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5 things to look for in an SEO Firm

Published: July 31 2008

5 things to look for in an SEO Firm - Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is a necesity for almost every website.  Without proper meta tags, copy, and submissions, it could take years (at best) to show up in the search engines.

Here are 5 tips to finding an SEO firm that can help your business:

  1. Proven Results: Can the firm show you a wide range of clients and industries that they have helped in the search engines?  Are these results across a variety of search engines including Google, Yahoo, MSN, Ask, etc? 
  2. How it's Done:  If the SEO company refuses to tell you any part of their process because it's super top-secret... RUN! SEO does not require magic powers or sending large amounts of unmarked bills to Google.  It requires a lot of research, experience, and patience.  Anyone that tells you differently is probably doing something that will work for a while but then cause your website to drop off the face of the engine.
  3. Guarantees: The only certainties in life are death and taxes.  If you are told by an SEO firm that they can “guarantee” results in 2 weeks, it's best to thank them for their time and go on to the next company.  Most search engines take 6 weeks to 2 months to properly index a website.  SEO is a process that takes time, patience and a lot of good website content.
  4. Reporting: Be sure to ask how often you will receive reports on your positioning.  It is not necessary to see a report every week, however you should be seeing one at least every quarter. This will let you know what kind of progress you have made and what changes need to be made.  You should also ask about reporting on statistical information.  Your Search Engine Optimization Expert should be reviewing your stats at least monthly to see if there has been an increase in traffic or not.
  5. Pricing: Pricing should depend on the number of pages within the site, the competition in the search engines, and the additional work necessary to prepare your website to be submitted.  If you phone an SEO company and they can give you an exact price over the phone, be cautious. Without properly researching the industry and your specific website, they could quickly find themselves over budget and sending out additional billing that was not originally discussed.
  6. **Bonus Tip** Be Involved: Don't leave the fate of your online business souly in the hands of someone you've just hired.  Stay involved throughout the entire process.  You know better than anyone what your customers are going to search for, so speak up, ask questions, and do a little researching of your own.  Find out where your brick-and-mortor competitors place in the search engines, and discuss this with your SEO expert.

Keeping these things in mind will help you determine the best person for the job.