice. When someone offers $20 SEO services or even $200 SEO services, I would say “buyer beware”. There may be a handful of highly skilled SEO providers who can offer you SEO services at a discount or for extremely low rates, but most of the time these providers either do not know their service worth or know exactly what they are doing, but may have had a lucky streak. You will have to pay top dollar or aggressively, yet still affordable for quality, strategic, and experienced SEO services. SEO engineers is what I like to call them. These are SEO’s who understand the SEO concept, who pioneer SEO methods, and who don’t always follow the trend, but know the trends.

Most of the SEO engineers are not going to be cheap, but well worth every dollar spent. If you take into consideration other marketing and advertising platforms, such as television broadcast advertising, print advertising, large tradeshow/fair booth advertising, etc. internet marketing and search engine optimization cost peanuts compared to these other advertising methods and have a farther audience reach. SEO services can easily cost between $5,000-$25,000, it can even be much more than this, depending on your needs, but this is far more inexpensive and cheaper than other advertising platforms. So, next time you think that SEO service cost too much, think about the other methods of advertising and their rates, along with return on investment (ROI). SEO services come out on top every time when compared against these other advertising platforms.

Ask for References / Referrals / Portfolio

Any SEO service provider should be able to point you to their qualifying work. SEO service providers should be able to present you with affectionate websites which they have performed SEO work on. This can even be the SEO service provider personal website, they should be able to point you to their rankings in the search engine as well as some result driven SEO work within the site or across the web.

Verify References / Referrals / Portfolio

Verifying information is not always easy or accomplishable. You should attempt to reach out and verify what you can. If a shady SEO business was going to scam, then I am sure this is where they would start, with testimonials. I suggest verifying what you can, but don’t get overwhelmed with referrals because it may be the shady SEO business giving self praise. I actually have some good verification tips, but that’s another article all within itself.

Ask for Statistical Growth & Progress Reports

The SEO service campaign should include periodic progress/performance reports so you can track your website progress. Tracking your website progress is important in many ways. First, it tells if the SEO engineer is doing their job. Second, it tells you if the SEO methods, strategy, and technique is working or not. Third, it tells you how well the search engines are reciprocating your SEO efforts. And lastly, it tells you how much progress is being made and at what rate. All of this advanced reporting information and trend tracking can give you an overview of your website potential while giving you the opportunity to design or redesign your landing pages to increase your return on investment (ROI).

Okay, to wrap it up, just be sure you stay out of shabby internet neighborhoods and when making any online transaction, do your homework first. Also, remember “cheap does not equal better”. Think about it, would you rather pay in the thousands to one SEO company for quality SEO work, which will produce results and increase your website overall performance or would you rather pay cheap $200 to many different SEO’s who don’t ever really give you the results you deserve. If an SEO engineer can increase your website sales and exposure by 80% without your site ever reaching the top 10 search results then you still got a good deal. This is the effect of skilled and experienced SEO services. The only difference between your website and the websites in the top 10, is those websites have SEO engineers working for them who understand SEO.

Leprechaun Repellent and Guaranteed SEO Companies – The Disturbing Link

When researching SEO companies, it is tempting to choose any company willing to offer guaranteed SEO services. It is human nature – people love a guarantee. This holds especially true for purchases where the buyer is purchasing something outside of his or her area of comfort. When companies first consider pursuing search engine optimization (SEO) as a potential marketing channel, particularly when there is an ongoing cost involved, they get a sense of comfort from purchasing “guaranteed SEO.” Unfortunately, with many SEO companies, this confidence in the guarantee is ill-placed.

A lot of questionable SEO companies offer what I like to refer to as a “leprechaun repellent” guarantee. In other words, it’s a guarantee that is easily attainable – if you purchase such services and are not subsequently harassed by a pesky leprechaun, the guarantee has been met. How can you complain?

