As the Internet industry continues to rise and become more popular, companies are looking for the most effective ways to advertise their site to increase their brand and sales. Many companies are trying to advertise on search engines, social media platforms, online press releases, etc. You are probably asking yourself, whatever happened to good, old-fashion television, newspaper and radio advertisements? The answer is in the question itself, with the phrase, "Old Fashion". People these days get their information through new and more convenient forms of technology, such as smart phones and tablets, by accessing the Internet and online apps. 9th sphere wrote an article in February regarding a topic similar to this on Why SEO Deserves to Be on Your Marketing Budget.
Even though SEO as a concept and practice has been around for quite some time, the evolution of online marketing has never seen such drastic changes as it has in the recent few years. Some larger companies are hiring online marketing teams to advertise their company's websites online. But what about the medium to small sized businesses who don't have the budget to hire a team? Have no fear. There are SEO firms out there that provide services to help companies rank higher on search engines and promote their brand name. But you must be careful when choosing an SEO firm. I have heard and personally seen firms that guarantee that their clients will be ranked on the first position for keywords but when they decide to cancel their services, the rankings will not be found again. Also there are many stories about firms that spam their client's websites in efforts to get links and ultimately got them banned from search engines.
Here is a list of some key factors to consider when finding the best SEO firm:
- Just like when you hire a new employee, you always check for references. An SEO firm is no different.
- Research the company. You want to make sure that the firm is doing SEO, PPC, Social Media, etc. on their own site as well. They should have expertise in web design, technical development and copywriting as well. SEO alone may bring traffic, but it doesn’t convert. It’s important to deal with a company that can offer you a full-service solution or at least work very closely with your other teams. The closer the teams work as a unit the better for you.
- Make sure the SEO company keeps up to date with the latest news and trends. Online marketing constantly changes and SEO's need to be on their toes on the latest development. Note that they change almost daily.
- Since SEO can be a very slow and long process in terms of showing results, you should discuss a long term plan and that the firm you deal with is in it for the long haul. Expect 3-8 months depending on your current website situation.
- Discuss the rights of the website. You want to make sure that everything the firm wants to do go through your approval first before implementing any changes.
- If an SEO firm guarantees you that your keyword will be ranked on the first page of Google, most likely they are doing something fishy. No one can promise a top ranking. Think about how long other companies have been working on that particular keyword.
By following the steps outlined above and doing some homework about online marketing, finding the right firm for your business needs should not be a problem. Just remember to always do research on the firm and make sure that what they are doing is completely legit.