- By John Cunningham
- Published 08/3/2009
Hiring an SEO services provider can be a tough job. Try typing the search term in a search engine and you will instantly know what we mean from the results that come up. Especially if you are doing this for the first time, you will definitely be better off having some help, particularly in how to evaluate potential providers. After all, hiring an SEO services provider is not like hiring an electrical contractor or a maintenance guy. Aside from the highly technical work involved in search engine optimization, the bigger consideration is that your provider can literally make or break whatever Internet marketing directions you have planned. There are several considerations by which you can evaluate any potential SEO services provider to make sure you are spending your money in a good investment. Foremost of this is the track record of your potential provider. Track records are best illustrated of course by their client portfolio. In addition, you also need to find out details about the firm’s experience, specifically how long they have been in the SEO industry. You can also use their client list to confirm the way they do business and how they measure the success of campaigns.
It is also important that you agree with your SEO services provider on such fundamental things such as ethics and values. As in any industry, the SEO industry is riddled with probably as much unethical players as ethical ones. Make sure to t
ake a look at the business practices and methodologies that your potential provider uses in delivering its services. Remember that associating your company or brand with an unethical provider can cause you to hurt your reputation. For this purpose, you need to be able to identify some of the unethical or “black-hatting” practice in SEO. These include keyword stuffing, page-swapping, copyright infringement, using irrelevant keywords, posting the identical content in all pages, putting invisible text in web pages, and overusing graphics and flash content. These practices, when detected by search engines such as Google, can cause your website to be banned from the page results. A reputable SEO firm also knows the value of your investment. As such, they will be very candid in discussing what you are paying for and what you can potentially get in return. SEO is an extensive process that takes a lot of time, effort and technical expertise. On the other hand, there is no way to guarantee the results. The most you can get is the guarantee that your SEO firm will be committed to seeing your page ranking improve. This is done through constant updating of techniques and strategies as your campaign goes along.
Finally, it is not enough to figure in a top position in search engines. What is more important is to convert this positioning into actual revenues. As such, your SEO partner should also be able to present and execute conversion strategies that can improve the chances of click-throughs being converted into actual sales.