4 Tips for Choosing the Right SEO Company

So you’ve made the decision to hire an Internet marketing company… now what? Choosing the best SEO firm can be tough if you haven’t done your research. Therefore, when searching for a company that meets your needs (and budget), there are quite a few things to consider and it may be a bit of a process. A good SEO company will be up-to-date on the best practices, while constantly evolving along with the industry. Below are a few tips that will help you choose the best SEO firm out there.

  • Know your goals

It’s important to have a certain goal in mind when choosing an SEO company. Whether it’s to increase your bottom line, further your social media efforts, receive more visitors, improve conversion rates, or (most likely) to improve your search engine rankings, ensure that you have specific goals in mind that you can tell potential SEO firms.

  • Think beyond SEO

When it comes to SEO, there is a lot going on behind the scenes to help improve your search engine ranking. A good SEO company will offer link building, web design services, copywriting, social media, and much more to further your campaign efforts. These services all have an effect on SEO and it’s important to take these aspects into consideration as well.

  • Get recommendations and examples

When speaking to a potential SEO firm, ask for client referrals. Word-of-mouth is a common way to find an SEO firm, but there are a variety of resources out there to help you, like SEOCompanies.com. You should also ask for examples of sites the company has optimized, along with explanations of what they have done. Check out the company’s own website, along with their search engine rankings, as well.

  • Don’t be fooled by prices

A high price doesn’t guarantee the best quality campaign and a low price doesn’t indicate the most cost-effective option. Rather than focusing on the price, focus on the company’s plan for your website, along with their examples and recommendations. More often than not, you should be able to go with your gut after doing your research to find the right SEO company.

It’s important to avoid companies that make suspicious promises and claims that sound too good to be true. No company can guarantee you a No. 1 ranking. Look for quality over quantity (more links doesn’t necessarily mean quality links). Remember, a good SEO company will be up-to-date on the best practices, while constantly evolving along with the industry.

“You’re Backwards”: What to Say to Self-Proclaimed SEO Specialists

Almost every day, I ask myself what makes the SEO profession so appealing to people. For me, SEO enables me to help build the online brands of passionate visionaries and companies on a daily basis. I get to talk to motivated and informed people, learn more about the industries that make this country great, and contribute to the growth of original ideas. This is why I love the SEO biz.

But a lot of people in the SEO industry love it for a different reason – its potential. Not its potential to benefit clients, but its potential to fool the same people I love to help.

For instance, there are some people who read the first edition of Search Engine Optimization for Dummies published in the late 90s and instantly consider themselves industry experts. After reading that and a few SEO-based articles online, they go ahead and build a simple website. They then contact clients with limited SEO knowledge who are looking to build their online business, and when they find them, they give them a spiel.

This spiel, as you probably know, is total BS.

What follows are some of the things self-proclaimed SEO specialists say and how you can reply. Arm yourself with this information and you’ll never be fooled like the thousands of other people have before you.

 

Keyword Usage

 

SEO Specialist: Have one or two keywords in the title, one keyword in the first sentence of the first paragraph, a 5% keyword density, and NEVER lose focus of your keyword.

You: You’re backwards.

I’m aware of the fact that keywords are very important. But have you forgotten about readability and the potential for virality across social platforms like Twitter, Facebook and G+? This is what makes content great. It’s also what makes content rank well. My target market wants information that’s engaging and informative. By writing with this in mind – not keywords – I’ll dish out content that’s fresh. The content that I produce, or the content produced by a seasoned SEO company with best SEO practices in mind, is the content that will make my company most successful.

Don’t you know anything about what accounts for the success of websites that rank the highest? According to the 2013 Rank Correlation Chart by Search Metrics, social signals and backlinks are the most important factors of SEO success. These are achieved with high quality content that focuses on the target market – not the target keyword.

Proper keyword usage in page titles, “h” tags and body text still plays an important role, but nothing like the role it played before Google updates like Penguin and Hummingbird.

When you read the latest edition of Search Engine Optimization for Dummies and demonstrate your dedication to high quality content, then we’ll start talking.

 

Interlinking

 

SEO Specialist: You want to have interlinking on every page in your body text. This makes your website a well-connected web that Google can crawl like a spider.

You: You’re still backwards.

Are you going out of your way to ruin my conversions? While I recognize the importance of proper interlinking, I’ll never adopt the habit of interlinking unnecessarily on my website. I consider my website a “customer experience” and, therefore, only want my clients to go to other pages that enhance that experience.

Interlinking in body text solely for Google is not in my nature. I want my pages to be filled with relevant information and links and, ultimately, to be set up for conversions. If I insert unnecessary links on pages to “strengthen my web,” I’ll ruin my site’s conversion producing funnel.

Also, having exact match anchor text is bad, which is probably what you’ll end up implementing if I hire you. I could give you 5 reasons why exact match anchor text is bad, but I’ll hold off for now.

 

Article Submission and Link Portfolios

SEO Specialist:  After I produce an engaging, highly informative article for you, I’m going to publish it on various article directories. With a link that has keyword-rich anchor text, this article will promote clickthroughs to your site and build your link portfolio.

You: Okay, after I explain this, I’m hanging up.

While article directories were effective back in the day, in today’s online world, they have no real value. While you do have a point about getting your content in different places, there’s a better way to do it than publishing the same article on different directories.

Instead of publishing the same article on directories to build my link portfolio, I think I’ll do this instead:

  • get different websites to sponsor links to my original content
  • reach out to bloggers and websites to publish my unique content on their sites in exchange for a link back to mine.
  • invest in pay-per-click advertising that generates traffic back to my content

All these tactics will target relevant traffic from people more responsive to my information and offering.

Call me back never. Thanks!

Is Your Business Missing Out on Mobile Internet Users?

The mobile community is the fastest growing section of Internet users in the world. In fact, it’s expected that in the year 2014, more than half of Internet usage will be conducted via a smart phone or tablet device. The fact that more and more people are making purchase decisions through their tablets or smartphones creates incredible opportunities for small business owners. According to SnapHop, more than 60% of mobile users who discover a website without a mobile friendly interface will immediately leave and head to a competitor’s site.

Many businesses will work or have worked with an SEO company to create a website that is search engine optimization friendly. This is a wise move, and the numbers prove that building a website with the search engines in mind is incredibly beneficial. However, just because a business has worked with a SEO company in the past, doesn’t mean that they have a website that is mobile friendly. The responsive design of mobile friendly websites used to be a special perk, but it’s now almost imperative to have a responsive design. The costs can vary, but the potential for lost business is staggering without a mobile friendly website.

The best SEO strategies all keep mobile searchers in mind, which is a big reason that social media marketing is growing in popularity. More than 80% of time on mobile phones is spent on sites like Facebook and Twitter. When companies have a strong presence on these sites, they can provide links back to their Web pages. These landing pages can be optimized to run special promotions that will help drive more leads or sales.

Local search is also an integral part of mobile search. People on the go are often looking for the best place to get a particular product or service. The best mobile strategies will take advantage of this by providing a site design that encourages sales. This starts with easy to read text and a prominent call to action and ends with the sales or contact page. The most effective contact pages will provide a hyperlink that prompts a phone call to a business. The easier the user experience, the higher the likelihood conversions will be made.

All online marketing efforts need to be focused on enhancing the experience of a business’s targeted audience. Whether a person is on a mobile device or sitting at home on their laptop, companies that utilize the latest trends to provide an enjoyable and informative online experience will always flourish.