Search engine optimization for small and very small businesses.

Archive for the SEO companies Category

SEO Quote of the Week

From a well-known and respected SEO company in the northeast, comes this quote:

We’ve listExpensive!ened to our clients, the economic climate, and what we like doing as a company and have decided to offer a Small-Business SEO package that starts at $749/month. We believe this is a reasonable price that is affordable to any small business that is serious about optimizing their website.

Many of our clients achieve long-term high rankings (many months and even years) for about the equivalent of only four months of their service. If you’d like to learn more, ask for our free Overview & Pricing Guide.

5 Factors When Choosing an SEO Company

Jill Whalen , CEO and founder of High Rankings, a search marketing firm outside of Boston, and co-founder of SEMNE, a New England search marketing networking organization, has been performing SEO since 1995. Jill is the host of the High Rankings Advisor search engine marketing newsletter, and she wrote this article in her newsletter recently. I find I agree with it almost completely, and am happy to share it with you.

A lot of companies get so confused when attempting to hire an SEO firm that they simply give up altogether and don’t hire anyone. Part of the problem is that they simply don’t know whom to trust for this service.Trust is always a tricky issue, and one that is emotionally charged based on our individual experiences with others as we navigate through the maze we call life. In SEO, trust issues are further magnified by the fact that there’s no one-size-fits-all solution, nor one method that all SEOs use to bring targeted traffic to their client’s websites.

Where does this leave the person or company who wants to hire an SEO firm, but doesn’t know whom to trust? SEO A tells them one thing, SEO B another, and SEOs C, D, E, and F completely different things altogether! Who is right? Who is wrong? Whom should they hire? Whom should they beware of?

Here are 5 factors that all businesses should weigh when choosing their SEO firm:

  1. Does the SEO firm set realistic expectations about what they can and can’t do, or do they simply promise the moon? Smart SEOs under-promise and over-deliver, so watch out for those that do the opposite (and there are many).
  2. Does the SEO company have a proven record of success and not just for long-tail keywords? Be sure to check references to learn whether the SEO firm actually improved their clients’ bottom line in some way.
  3. Does the SEO agency provide recommendations for making your site better than it currently is, or are they trying to do things to it that will actually make it worse for your users? This one sounds crazy, but a good portion of SEOs think that it’s all about the search engines and not the users, and make bad decisions accordingly. Never, ever, ever let an SEO company do something that you feel worsens your site’s overall usability or readability.
  4. Does the SEO consultant tell you what they’re doing and why they’re doing it, or do they just want you to blindly trust them? This one should set off a major red flag if you ever encounter it. Sure, you don’t need to know every last detail or to micromanage your SEO campaign, but your SEO should be able to explain their reasoning for why they want to do the things they recommend. If they can’t, or if their answers don’t make sense, then run (don’t walk) to the nearest door!
  5. Does the SEO company use only automated methods to achieve their goals? This isn’t necessarily bad; however, you need to be aware if this is what they’re doing. SEO is very much an art as well as a science, and because of this, creativity should always play a big part. It’s very difficult to be creative when everything you do is based on a numbers game. Just keep that in mind!

Like trusting a friend, a dentist, or anyone else, determining whom to trust as your SEO partner should not be taken lightly or rushed into. Educate yourself on SEO as much as you can before you decide.

Get to know the SEO vendors you’re thinking of hiring, ask them lots and lots of questions, and most of all use your gut and your own common sense to determine if you’ll be a good fit. If you are unsure, then keep on looking. There are plenty of SEO fish in the sea, and there should be a few who use the methods you believe in, who are within your budget, and who will work hard to help you accomplish your website goals!

5 Tips for Avoiding Deceptive SEO Companies

Avoid black hat SEO techniques.There are deceptive SEO companies out there — we refer to them as “black hat” companies who use unethical techniques to get your site near the top of the rankings. Their techniques often work well in the short term, but they don’t produce long-term results and often they can get your web site banned from the search engines.

Small Business Trends has an article on 5 things that may reveal a black hat SEO company:

1 – keyword stuffing
2 – overuse of bold text and links
3 – hidden links
4 – complicated link schemes
5 -multiple domains or subdomains with essentially the same content

See the article for the complete skinny on these shady techniques.

How to Detect Fake SEO Consultants

Beware fake SEO consultants.We’re always interested by articles that tell people how to tell good SEO companies from bad ones. There are a number of reasons for that. For one, we’re very confident that these articles will demonstrate that Rank Magic is a good SEO company. For another, I find it disturbing that there are so many bad SEO companies out there — companies that over-promise and under-deliver (or worse). The more people know about how to identify those bad apples, the sooner they’ll disappear from the scene and I won’t have to feel like I’m in the same business as a bunch of hucksters.

Anyway, Site Reference recently published an article with the same title as this blog post. They highlight five sure-fire giveaways. If you’re considering hiring an SEO company, this article is worth reading. These are five things fake SEO companies may do:

1 – Guarantee you that they can place your website in the number one position on Google.
2 – Charge ridiculously low amount of money for a lot of services.
3 – Claim a Secret and Proprietary Technique that cannot be revealed.
4 – Recommend “Black Hat” techniques: (doorway pages, cloaking).
5 – Emphasize outdated techniques like keyword stuffing & meta tags.

Hiring an SEO Company

In a May newsletter, noted SEO expert Jill Whalen wrote some sage advice on  hiring an SEO company.

Ultimately, the onus is on those who contract with SEOs.

If you’re a company who’s thinking of hiring an SEO consultant or agency, for goodness’ sake take a look at how long they’ve been in business! If they’ve been in the biz for at least 3 years and have some proof of results and satisfied customers, they probably have some clue about what they’re doing. Even then, be skeptical. If they’re asking you to make major changes to your website, be sure you understand exactly why. I’d even suggest getting a second opinion if it’s extensive and expensive.