When you excitedly first choose your seo company following promises of top rankings, huge traffic increases and maybe even world domination, the thought of risk can be the furthest thing from your mind. Most web business owners have been here, at first feeling full of anticipation about how their business is about to grow and prosper.
However the reality can be somewhat different, surely all these fancy charts and words like ‘anchor text’, ‘meta density’ and ‘contextual rich’ must lead to success? Don’t get me wrong there are plenty of good web marketing agencies out there, but it is a shark infested water and understanding the unexplained risks can help the eager webmaster to make a more informed decision.
Below I have listed the top 7 questions/areas to ask when recruiting your next seo company.
1 – I got on really well with the Company representative and I’m a people person. So you met a really friendly chap from the seo company, he was professional and demonstrated good knowledge. His quotation was professional and he made some great claims about what could be achieved. Sounds good, but is he going to be working on your website?
It is important to establish and meet the people who will work on your website, often the sales person is not the member of staff who will be promoting your business. In-fact once you have shaken hands you may never see him or her again.
2 – Size does matter, but it’s the perfect fit that hits the spot. Often, if you are a new website you may be attracted by a large seo company as surely the biggest are the best? Many large digital agencies will have large resources and some impressive clients, but how important will your business be to a company that deals with BMW and Asda? Choosing a company that needs and values your business is key. Make sure they have the skills to do the job, but be sure they depend on you as you do on them.
3 – Rankings – Rankings – Rankings! Rankings are important, they can help lift your traffic and indeed grow your business, but are they the only route to success? Their relevance is unquestioned, but surely they can only deliver a prosperous business as part of an overall web development strategy. A structured website, with offline and online marketing, PPC (Pay Per Click), etc built to achieve the aims of a defined business plan is likely to deliver far more gain.
Every business is different and you should also look for a web development plan that is tailored specifically to your needs.
4 – What’s the method in the magic? Having shook hands with your new web agency, you settle back in anticipation of great results. The thoughts you should be having however are what exactly are they doing? Remember they now represent your business and their actions can directly affect your business both positively and negatively.
5 – Sorry sir that’s classified! When a web agency or seo specialist is unable to demonstrate what and how much work they are undertaking alarm bells should be going off very loudly. The usual excuse given is ‘we do not declare our work as we have a major edge over competitors’. Well this should not wash with you the customer, we are not talking about the formula for Coca-Cola, but work you are paying for.
Maybe they are doing very little or worse still they are using the latest seo tactic to manipulate rankings. If you are comfortable with this and the risks have been explained then fine, but remember Google employs an enormous team of people fighting manipulation and has every right to control its own website!
6 – Since when did nonsense make sense If a set of marketing plans seem completely useless to the benefit of the business, but are designed to manipulate rankings why are you commissioning them? What tactic works today will become the approach penalised tomorrow. Can you risk a sudden downturn, having built your business on manipulated rankings?
7 – The Penguin and the Panda – How Google Hit Back at SEO Google, the largest search engine in the world had become a cash cow, not just for itself via PPC (Pay Per Click), but also for seo companies charging vast fees to manipulate natural listings. A global industry developed, all focused on making websites appear high on Google’s website listings. The thing was Google received nothing from this and often poor websites ranked higher at the detriment of the search provider.
In February 2011 Google took a gigantic step towards reclaiming its website with the infamous Panda update named after an employee Navneet Panda. This algorithm update targeted on-site quality and content structured just to fool search engines. Marking the beginning of a new world for digital marketing, several updates have followed along with the arrival of Penguin.
The Penguin update represented a direct declaration of war on seo and pulled no punches. Launched in April 2012 it is hard to imagine an update named after a cute looking animal could cause such havoc. Penguin targets sites using seo tactics to grow rankings, these include unnatural link building, keyword rich external links and many more spam methods.
Penguin and Panda are constantly evolving as Google takes back control, although many seo companies continue to find ways to beat the system the war will continue.