The truth is that SEO companies do not control the major search engines, and any firm that claims to have a “special relationship” that gives it sway over the natural search engine results is simply counting on your ignorance. Fortunately, this does not mean that guaranteed SEO is impossible, especially when the guarantee has to do with aggregate results and the methods used to achieve them.

What follows is a partial list of some of the more popular types of guaranteed SEO out there – some of them roughly as useful as leprechaun repellent, and some of them actually meaningful.

Questionable Guarantees

The “Leprechaun Repellent” Keyphrases Guarantee

Many SEO companies boast that they will achieve a certain number of top rankings in the organic results of major search engines. This type of guaranteed SEO can be tempting, especially to those who are investigating SEO companies for the first time. After all, high rankings are what it’s all about, right? Isn’t that the goal?

The answer is an emphatic “No.” Quality SEO companies will point out that the real goal is to bring high quality traffic to your site. It’s quite simple to guarantee top positions if you choose non-competitive or obscure phrases – for example, “leprechaun repellent.” Want proof? Enter “leprechaun repellent into your favorite search engine. You will almost certainly find this article dominating the results (caveat – if you are reading this article immediately after its release, the search engines may not have indexed it yet. Wait a week and try again.).

It is extremely easy for SEO companies to achieve high search engine positions for phrases that nobody uses. Such rankings might impress your friends and neighbors, but they won’t send you quality traffic. They likely won’t send you any traffic at all. It’s important to note that the phrase “leprechaun repellent” is used only for demonstrative purposes. Many unpopular phrases may not sound absurd. There are surely countless phrases out there that sound extremely relevant to your business that are never typed into search engines. Good SEO companies will avoid such phrases. “Leprechaun repellent” practitioners will embrace them – it allows them to attain their worthless guarantees.

There is also another aspect of this type of guaranteed SEO in which SEO companies will guarantee you first place positions on unspecified search engines for more competitive phrases. Unfortunately, this type of guaranteed SEO often involves obscure engines that have very little market share and are not sophisticated enough to quickly eliminate web pages that use spam tactics. In a few documented cases, the guarantees involved search engines that the SEO companies actually owned and operated!

There are really only three major search engines at present – Google, Yahoo, and MSN. There are a handful of minor engines that are also worth mentioning, including Ask Jeeves and AOL Search. Any guaranteed SEO should involve prominent engines, not obscure ones.

The “Company Name” Guarantee

There is also a common guarantee that shady SEO companies will use that guarantees that a company will show up for a search on its company name. This, much like the “leprechaun repellent” flavor of guaranteed SEO, offers no real value. Sure, if your company name is “Acme,” it may actually be competitive – but chances are that if your website does not already show up near the top of the search engine results for a search on your company name, there is an easily fixed technical glitch that will resolve the issue. Quality SEO companies will address this area immediately. Moreover, ranking highly for your company name, while obviously desirable, provides only a tiny fraction of the potential value of search engine marketing. The real benefit for most companies is that search engine marketing attracts potential buyers who are not already familiar with the company name. Unless your company is a household name, it is unlikely that having your company name figure prominently in the results is going to have a huge impact on your business.

The Pay-Per-Click Guarantee

Some SEO companies will offer guaranteed SEO services that promise top positions for certain keyphrases on popular engines, but they are counting on dealing with prospects who do not understand the difference between natural search engine results and pay-per-click (PPC) advertising. With PPC, it is very easy to guarantee a number one result, but this result will appear in the “paid” or “sponsored” results of the engine. Say, for example, that your company installs custom swimming pools. While a competitive phrase like “custom pools” might be difficult to achieve in organic results, the SEO company is not concerned with organic results. All it has to do is outbid the current highest bidder (using your money, of course), and your site will show up as number one in the “sponsored” results. Studies have indicated that sponsored results are held in a lower regard than natural results by savvy web searchers who recognize them as advertising. Also, as soon as you stop paying, your ranking disappears.

The “Submit Your Site to 50,000 Search Engines” Guarantee

There are many variations on this offer, primarily involving the number of engines promised. Regardless of the number, this is probably the most pervasive and persistent type of “guaranteed SEO,” and it is basically a scam that preys on ignorance.

