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Choosing an SEO Firm

Choosing an SEO Firm

If you’ve decided to go with a professional search engine optimization firm, congratulations!  You’re taking a big step toward making your business more visible to your target customers.  Before you hire an SEO firm, however, you need to know what to expect and how to choose the best firm for your needs.  Choosing the wrong firm will cost you both money and time, so it’s important that you weigh your options carefully.  Keep the following in mind when you are choosing an SEO firm.

What to Expect from an SEO Firm

Before you choose an SEO firm, you should understand what they can and cannot do for you.  A professional search engine optimization firm can help you transform your Web site from a simple Web page to a powerful marketing tool.  While top rankings are possible when you use a professional firm, understand that the search engine rankings constantly change.  Even if you do get to number one in the rankings, you may not stay there.  This is often due to the changes in the way search engines rank Web sites, not a lack of effort on your SEO firm’s part.  If you understand that SEO is a constant work-in-progress, you will have more realistic expectations from the SEO firm you choose.

Meeting with SEO Professionals

Before you choose an SEO firm, you should meet with the firm’s principal or project manager.  Some marketing materials can paint a wonderful picture of a firm, but when you meet the people behind the firm in person, it may raise some questions or concerns that you should address before you make your final hiring decision.  During your meeting, you should discuss your SEO goals for your business, talk with the project manager about his/her strategies, and ensure that only ethical SEO techniques will be used on your site.  You do not want to hire an unethical firm that will use techniques that could get you penalized by or even banned from the major search engines.

Reviewing Work Samples

Before you choose an SEO firm, you should always ask to see samples of sites that they have optimized.  You want to find out what keywords were used and then verify the results by using the search engines to search for those keywords.  If several of the sites show up in the top of the rankings, you can feel more confident in hiring your favorite firm.  If a professional search engine optimization specialist refuses to show you examples of sites that have been optimized by their firm, you may want to avoid using that firm since you have no proof that their tactics are ethical or successful.

Checking References

You should also ask for client references from SEO firms that you are considering.  Many professionals can talk about their work positively.  They may get results, but you also want to know what they are like to work with on a project.  Ask for contact information for a few of their clients and ask questions about their work habits, turnaround time, and responsiveness.  Checking references can save you from hiring someone you do not have a good working relationship with in the long run.

If you follow these tips for choosing an SEO firm, you can avoid a lot of frustration, wasted time, and wasted money and achieve good results in the search engine rankings.