When a company decides to set up its own website to promote itself and the goods and services it offers, it is faced with a daunting challenge – to have a compelling presence online and to have its audience click the “visit site” link. With so many different websites all competing to be both popular and relevant, it’s no wonder that SEO (search engine optimization) companies have in demand over the years.
An SEO company will greatly help a company maintain or grow an online presence, and perhaps even make the website successful enough that it hits the front page of any search engine result. However, hiring the right SEO company to analyze and use SEO on a website could prove to be a little tricky. Like the numerous websites all over the internet, there are numerous SEO companies. Some of these companies have their specialties, others perform general tasks.
If a person wants to hire an SEO company, merely searching for one and visit site pages to see what work they do is not enough. Hiring a company is a big investment, one that could last many months. So, before a person gets to hiring an SEO company right away to help him build his website and make it relevant to search engines, here are some of the questions he should ask when he’s interviewing his options:
•Who are the SEO company’s past and current clients?
The most reputable SEO companies have an impressive list of past and current clients. If a person wants a better idea of how the SEO company performs, he should ask for a list of clients and go visit site “samples”. The list of clients will also tell a person what kind of SEO the company does and if they deal with a specific type of clientele. Some many not provide details, but they should be able to tell a person if their SEO efforts were successful.
•How will they improve a website’s rankings?
There are two types of SEO techniques: white-hat and black-hat. White-hat SEO involves analyzing a website’s content and code, creating relevant content, and the like; while black-hat SEO involves playing around with the search engine’s algorithm and manipulating it in order to get a client’s website to the front page. White-hat SEO is for long-term websites that want to build up their relevance and popularity, while black-hat SEO is for those who quickly want results. Of the two, the most reputable SEO companies would use white-hat SEO. Black-hat SEO is more about building and spamming links to build relevance and could be flagged by a search engine.
While interviewing a potential SEO company, they should be able to provide a detailed review of a person’s website, outline their plans, and what are their predicted outcomes. An SEO company should also be able to improve the website’s physical content itself, making it more accessible and easier to navigate to those who visit site. Aside from on-page optimization, they should also be able to perform off-page optimization, which is marketing a person’s website through social media, blogs, or other websites.
It is also worth noting that it is a big red flag is an SEO company promises that a person’s website will be the number one result in the search rankings. This means that they will in all likelihood employ the use of black-hat SEO.
•Do they adhere to a search engine’s guidelines?
A person should always look for SEO companies that adhere to a search engine’s webmaster guidelines (which are publicly posted on their official websites). These guidelines have specific practices that a prohibited and being detected practicing these tricks will get a website flagged and be ranked in the lowest of search results. The worst that could happen is that the website could be removed from the databases and banned altogether. SEO companies that follow these guidelines are usually sought after by companies and website owners because of their ethical approach to SEO.