How to Choose the Right SEO Agency
Choosing an agency to manage the search engine optimization of your web site can be a minefield. Many will promise page one and even position one listing to secure your business. Some will refuse to detail exactly what they do. We have compiled the following guide to choosing a search engine optimization firm.
1. Be Wary of Anyone Who Promises Position One
If you’re looking into search engine optimization, chances are you’ve already experienced some form of pay per click or paid search marketing. You’ll know that being in position one is an expensive business. So, why would you trust a company promising to place you in position one indefinitely in the organic listings? Google’s natural search results cannot be bought.
Remember, the reason you opted for paid search in the first place is most likely because it is the quickest and most immediate route to a high profile search engine presence. The beauty of the natural listings is that space is not for sale – you can be sure that the sites ranking highly are there on their merit not because of the size of their budget. It’s therefore impossible for anyone to guarantee a number one ranking. Be suspicious of anyone who promises you P1 if you take up their search engine optimization services.
2. Request Full Details of The Service Being Offered
There are two types of SEO – black hat and white hat. If you’re refused details of the service being offered, by very wary. Far from increasing your ranking, unethical or black hat search engine optimization could result in you being removed from the natural search results.
At Top Position, we’re happy to provide you with a complete proposal explaining exactly how we intend to improve your search engine presence. The actions of any company you retain will ultimately determine the long-term success of your organic presence so make sure you are comfortable with the approach being used. Just like you wouldn’t buy a car without a test drive or a house without a viewing, exercise the same caution before contracting a company to work on your web optimization.
3. Look for Structure and Flexibility
Search engines like Google and Yahoo change their algorithms often to ensure they return only the most relevant search results. If an SEO company presents a proposal that allows for these changes, question but also offers a realistic schedule of activity, it’s a sign that changes to indexing procedures won’t catch your agency out.
While it’s important to know that SEO activities will develop and adapt, it’s also important to check that you will receive regular service. Look for a mix of the two to get the best of both worlds.
4. Beware of Rogue Traders
You’d expect Google to know a thing or two about optimization. They have compiled their list of points almost guaranteed to hinder your search engine optimization efforts. These include:
• Steer clear of SEOs that propose or own shadow domains
• Question any agency that wants to put links to their other clients on doorway pages. These outbound links are of little value.
• Don’t trust any SEO specialist that offers to sell keywords in the address bar
• Be wary of SEO activity that doesn’t distinguish between actual search results and ads that appear in search results
• Don’t trust search engine optimization firms that guarantee rankings, but only on obscure, long keyword phrases you would get anyway
• Don’t trust an SEO operating with multiple aliases or the falsified WHOIS info
• Don’t trust gets traffic from “fake” search engines, spyware, or malware
• Don’t trust SEO managers who have had domains removed from Google’s index or are not themselves listed in Google.
And finally, you should find a Google-certified company, and as such, adheres to Google’s own best practice guidelines.
5. White Hat Search Engine Optimization
Any optimization service worth its management fee will only use white hat techniques. That means sticking to methods approved by the search engines. Any attempt by your SEO company to hide keywords, circumvent the traditional organic process or to artificially manipulate rankings will be deemed ‘black hat’. If you’re found to be employing black hat methods on your site, it could be penalized or removed from the rankings.