Companies that believe that they have high quality websites are predisposed to believe that the only thing holding them back from search engine success is that the search engines do not yet know that their sites exist. However, search engines measure quality in a much different way than a website owner does. A properly optimized site does not need to be submitted to search engines at all (I refer to actual “spider-based” search engines such as Yahoo, Google, and MSN, not human-edited directories such as Business.com, the Yahoo Directory, and the Open Directory Project). Engines prefer to find sites on their own.

This “solution” offers no real value, except of course to the SEO companies offering the service. Also, as previously mentioned, there are not 50,000 search engines – or at least 50,000 search engines worth worrying about. Do SEO companies that offer this service meet this guarantee? Certainly – they use automated programs to do the submissions. Is this type of guaranteed SEO worthwhile? Not for search engine positions, but it may keep leprechauns at bay.

Meaningful Guarantees

Given the preponderance of “guaranteed SEO” that is meaningless, the seemingly Wild West nature of the industry, and the reality that SEO companies do not control the results of any major engine, it may seem that guaranteed SEO can never be a worthwhile endeavor. However, this is not the case. If you note the examples above, they are primarily involved in specifics – top positions, a certain number of submissions, a certain number of engines. However, good SEO companies, understanding that they have no control over individual results, should be confident enough in the results of their work in aggregate and in the safety of the methodologies that they use to offer guaranteed SEO that lives up to its promise.

The Custom Guarantee

In very rare cases, certain skilled, experienced SEO companies will be able to develop for you a custom guarantee derived from the analysis of your current traffic data, the competitiveness of your industry, and the status of your site. You will ideally be offered this type of specialized guarantee from the beginning of your dealings with an SEO firm because it ensures that you will be achieving targeted, meaningful results based on your specific situation, rather than on generalities that could apply to any business in any industry. Some SEO companies may tell you that a custom guarantee is not possible because they have no direct control over search engine results. However, SEO companies who have been in business for a while know how to weather the algorithm shifts and understand that there is more than one popular search engine. Such a firm will be confident enough to create and back a custom guarantee for you.

The Targeted Traffic Guarantee

SEO companies dedicated to showing value to their clients will take a baseline reading of current search engine traffic at the outset of a campaign. While, as previously mentioned, SEO companies do not hold sway over search engine results, they should at least be confident enough in their overall skills to promise that their clients will see an increase in targeted search engine traffic based on popular phrases relevant to the business. If the firm offering this type of guaranteed SEO charges on a monthly basis, any month of the engagement where traffic for targeted phrases does not, at a minimum, exceed the baseline should not be charged. After all, you are paying on a monthly basis to protect and improve your positions. While major algorithm shifts that make results on individual results unstable can and do happen, they rarely happen on all engines at once. You should feel confident that the firm you are paying has a very vested interest in making sure it adapts to the changing nature of search engine algorithms, and few things inspire such confidence as knowing that it will not get paid otherwise. If your prospective firm is unwilling to at least guarantee that it will send increased traffic to your website from targeted phrases, every month, it may be time to look elsewhere.

The “White Hat” Guarantee

SEO companies are commonly broken up into two camps – “white hats” (practitioners who remain solidly within the search engine’s stated terms of service) and “black hats” (practitioners who work to unravel the latest search engine algorithms and base their optimization techniques largely on technology, regardless of the engine’s terms of service). Both approaches are legitimate – after all, there is nothing illegal about exploiting a technical loophole for results. However, black hat SEO companies put their clients at risk of penalization or even outright banishment from the major engines. Getting back in can be a long process, and sometimes it is not possible at all. If you are concerned about potential penalization, get a guarantee from your firm that they adhere to the stated terms of service of all major search engines. If you can (and this is rare), get a guarantee that your site will not be penalized through any action of the SEO firm. This is harder for a company to offer, since the major engines frequently update their terms of service, and techniques that are acceptable today can be deemed unacceptable tomorrow. However, a confident firm that always errs on the side of caution when optimizing client websites will offer this type of guaranteed SEO services, since it will not use techniques that have a potential for penalization in the future.

