SEO (Search Engine Optimization) can be a tricky business. Getting on the first page of a search result listing is a goal of nearly every website owner, but actually getting there can be tough. Many people opt to pay someone else to do the task. Paying someone to do your SEO can be beneficial, but it could also be the demise of any good search engine rankings for you. Here is what you need to know about hiring out your websites SEO.
The SEO company will either have your best interests at heart, or they won’t. If they are telling you they can get you in the #1 spot in a week or two, that is a red flag. Be weary of promises that sound too good to be true. If they dance around the topic when you ask then HOW they plan to increase your ranking, that is a red flag. A solid company will have a plan to follow and they should be more than happy to go over the details with you. If you searched for reviews for the company and found lots of negative stuff, hello RED FLAG!!
Most people have no clue how a search engine really works, by that same token they probably have lots of misconceptions about how to better their search engine ranking. Lets start with the bad stuff, the ways SEO companies can hurt you.
If an SEO company starts spamming your link to get more backlinks you are likely to get a penalty and negatively impact your ranking for a long time. This includes things like, pasting your link on irrelevant sites, bookmarking sites, pasting your link in a comment on an un-moderated site/blog, ect.- Your ranking might even be better for a while, but it will drop, trust me, bad backlinks will hurt you. Quality back links are important, but the key word is ‘quality’. Your links should be found on relevant websites, and/or reputable websites. Through these links, search engines can analyze the popularity of a website as well as important metrics like trust, spam, and authority. Trustworthy sites link to other trusted sites, spam sites receive very few links from trusted sources.
“One common scam is the creation of “shadow” domains that funnel users to a site by using deceptive redirects. These shadow domains often will be owned by the SEO who claims to be working on a client’s behalf. However, if the relationship sours, the SEO may point the domain to a different site, or even to a competitor’s domain. If that happens, the client has paid to develop a competing site owned entirely by the SEO.
Another illicit practice is to place “doorway” pages loaded with keywords on the client’s site somewhere. The SEO promises this will make the page more relevant for more queries. This is inherently false since individual pages are rarely relevant for a wide range of keywords. More insidious, however, is that these doorway pages often contain hidden links to the SEO’s other clients as well. Such doorway pages drain away the link popularity of a site and route it to the SEO and its other clients, which may include sites with unsavory or illegal content.
Some useful questions to ask an SEO include:
Can you show me examples of your previous work and share some success stories?
Do you follow the Google Webmaster Guidelines?
Do you offer any online marketing services or advice to complement your organic search business?
What kind of results do you expect to see, and in what timeframe? How do you measure your success?
What’s your experience in my industry?
What’s your experience in my country/city?
What’s your experience developing an SEO plan for international websites?
What are your most important SEO techniques?
How long have you been in business?
How can I expect to communicate with you? Will you share with me all the changes you make to my site, and provide detailed information about your recommendations and the reasoning behind them?
While SEOs can provide clients with valuable services, some unethical SEOs have given the industry a black eye through their overly aggressive marketing efforts and their attempts to manipulate search engine results in unfair ways. Practices that violate our guidelines may result in a negative adjustment of your site’s presence in Google, or even the removal of your site from our index.”
Now I personally believe that you can take your SEO future in your own two hands, or at least try to. If you have the budget to hire out SEO, go for it, I know of some amazing SEO companies that are worth every penny, just do your homework first. For the rest of you that might be on a budget, here are a few things you can do to start improving your SEO.
-Have lots of original content, on every page of your website.
-Start social channels — Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Google+, LinkedIn, etc.
-Start a blog and link to it from lots of relevant places (other similar blogs, forums, social media, connect with other businesses, write a column for a news source and backlink to your site…)
-Add alt tags to images, add unique meta information to each page on your website.
-Create a sitemap.xml
-NO spammy links!!!! No spam emails either, do not ‘cold call’ people via email.
MummeTech is not an SEO company, we do not do any marketing. We do development, and we do it well. I would advise you stay away from companies that claim they can ‘do it all’ unless they have excellent, trustworthy reviews. We do basic SEO setup, we can implement pixels and tags if your marketing professional tells you to do that, we can work with your marketing professional to add code, but we are not in the marketing business. We do employ best SEO practices when building websites, and can integrate SEO tools for you, such as creating a site map, adding google analytics, and integrating cashing techniques, we can also handle most other SEO tasks. contact us for more information.