Pick a Reputable SEO Firm
Choosing the wrong SEO firm wastes company resources and can result in search engines penalizing or even banning your site from their search results.
If you plan to hire an SEO company in Virginia or elsewhere, perform due diligence.
Here are nine tips to help you choose a competent, reputable SEO company.
Check Results for SEO Company & Their Clients
Search for the SEO company’s site in Google, Yahoo and Bing search results under a few phrases such as “SEO” and “Search Engine Optimization.” Do they appear prominently?
Check search rankings for their clients’ sites.
Search for the product or service their customers sell — not merely for their company name.
Key Phrase Depth (More Than One Phrase)
Be sure the SEO company site and their clients’ sites rank well for more than one phrase!
For example, since search engine optimization focuses on web copywriting and web coding, you might check the company’s search engine position for those phrases. If the SEO company’s website and their clients’ sites don’t appear on the first or second page in Google’s natural search results, do not hire them.
Copywriting Is Key
If the SEO service provider will be writing or editing your website copy — a key component of organic search engine optimization — scrutinize their writing.
Are the articles they post their own? Or, have they copied articles that appear elsewhere on the Web?
If they aren’t posting their own writing, you probably won’t want them writing web copy for your site.
Claiming Credit for Others’ Copy
Is the writing style of the articles posted on the SEO company’s site consistent? This is a little more difficult to check, but is very important!
If poorly written articles are mixed with an occasional copywriting gem, and the SEO company is claiming credit for the masterpiece, try Googling a unique phrase from the well-written article. You may discover that your prospective SEO firm is not the original author.
SEO Work Requires Attention to Details
There are plenty of details to manage in any aspect of online marketing and SEO is no exception.
Be sure the SEO company you are considering manages the details on their own site and their clients’ sites. An easy way to check is to examine their writing. Is it well written or sloppy?
SEO results may not be posted on the SEO service provider’s web site, but the company should, at least, provide a list of SEO clients and references.
If they do display their SEO client list, call a few of their clients.
If they don’t provide a client list, move on!
How Long Has The SEO Firm Been In Business?
The SEO industry attracts get-rich-quick folks. Aggressive SEO companies pop up regularly, using short-term tactics that can have negative long-term repercussions.
Overly aggressive tactics can temporarily boost results on your site before they backfire.
Beware of SEO companies that are not well established.
Are Keywords & Phrases Forced?
Examine the SEO company’s web copy — the text on their web pages. Does the text flow naturally or do keywords and key phrases seem to be forced together?
Remember, attracting good search results is only half the battle. To achieve your objectives, your site must be written to appeal to your potential customers too.
Organic SEO Is about Writing and Coding
If the check points in this article seem to emphasize writing, it is not an accident.
Unlike Search Engine Marketing (SEM), which is a collection of activities to promote your website through actions performed in places other than your website, Search Engine Optimization is about writing and coding on your site.
Unless you are a web programmer, it is easier to examine an SEO’s copywriting than their coding.