Abusing the Metaphor (Beating a Dead Leprechaun)

Guarantees have been around for at least as long as leprechauns have been hoarding breakfast cereal and starring in bad horror films. So have guarantees that are essentially meaningless but sound respectable. A good guarantee should not only appeal to the base emotion of a potential purchaser, but it should also afford some real protection that the purchase he or she is making will provide meaningful results. Many of the most popular types of guaranteed SEO do not, and that’s a shame. The industry already has a questionable reputation due to “leprechaun repellent” practitioners – make sure you don’t go chasing their rainbow. After all, it’s your pot of gold they are after.

The Search For SEO Services

Nowadays, many so-called SEO services are being offered on the Internet. Unfortunately, most of these “companies” deliver dubious results. Excellent SEO services are rare today since everybody seems to be to getting into online business marketing. More and more websites are clamoring to get into Australia’s top 10 in terms of search engine ranking. With this scenario in mind, companies and small businesses should be careful in their search for SEO companies with competent SEO services.

Before you dole out your hard-earned dollars to get social media marketing packages, read below for some essential tips when scouting around for an SEO company:

1) Always ask for a case study. An SEO expert should definitely present you with a case study containing a thorough evaluation of your business’ strengths and weaknesses, as well as an overview of your competitors’ marketing strategies. This gives you a jump start on what your company lacks in comparison to others. This could be very helpful before you hire SEO services.

2) Review an SEO company’s web design and development and content management system. Ask for copies of their client’s web pages or check out how their client’s websites look like in the Internet. This will give you an idea of the kind of output that you are most likely to be getting from a prospective SEO firm.

3) Collect and collect, then select. It may be a bit time-consuming, but any wise spender knows that canvassing and comparing notes rather than hiring the SEO services of the first SEO company that comes your way eventually leads to money well spent.

4) Don’t forget to inquire about SEO strategy and planning services. Find out as much as you can how an SEO consultant creates a marketing plan, more importantly for businesses that are similar to yours. Some SEO services firms are adept at formulating SEO keywords while others are more inclined to churning out award-winning web designs. Others have a knack for link-building strategies and there are SEO companies that offer social media marketing packages.

5) Ask several companies that offer SEO services to present you with a variety of search engine optimisation services. Most SEO firms can offer different rates and SEO strategies can work depending on the client’s budget and preferences. Also, ask for a detailed rate card that includes separate pricing for say, SEO audit, web design, web copywriting services, content management system, and web design and development. This way, you will get an idea of how much you should be paying for each kind of SEO services you are getting.

6) Ask for referrals. With a bit of effort and time, you can check out Australia’s top 10 SEO companies and see if you can afford them. If not, the next best thing to do is ask SEO firms to provide you with a list of their existing clients so you can inquire about the quality of work from the people that have enlisted their SEO services.

After all is said and done and you have made a good with an SEO firm, don’t forget to read the fine print well before signing the contract for the SEO services. This is just plain and simple good business practice.

Is SEO Certification Necessary For Search Engine Optimization Professionals and Companies Alike?

Is SEO Certification Necessary For Search Engine Optimization Professionals?

Today’s global economy demands that people, and especially small businesses, take extra time making decisions on how much to spend and where to spend their advertising money for their online advertising needs. SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is one of those places where companies are starting to pay extra attention to specialists with credible training and certification.

SEO professionals build their reputation on what they know, how they help their clients build a strong search engine visibility, and what they continue to learn. In order to ensure that they are on a steady course of training many SEO companies or individual professionals seek out SEO certification through credible sources like SEO Certification.org.

