How to find a good SEO (search engine optimization) company?

Posted on 26 October 2010 by SEOman from Seattle

We are starting to get into net (pod)casting and web-based business enterprises and need to promote our websites, netcasts, blogs, etc.. We are researching and discovering lots of good ways to self-promote, but we also want to enlist the help of a good SEO company with a proven track record to augment our own efforts. Given that there are hundreds of companies on the net clamoring for our business, how do we find one that will get the job done for us? Is there a forum of some kind where we can find some relevant, informed input on this?

Originally posted 2010-09-14 14:18:24. Go Home page

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6 Comments For This Post

  1. Consultant Says:

    Study the SEO company
    Read through the company website. Does the site list specific goals and techniques? Does it discuss using ethical (white hat) SEO techniques? Does it inspire confidence, or does it read like an empty sales pitch?

    Check the company domain’s…click to see our whoisdetails http://whois.domaintools.com/ontheavenues.com . How long has the domain been registered for? Does the company list complete and accurate whois details? If the domain is new, or if the whois details aren’t listed, you may be looking at a fly-by-night company.

    Study the SEO results
    Start with the SEO company’s own website. But “SEO” has 118,000,000 results in Google, and “search engine optimization” has 27,200,000 results, so don’t expect the site to rank high for these generic terms. Also note that some SEO companies don’t try to optimize their own sites for SEO because they get most of their business through referrals.

    The important SEO results to check are those of SEO companies’ clients. If they link to their clients’ sites from their sites, look for keyword phrases in the title and heading tags of those sites, and see how those sites do in search results for those keyword phrases. Look for backlinks to those sites by entering “link:domain.com” (with the right domain and without the quotation marks) in different search engines.

    If the SEO company is on your shortlist, contact some of those clients to ask for feedback about the SEO company. Are they still using the SEO company’s services? Did they see an improvement in search results for their site, and have the improvements lasted? If they needed an SEO company for a new site, would they hire the same company?

    Ask questions
    The answers to these questions will show you if you’re dealing with experts or people who don’t really know what they’re doing.

    What steps do you take to optimize websites for search engines? They may not want to tell you exactly what they do, but they should list steps such as researching and using keywords, making the coding search engine friendly, and getting inbound links. If they’re vague, or if they name black-hat techniques such as keyword stuffing or doorway pages, go to the next company on the list.

    How do you do keyword research? They should start by learning what your site is about, what keywords already work for it, and how your business is different from the competition. A number of keyword suggestion tools are available, both free and paid. The important points are that the SEO company will research relevant, searched-for keywords for your site and that they’ll look for keyword phrases, not single keywords.

    Do you offer guarantees? If they offer a guarantee other than a money-back guarantee, or a promise that they won’t accept payment until your site is on page X in the SERP for a specific keyword, don’t trust them. The SEO business is not one in which you can guarantee exact results.

    What do you think of Google’s Webmaster Guidelines? If they don’t stay completely within these guidelines, your site could be in trouble.

    What types of sites will you try to get inbound links from? The answer should be relevant, quality sites, including directories, but not including link farms. If they don’t think that inbound links are important for SEO, they aren’t going to get the desired results.

    Do you work on improving the conversion rate? Improving the conversion rate is not SEO. But getting more traffic to your site won’t benefit you unless your site works well for site visitors after they arrive. If your conversion rate could use improvement and an SEO company can help with this area too, you benefit more. You can hire a separate company to work on your conversion rate, but they’ll need to be careful not to override any of the SEO work done to your site.

    How do you keep up with changes in your field? The important point here is whether they do keep up with industry news. But you’ll probably know by the answers so far whether they do.

    What payment structure do you use? Be wary of companies that ask you to pay the full amount at the beginning. If they’re going to be doing ongoing work for you, you should be able to pay at various stages.

    Expect to be questioned
    The SEO company representatives should have questions for you too. They should want to find out if your expectations are realistic and fit with the type of work they do. They’ll need to learn about your website, your audience, your competition, your focus, and your business goals.

    Expect to wait
    If the service is good, the company will be in demand, so there may be a waiting list. Start researching before you need the work to be done.

  2. memetrader Says:

    How to find a good SEO Company? The plain fact is that there are very few excellent SEO companies but there are tens of thousands of SEO companies that advertise their poor quality services. It is an unregulated and relatively new industry in considerable demand, so this is not so surprising.

    Good SEO companies are in great demand and the first thing NOT to do is use one that offers their services on Yahoo answers! No professional SEO that is any good has the time to solicit clients through such a medium or even needs to do so.

    Here is the procedure I recommend.

    Start by looking here http://www.seoconsultants.com/ which is about the nearest you can get to peer reviewed SEO consultants directory. Draw up a list of (say 10) companies whose web presence and spectrum of services meet with your approval.

    Then make a simple initial approach to these companies and reduce the 10 to a short list of 3 or 4 based on the quality of their response (as you see it) and their understanding of your requirements.

    Now interview the companies on your shortlist and include the following questions and requests:

    1. Ask for 5+ references and current clients and make sure you follow them all up taking notes along the way.

    2. What type of reporting will they provide?

    3. Do they offer Return On Investment (ROI) analysis?

    4. Can they assure you that the optimization strategies and methods used will be ethical and hence guarantee no penalties for your website?

