There are many reasons as to why you might want to outsource your SEO by hiring an external SEO company. Many businesses simply don’t have the right in house staff to handle all their SEO needs, and hiring full time experts is usually too expensive for them. The main benefit that business owners hope to get from a SEO firm is that they will receive more visitors to their website, and thus get more sales. But hiring the right SEO firm can actually have some very attractive additional benefits, such as:
Getting a better website
One of the things that an SEO expert can do is to optimize the way your site looks and works. A site that is easier to navigate, is more user friendly, is faster and has more rich content will be a lot more appealing to your visitors. This can result in better conversions, as well as increase the chance that individual visitors will share your site with others or link to it on their own websites or blogs.
A better understanding of who your customers are
Experienced SEO experts can look into your potential customer base and give you details about who they are, where they are coming from, and most importantly, what they want. This information can be very useful when developing new products or making changes to existing ones.
Saving time and money
To do SEO the right way, you would need to have thorough knowledge of how search engines work, what factors can affect the way your website is ranked, plus stay on top of all the changes that happen in the online world, such as updates to search ranking algorithms. While it is indeed possible to acquire this knowledge and experience, it will take several years to do so. When you outsource your SEO, you can focus on what matters the most: running your business, as opposed to spending hours each day learning about search engines and staying on top of all the updates.
Anyone thinking of hiring an external firm to do their SEO should be aware of one important thing: not every SEO agency will be the same. If you actually want to get solid, long term results, you need to separate the good ones from the bad. Here are some warning signs that the company you’re looking at is one best avoided:
This is valid not only when looking for a SEO firm, but any time you deal with someone through the Internet. If something looks too good to be true, then it probably is. Any company that makes unrealistic claims, such as saying they can put you in the first page of Google’s search results for extremely competitive keywords if you buy a “SEO Package” for $99.95 or $199 or some other ridiculously low price is simply lying to you.
Getting a good ranking for competitive keywords is something that will take time and it involves a lot more than just buying a package that gives you links. Don’t fall for any “Super Satisfaction Guarantees” either. Many disreputable firms claim to offer a money back guarantee in an effort to put your mind at ease, but if they fail to deliver and you ask for your money back, they will either ignore you, or will try to argue that they did all the work right and if you’re not going up in the rankings, something is wrong with your site.
Using blackhat tactics
Blackhat SEO consists on using underhanded tactics in an effort to “trick” search engines into giving your site a higher ranking. While this may give SOME results in the short term, it can be disastrous for your business in the long term. For example, if you buy links from an SEO company, these links may be from websites that are completely unrelated to yours, which can actually cause your site to drop in rankings.
Even worse, some disreputable SEO companies think that spamming your site’s links on discussion forums or blogs that are relevant to your industry is a good way to generate “quality” backlinks to your site. The problem is, this can seriously damage the way your brand is perceived in the online world, as your company now becomes associated with spam.
So, how do you know you’re dealing with a good company? Here are some signs:
You can easily find out who is behind the company
Reputable companies don’t try to hide their contact details. You will find an address, a phone number and an email address to contact them on their site. You will also find a section that contains a short bio of the company’s owners and key employees, which explains how long they’ve been in the business and what they’ve accomplished.
Testimonials, references and case studies
SEO is not a regulated occupation, so anyone who read a few forum posts on the topic can now declare themselves to be a “SEO Professional.” What separates true professionals from amateurs is that the pros will have references that will back up their claims. Legitimate companies will be happy to show you examples of work that they’ve done in the past and can often show you specific results that they’ve achieved for their clients.
The company uses legitimate, white hat practices
This includes optimizing various on-page factors on a website, as well as developing campaigns that will help you build your links naturally, for example by having your content shared by interested visitors through social media platforms, blogs and discussion forums. A legitimate company will always be willing to give you an explanation of how they do their work, without being overly evasive or claiming that it is a “trade secret.”
Updates and reports are provided
If you are paying someone to do SEO work for you, then you would probably be interested in knowing what they are actually doing for you. A legitimate SEO firm will provide you with regular reports showing the type of work that was done, as well as what progress has been made on your search engine rankings.
They will also be willing to agree on specific deliverables, such as more site visitors, better rankings for specific keywords, etc. Remember that as far as SEO goes, nearly everything can be measured, so setting specific targets and goals will not be a problem for an experienced company that uses legitimate SEO tactics. On the flip side, beware of any business that seems to be too vague when it comes time to set goals.
If you are looking for high quality SEO services, Marketing Ignite is here for you. They have been providing SEO and various online marketing services to businesses around the world for over 15 years. Check out their website at www.marketingignite.com for more information about their services.