Taking the step to become SEO certified also gives you, the individual a viable income

Learning SEO Is Essential To Your Growth and in Raising Customer Results

Think of what would happen if you all of a sudden you stopped eating. Your body wouldn’t grow. In fact, you would begin to deteriorate. For comparison the same holds true. Continuous changes within search engine algorithms and ranking criteria create the dynamic of having to keep up with current trends. Learning SEO with up to date SEO study guides enables you to grow and provide your clients with top rankings on all major search engines.

SEO Certification Creates Confidence in Yourself and Your Clients

Certification in anything is a means to an end. Certification means you have successfully completed a training course designed to instruct you how to solve this industry’s greatest question and provide competent service for those who need it. Certification is an exclamation point at the end of a momentous statement.

As stated already, companies are choosing their SEO providers with a much more meticulous set of criteria, and one of those is a desire for trained, certified SEO professionals. They want to know and be confident in the person or company for that matter that optimizes their website!

You, as an SEO practitioner also gain a great deal of confidence whereas you know you now possess the SEO training necessary to provide quality services. When there are thousands of qualified individuals, and entire SEO companies to compete with, it’s critical to have something that gives you an edge above and beyond your competition. Training and being SEO certified gives you that big confidence boost and edge you need.

How to Become SEO Certified

Becoming SEO certified is a process by which at the end of it you know you have the knowledge necessary to provide your customers with what they need for effective search engine marketing. The process has been refined to the point that you are not wasting time with out-of-date information or rudimentary SEO techniques.

Much like anything you strive to learn there is a learning process incorporated into a certification program. In most cases, you can download an eBook on SEO techniques and advanced SEO strategies. This is often referred to as a study guide where you can read and take notes at your leisure.

Continuing along in the process there will be some practice test questions to help you become better acquainted with the information presented. During this time you can also begin implementing some of the things you’ve learned to see if you are getting a solid grasp of it. If so, then you are on your to certification. If not, you should go back to the study guide and again, practice with the sample tests.

Once familiar with the information and techniques of solid, ethical SEO you can then take a certification test. Once passed you are usually given the credentials, both printed and digitized, you need to show, to yourself and your customers, that you have gone through a credible SEO training program and can provide the utmost in effective services.

How To Find An SEO Certification Program

The Internet is loaded with all kinds of different certification programs. The line between credible and irreputible is sometimes blurred by low prices, impossible guarantees, and quick, trivial certification process.

Of course, you receive the benefit of receiving credentials and limited knowledge. This may, or may not, lead to gained confidence and higher search engine rankings. However, one of the biggest faults to these types of programs is that they contain out of date information and are not updated frequently. Old information in the search engine industry is like driving around with dirty oil. Things begin to break down.

When looking into SEO certification it is extremely important to look at other parts of their certification rather than cost, ease, and time for certification. Instead look at things like;

What type of information is being taught? Is it new, updated or out of date?
Is the process one where you know you’ll learn strong, ethical SEO techniques?
Are you going to be pushed through the program or will it take time to complete?
Is this a recognized organization that has helped others before me?
Are any of their graduates at the top of the search engine rankings?

All valuable things to ask and to look out for.

SEO Training Leads To Powerful, Effective SEO Practices

Staying in touch with current SEO practices is a must for anyone who is operating their own online business or for entire companies competing in a highly volatile economy. Every dollar budgeted towards advertising must be spent wisely. Knowing solid optimization practices will add to your bottom line and, in the case of individuals, could mean a new career or added income stream.

SEO Certification also proves, and assures potential clients, that you have gone through an approved process and are substantiated and affirmed by a recognized industry organization. Places like SEOCertification.org are places where you can feel confident in their overall SEO Certification process.

SEO Book – Can You Learn SEO From Scratch by Reading Books?

If you’re reading this article, most probably you already know (or at least suspect) that Search Engine Optimization is like a key to Fort Knox for any online entrepreneur. Why? Because proper SEO opens your website the door to leading positions in search engines. The higher your website ranks in search results pages, the more ready-to-buy users find you, not your competitors first. And they buy from you, not from your competitors. Your top position in Google multiplies the dough you get twofold, threefold and (pardon my play on words) Google-fold.