    5. Do they place a link on their clients sites to their site? If they do you can reject them right away.

    6. Ask to see a sample contract. Check that it says ‘what is’ and ‘what isn’t’ required on the clients part and also details what they say they will do.

    7. How many hours will they put into working on your site?

    8. Make sure you will not be ‘ransomed’ if you decide not to use them any more at some stage.

    9. Do they outsource any of the work? If they do you can reject them right away.

    10. What results can you expect and over what time scales?

    Once you have the answers to these questions for the companies on your short list you will find making a correct choice quite straightforward.

    One last thing. The best SEOs in the world work for themselves because they make more money that way and those that choose to have clients do not come cheap so if you want a good ROI don’t look for a bargin.

    Good luck!

  3. VicSEO Says:

    Before even considering seeking outside SEO assistance and actually paying for it, the following discussion may prove helpful to you if you are a do-it-yourselfer.

    The most effective way to advertise on the Internet is to first set up a website and publish its domain name on major search directories such as Google, Yahoo. Unfortunately, the forum does not allow a direct link to Yahoo or Google for accomplishing this publication process.

    You may want to consider some simple algorithms which, when observed and committed in designing of a website with placement of various critical metatags that can surely achieve a high search engine presence and increase Internet traffic to your website. These metatag strategies work well with published webpages at Google and Yahoo.

    Design: Should you create an extensive Flash-based website, make sure to fill-in the property entries such as the Title, Description and Keywords. Failing to do so, leaves no hard HTML or ALT resource that can be readily indexed by search robots.

    A non-Flash-based website which relies on hard text, is far easier to be indexed by search robots. Limit the use of stylized text saved as .gifs since as a graphic, they are not indexable by search robots.

    Avoid use of frames since any number of search robots are unable to properly classify textual material.

    Placement of Metatags:

    A ranking or search order does take place with Google and Yahoo and it begins with the “Title” metag which should consist of no more than 65 characters separated by commas. The “Title” should describe in generic terms, the goods and services, followed by a location from which the resource is located, i.e., city, state. The placement of a domain name which is not generic within the “Title” is not appropriate, unless your domain name is a major recognizable brand name.

    The second metatag is the “Description” which is usually 25-30 words to form a complete sentence which best describes one’s goods and services.

    And the very last category – “Keywords” are also somewhat limited to 15-16 words which can be plural and compound in nature.

    Good luck!

  4. prince h Says:

    SE’s..yes, but not SEO’s..never…never…never.!

    We need to write and design with humans in mind as the SE’s do….and they’ll find you , and me too. Those very complex formulas they use are designed to find great themed based content…yes…middle school theme writing with a little help from SiteSEll’s Brainstorm it!, Analyse It!,Search It! , Find It!

    How about staying with or aligning with a company that does all of the above ….no SEO’s needed. No, not eer one, no neer one. None…..no SEO’s needed.

    A company that can manage to put together a community of one with focus forums on every cutting edge new thing out there. One that stays up with podders, bloggers,netcasters etc.etc, then drills that stuff down its simplest terrms and tools that we are not afraid to touch.

    One that assembles communities of in-house users that will share last and best ideas…by paying forward, with their understanding, tips, tricks, errors, and you name it.

    One that drills down everything into its simplest form and instills and encourages a sense of ownership rather than a sense of powerlessness in the wide expanse we call the World Wide WEb or the Internet.

    We need things made simpler, not more complex. We need experts that will simplifly the tools so that we can get on with the passions that drive us in our endeavors on the Internet……..and yes life….because it’s all about doing this stuff we’ll have that time to smell the roses or whatever makes you/us happy.

    And Forums….they have the best ones on the planet, ………this one.

    No this not Nirvana, Heaven, but is SiteSell..and yes a piece of Paradise on earth..ahhhh…. Bahamas….you know what I mean.

  5. yadav Says:

    In my way of thinking, search engine optimization is just one way to help market a company’s products and/or services. Certainly, some folks are more concerned with branding implications. Generally speaking, however, people get into search engine optimization because they want to make more money by marketing themselves where people are actively searching.

    Search engine marketing is, in my mind, the most cost-effective form of marketing. Where else can you position yourself in a place where people are actively searching for your products and services? This type of “pull” marketing strategy is great because it’s noninvasive and is highly relevant for the user, as opposed to radio or television advertising. It’s been my experience that organic search engine optimization delivers even more value in that you’re not paying for each and every click and not having to compete on a daily basis with the bidding whims of others in your Industry.
    Different Measures of Success

    If there is one thing that gets under my skin, it’s how some folks choose to measure success from their search engine optimization efforts.

    Let’s go back to my thesis that most people get into search engine optimization to drive relevant traffic that delivers concrete sales/leads to their sites. With the analytics tools available today, it is very easy to determine how these efforts are affecting sales/lead numbers.
    Read more from: http://techseo.blogspot.com/2007/06/search-engine-marketing-is-most-cost.html

  6. Susan S Says:

    Try “Web Optimization Easy” to optimize yourself to improve your search engine ranking in Google Yahoo and MSN.

    http://www.websitepromotionsoft.com

    .

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