If you’re looking to outsource your SEO services to rank your website, there are a few things you want to be aware of. The following is a small list of tips to help ensure that you get your money’s worth out of any SEO firm you decide to hire.
Do Your Research
Many SEO firms also offer other services that they combine into one package. On the surface, it looks like a great deal to get your website design, hosted, and SEO services from the same place, most assuredly at a packaged and discounted cost. Oftentimes, these firms will display your website on their own website to allow others the opportunity to see what they can do. Sometimes they’ll even go as far as list the keywords each site is ranked for.
It will be in your best interest to search for these sites by the keywords offered or by keywords you would associate with the website. For instance, if the firm is a local are firm and they are showing a plumber’s site, you should check for (city name) plumbers or some iteration of that. If the site does not appear on the first two pages, then the firm isn’t doing its job.
*** The paid ads on the top and in the right bar do not count
There are several tools available online that can give you a glimpse at the backlinking strategy used for a particular webpage. The most basic of which is doing a search on Google for “domain.com” (use quotes). It won’t give you all of the backlinks, but it will give you an idea of what kinds are being used. If you see thousands of sites, foreign sites, sites that aren’t even remotely relevant, chances are the site will enjoy high rankings only for a short time. Google frowns upon blasting tons of links with no content and relevance.
Chances are, if you are paying for a service, you want it done right and not have to worry about being penalized and losing your ranking.
There are many services out there that claim that you can end up at the top of Google searches; however, most of them provide these results by charging you for paid ads. Anyone can sit at the top of Google searches if they are willing to pay for it. The downside to this is that it’s been proven that the majority of people don’t even acknowledge these ads and just skip over them anyway.
How does that work in the firm’s favor? They charge you $2,000/month to keep your site on the top of Google listings. Let’s say your keyword term gets about 100 searches every month and Google charges $15 per click. If everyone who searches clicks on your ad, your firm gets charged $1,500 every month. Chances are, however, they may only get at most 10 clicks (on a busy month). They are in turn charged $150. That’s a profit of $1,850 for doing nothing more than writing a small ad and walking away.
What you want to do is rank as high as possible on Google’s search pages. Using the same numbers, you will have up to 100 sets of eyes looking at the link to your site. The higher you rank, the more that will see you. I don’t know about you, but when I’m in the market for a service I know little to nothing about, I certainly search Google for it and then click on the top few results to find what I may think would be my best fit.
Where does the firm rank?
If you search for the firm in Google using basic terms such as (city) SEO (ie. San Antonio SEO), you should at least hope to find them on one of the first two or three pages. If they can’t rank their own website, why should you trust them to do the same thing for your business?
It can not be said enough – Do your research. Don’t just sign up for a service online where you just type in your website, a few keywords, and your credit card information. Make an appointment and talk to the person(s) who will be responsible for ranking your site. A quick sit down with some of this information alone should allow you to weed out those that know how to help from those that claim that they will help.