OK, SEO is a rock-solid way to make your on-line business flourish. But what if you hadn’t even heard the word “SEO” till yesterday? The Internet sea abounds in screaming “SEO in two days” and “SEO book for noobs” headlines. But can you really zero-base learn SEO – for which SEO companies charge up to $5,000 a month – on your own? By simply reading about it? The answer is YES. SEO is no rocket science if you have the right source to ladle out your knowledge.

So where is the knowledge treasure-house for a self-taught SEO?

Some old hand SEOs would claim – the only way to get on-the-nose SEO tips is searching through forums and blogs, where professionals share their real-life experience.

Well, digging deep into these sources can be very informative. This is a perfect way to enrich your SEO wisdom: pick up some useful know-hows and savvy tricks and techniques. But only if you already have your SEO-mindset stable. I mean, if you’ve already learned the basics of SEO science. If not, how can you tell a worthy piece of advice from useless scribbling by muddle-heads who often swarm on such forums and blogs? Besides, it’ll take you ages to gather the pieces of SEO-puzzle together and get a complete picture of how to SEO your website.

SEO books are another pair of shoes. All you need is packed together for you. No surfing through dozens of websites. But here you should also keep in mind several important points:

– The Internet world and SEO principles are changing at supersonic speed. What was good for website promotion yesterday may turn out to be a complete waste of time today. In what way would the authors keep up with this speed of changes? In no way, unless their SEO book is a day by day updated e-book. That’s why the SEO book you can really trust is an e- book

– Does “Search Engine Saturation” or “Traffic Referral Rates” sound clear to you? Would you like your SEO book to speak the language you don’t understand? Definitely, no. You need SEO things made easy as ABS. So you need an SEO book that speaks plain English

– The ultimate goal of your learning SEO is being able to actually optimize your website, not only use some SEO terms, isn’t it? If so, a solid-cheesy-theory book is a waste of your precious time. Make sure your SEO book gives practical advice and step-by-step guidance for your page optimization

– On the other hand, learning something parrot fashion is also no good. You are to UNDERSTAND WHAT, HOW, and WHY you are doing. Otherwise, a small deviation from a studied scheme – and you are deadlocked. Pick up the SEO book that not only orders you what to do, but explains why you should do this

These criteria considerably narrow your range of choice. One of the books I’ve recently come across that perfectly hits the spot is “SEO in Practice”. It is an all-round online SEO guide by a 9-year experienced SEO pro Dan Richmond. He leads you by the hand into the world of Search Engine Optimization, pointing each step you should take and clarifying all whys and hows so that a child could understand.

To top it all, keep in mind: whatever way to dig into SEO you choose, it’s your zeal that grows the fruits to reap. There is no one but you to knock in the knowledge into your head.

Should You Use an SEO Agency for Your Business?

8 Benefits of Engaging SEO Agencies to Boost Your Online Presence!

Advertising has transformed to one of the most demanding and crucial aspects of having to run a business. This ultimately means that the overall success of your business is going to depend mainly on the effectiveness of your advertising campaign.

Nowadays, online is where everyone’s at, which is also the reason why most businesses look to promote their products or services online. To do that, one needs to have a business website which will run their internet marketing campaign. With an abundance of spam links and countless other websites floating around in cyberspace, it’s easy for a business website to get lost or rank so low in the SERPs, that the chances of searchers to find the website are seriously diminished.

Since, paying a search engine to place your business website at the top of its list doesn’t come cheap, the next best thing one can do is to use search engine optimization or SEO techniques to increase the clicks to the website and help it work its way up the search engine’s results page.

Why You Should Hire a SEO Agency?

Optimizing a website for a search engine can be not only a tough, but also costly process, mainly because there is just too many business websites competing for the coveted number one spot on the page rank, by using the exact same keywords.

While businesses can opt to do their own SEO, hiring a SEO agency that has experienced search engine optimizers will no doubt, help businesses reap ROI in the long run. One of the best ways in which businesses can do that is by outsourcing their SEO needs to qualified SEO agencies.

