SEO , the de facto standard of online marketing, can be defined as a “set of legitimate practices undertaken to gain the highest possible search engine rankings, under a given key phrase, for a given URL. “The term SEO when expanded stands for “Search Engine Optimization”. It is the hottest marketing device to put your website on top of the chart in majors like Google, Yahoo & MSN. Studies have revealed that most search engine users do not click past the first three pages or more extensively first 30 ranks. Your own experience of using search engines probably verifies this. If your website does not enjoy eminent ranking, it might as well be invisible. In simple words, without SEO the very purpose of your commercial website is underutilized.
SEO has evolved as a main strategy of online marketing. This makes it equally important to choose the right SEO Company. And the right company is not just any firm that achieves exceptional results. It should have much more than that and here is what you should look at:
* Choose a company which has a good track record in terms of achieving top results in search engines. Obviously, your first choice goes in selecting a company that has brought results in your industry. And we agree to that! Our experience shows that there are companies that bring exceptional results in one industry segment, fair average in another. SEO involves vast amount of research. And that makes the difference. However, that’s not the sole criteria. You need to consider other factors also.
* SEO is a long term commitment, short term strategies don’t work here. Look out for the company’s client base and the age of the client-company relationship. That will give you a fair amount of idea about the company’s rapport with client and their handling of relationships. You can even directly ask for references with their contact numbers. This practical approach can go a long way in qualitative selection criteria.
* The rules of SEO keep on changing with changing algorithms of search engines. An ethical SEO company makes sure that it keeps itself tuned to these legitimate practices and does not put client’s website in danger of getting blacklisted by search engines. Verify that your chosen company follows them in strict accordance of search engines guidelines. These guidelines are available on respective search engines inside pages.
* Get a project schedule from the SEO Company during the contract period. It may be a part of the proposal. SEO is a continuous process, not a one-time effort. It involves website and competition analysis, keyword research, content overhauling, HTML coding, broken links checkup and above all, link exchanges. See that each process is properly worked on your website and corresponding reports presented to you within time lines.
* Content is now evolving as a key factor in website rankings in search engines. Will your vendor update the content on a periodic basis? Will he maintain the copyright or you are the owner of that content? Clear these before you sign up.
* Time scale may be essential to see visible results. MSN and Yahoo list faster than Google say in 12-16 weeks. Ask for a definite time schedule. Some companies link payment plans with these milestones.
* Search Engine Marketing Company should offer you an automated way of watching traffic reports to your site. This is called website statistics analysis or in short ‘Stats’. The most commonly used third-party software is ‘Awstats’. They give you a complete analysis of the traffic build-up hour-by-hour day-by-day. Stats also give you the country break of hits to the website. And when your site starts getting traffic from search engines, they provide you the list of traffic generating keywords. Such reports extensively help you to get the correct picture of how SEO is benefiting you and your organization.
There are a number of other points that can help to make your selection criteria a perfect one. However, above points can be excellent beginning in your quest to search a RIGHT SEO company.