your web pages. In most cases, your own SEO efforts will achieve some search results rankings for
you before these services will.
That’s not to say there are not legitimate companies out there that will help you gain better place-
ment for your web site. And those other services may actually submit your site to search engines
and directories using paid-placement or paid-submission capabilities. But unless these services are
coupled with other SEO services, you could probably do much better without spending the extra
money. The one consideration that can cut the other way, though, is the time factor. It will take
many hours to research and submit to search engines on your own.
If you do find one of these services that looks like it offers the features you need — reporting capa-
bilities, URL monitoring capabilities, web metrics, and so on — and you have the budget to invest
in it, there’s a preliminary step or two. Before you hire a company, take the time to learn about what
is has to offer. Is it realistic? If a company promises that it can make your site rank number one in all
the different search engines the company works with, you can bet this won’t happen. The number
one spot is very tough to achieve. And if that company offers the same guarantee to all its customers,
well . . . there is just no way everyone can be number one.
Take the time to check on a company’s claims to ensure it has a legitimate business model. If it says
it will submit your site to 1,000 search engines (or even 100), ask for a list of those search engines.
Look up each search engine and ensure that your site is appropriate for those engines. Most of the
time, the company’s claim is that it will “submit” your site to that huge number of search engines
and directories. But submission is not inclusion or even paid placement. There’s no guarantee that
the company can make your site appear in the index, much less in the search results.
Finally, if you’re considering hiring a company to submit your site to a variety of search engines, look
very closely at the company’s business model, and ask for customer referrals. Of course, the company
is only going to provide names of customers who have demonstrated a willingness to speak well of
the company, but you can still call those references and ask very specific questions.
Ultimately, hiring a company to submit your site to search engines should be a decision based on
your specific needs. If you have time, you can do all the search engine submissions that are needed
by yourself. It may take longer for you to submit to all those sites, but the positive side of doing it
yourself is the budget savings that you can apply to other, more efficient marketing and SEO tactics.
Managing Paid Services
When you choose to use paid services, like PFI or PPC, you may find that managing the different
services quickly becomes as difficult a task as working without them. You need strategies to man-
age all of them as efficiently as possible.
One huge help when trying to manage your SEO, paid services, and everything that goes along with
them is to find a software solution that will let you manage as many facets of your SEO strategy as
possible from one location. You won’t find a single service or software that will manage everything,
Optimizing Search Strategies
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