submit articles to other sources that will link back to your site, someone to design or supplement
the design of your site to make it attractive to search engines, and someone to manage the whole
SEO program from beginning to end, including reporting to you, the web-site owner.
If you want someone to help with SEO on your web site, here are some requirements to consider:
Ask for references and look at those references for previous customers who rank well in
searches in their industry. The most successful SEO firms can provide references and case
studies that prove those companies are worth your SEO budget investment.
Ask about the practices that the firm under consideration considers unethical. Many unethi-
cal SEO tactics can get your site removed from search rankings entirely, so you could find
yourself with a big bill and a site that doesn’t appear in search results at all. If possible, have
a list of unethical practices, labeled as such, included in the contract, along with penalties
for use of those tactics.
No SEO professional or firm will guarantee results. If the professional or firm you are con-
sidering is guaranteeing specific results, move on. A good SEO firm will not guarantee
anything that’s not completely in its control (search engine rankings are not in its con-
trol, because no one knows the specifics around any search engine’s ranking algorithm).
When you find an SEO firm that offers the services that you need, you can expect to receive certain
specific services from them. The services will vary from firm to firm, but here’s a list that you can use
as a good rule of thumb:
A professional SEO audit. The audit should thoroughly examine your site and your existing
SEO efforts to determine what works and what needs to be improved or started.
Keyword and competitor research.
On-page SEO. On-page SEO tells how each page of your web site is optimized. On-page
SEO includes elements like HTML tags, keywords, and content.
Optimization of internal site navigation. Your internal navigation can have a serious effect
on how your site performs in search results, so a good SEO will examine and optimize
that navigation structure.
Staff training. SEO requires ongoing efforts. Your staff will need to be trained in the most
successful methods for maintaining optimization.
Professional SEO firms can offer a lot of benefits to your web site. The good ones specialize mainly
in SEO and can properly optimize your site, and your services, in less time than you can. Your core
business is likely not SEO. But an SEO firm’s is. That reason alone should be enough to make you
consider hiring an SEO firm, whether or not you end up doing so.
Optimizing Search Strategies
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