Choosing an SEO Company

Part 2: SEO Firm Research

It's understandable that SEO is an unfamiliar territory to many. It's a fairly new business, and it's not necessarily the client's job to comprehend all the in-and-outs of search engine optimization. But familiarizing yourself with general information about optimization will help when choosing an SEO company. Google provides a great list of guildlines at their site regarding what to watch out for when looking for an SEO service. The framework of these guildlines will be summarized here.

First, do as much of a background check on the SEO service as possible. Answer important questions, such as how long have they been in service, and what is their reputation? If possible, get references from their current clients, and see if other SEO services would recommend them.

Avoid an SEO company that uses spam advertising tactics. Spam has long been recognized as an unethical practice in the world of advertising. A dependable SEO firm will not spam potential clients with email about their services. Clients should be the ones requesting services, not the other way around.

A true SEO firm is not a submission only service. Although reputable SEO's include submission services as part of their package, this is not a prime aspect of SEO. Submission services that involve pay-for-inclusion are more in the realm of search engine marketing, or SEM.

Avoid an SEO company that states it will submit your pages to thousands of search engines and directories with promises they will be listed and found. There simply are not that many core search engines and directories on the Internet, and long term results require more than just submissions.

It's not about pay-per-click (PPC) and advertisements. A good SEO company will not generate traffic increases through advertising your site via pay-per-click or impressions and pass the traffic off as organic search results. Again, this resides more in the realm of SEM, and is really not a function of long term results. You should be paying SEO fees for optimization services, not extra dollars for click throughs which can potentially end up costing you a lot of money. Furthermore, you should never have to pay fees for better ranking through advertising bids. Find out where your money for SEO services is going.

Be careful about an SEO firm that claims to have special relationships with specific search engines, and guarantees you the top ranking position within the most popular ones. For instance, this simply isn't possible with Google.

Be wary of companies that don't supply you with specific information. An SEO service that is secretive about what they do should be avoided. According to Google, "If an SEO creates deceptive or misleading content on your behalf, such as doorway pages or "throwaway" domains, your site could be removed entirely from Google's index. Ultimately, you are responsible for the actions of any companies you hire, so it's best to be sure you know exactly how they intend to "help" you."

Avoid an SEO firm that requires you to install extra software that allows you to type keywords into your browser.

SEO Service-Part 3: The Difference Between SEO and SEM