The growing demand for SEO services has lead to a mushrooming of many a great number of SEO agencies fulfilling their business objective, which has lead many businesses seeking SEO services asking the question, “how do we find the best SEO service provider?”

Obviously, all those searching for SEO agencies will have to make their selection by passing SEO companies through careful and meticulous scrutiny, in order for them to get the best in search engine optimization for their business website.

Benefits of Using SEO

One of the most obvious advantages of using the services of SEO agencies is their ability to enhance the visibility of a business website, but that being said, business owners also raise concerns on affordability, which can only be analyzed when businesses know the benefits of using the services of SEO agencies. In more ways than one, the following are some of the benefits of using search engine optimization services, especially the right ones, which can allow businesses to enjoy the following advantages.

Target Traffic

While businesses embark on an SEO marketing campaign, they should realize that an entire marketing campaign can fall flat on its face if a business is unable to reach the masses, that is, their target audience. It doesn’t really matter whether your business website is attracting hundreds of clicks per day, if those visits are not from your intended target demographic, you will only be seeing them spending time on your website without actually buying anything, which is really the opposite of your marketing intentions.

Get a Well-Made Business Website

Even though, search engine optimization is necessary for businesses to compete with one another online, the importance of the website design cannot be undermined. While hiring the services of a good SEO agency can get you good marketing copy for your website and an effective use of the related keywords, having a brilliantly designed website will help a lot when it comes to attracting people and even the search engines to your website. This is true because search engines always take into account different aspects of usability and the overall layout of the business website.

Cost Effectiveness

The fact of the matter remains that while using radio and TV advertisements can be an effective means of marketing a business’s product or service, it still is very expensive, especially for start-up businesses. By taking their marketing needs online and hiring the services of an experienced SEO agency, a business is able to reach thousands, or even millions of people which they would have not been able to otherwise.

Using SEO Best Practices

Hiring an experienced SEO agency will allow you to get information on the various techniques they have adopted in their SEO tactics. Hiring a SEO agency that has been in the game for a while will also provide you with the added advantage of not having to worry about them using any SEO techniques while working on your business website.

Hiring experienced SEO experts will ensure that your website climbs the search engine ranks without using any illegal practices or short cuts that could produce short term spikes in the website’s ranking, but eventually lead to your website having to pay penalties.

Access to Latest SEO Techniques

Needless to say the field of SEO is constantly evolving, which means that it is important for businesses to stay abreast on all the latest SEO techniques that can help them stay in the game. That being said, businesses usually have little or no time to keep up with the latest developments in SEO techniques. However, an agency providing SEO services is all about being proactive in keeping up-to-date with the latest search engine news and changes in SEO techniques.

Cutting-Edge Tools

Keeping in mind the last point, SEO agencies are fluent in navigating through a wide range of online marketing tools that helps increase the value of your marketing strategy. Whether it’s using web analytics for carrying out research or conversion tools that monitor and report the usage of important keywords, SEO agencies know how and where to get the information they need to save time and reduce your in-house cost.

Comprehensive SEO Knowledge

As mentioned earlier, SEO agencies are usually the most qualified in dealing with various verticals of online marketing, mainly due to the nature of their work. Therefore, an SEO agency is able to solve a multitude of problems which a business simply cannot handle by itself. An SEO agency can work together with a business to provide an added perspective, when it comes to understanding and developing marketing strategies for different sectors and various types of business websites.

Bottom Line

Lastly, search engines like Google realize all too well that websites that don’t add value to a searcher’s experience on the internet are not worth a mention in their index. Furthermore, in some cases Google might also decide to drop your website from the SERPs altogether if you’ve used spam to get a higher page ranking.

The two main goals of SEO agencies who develop marketing strategies to push your product or service online, is to make sure online content is interesting and no techniques have been used for obtaining your goals. So, are SEO agencies worth it? Absolutely!