SEO, short for search engine optimization, is becoming increasingly necessary for any website that wants to be seen whenever people conduct an online search. At the basic level, SEO is nothing more than making a website look attractive for the automated crawlers the search engines use. In practice, however, SEO can be an involved an time-consuming task. That’s one reason why there are so many people offering search engine optimization services. Such services save time, but how can you be sure any particular SEO company knows what it’s doing? Here are a few things you should find out before hiring anyone to run an SEO campaign for you.
1. Do they make outrageous claims? This one can be a little tricky because you want an SEO company to get your site to rank as high as possible. So, what constitutes an outrageous claim? If they say they can guarantee a #1 listing in the search engines, say you can stay in the top spot, or tell you it can be done in a few hours, then you may wish to look elsewhere. Of course, there’s always a chance they could do these things, but remember that you will always have competition trying to get ahead of you, and that’s the one thing no SEO provider can control.
2. Get references. Start by asking any people that you personally know who have used the SEO service you are considering. If they haven’t used the same one, ask about the service they chose and what their experiences were. Next, go online and look for any reviews or feedback left by previous or current customers. If you see a general trend where people recommend the service, that’s a good sign you may want to do business with that company. On the other hand, you need to be careful of negative reviews as there is always the possibility they are fake and were created by a competing firm.
3. What kind of maintenance do they provide, if any? As mentioned, your site has competitors. Also, the higher you rank, the tougher the competition will be. That’s why SEO is not a one time “set and forget” procedure; it’s an ongoing thing. Be sure to ask what type of upkeep packages the SEO service offers. You will most likely have to pay a monthly subscription fee, but that’s okay. If they do not offer any type of maintenance plan, then they are not a good choice for the long-term success of your website.
4. How is their customer service? The good news is that you can get a good idea of this before you spend any money. Simply send the SEO service an email asking a question. Then wait to see how long it takes to get a response, how knowledgeable the response is, and how polite they are. If any of these are not to your satisfaction, then move on to another company.