If you're looking for an SEO firm then it is likely that you're browsing one of the Search Engines (like Google) for the top results, checking out their site and then contacting them to seek a proposal or further information.
But how do you know which SEO Companies or which SEO Services are valid or which are scams? Following are some things to look for in any SEO Company:
How to choose an SEO Company:
Proof is in the results: If an SEO Company cannot obtain 1st page listings for highly-competitive keywords for their own company then avoid them.
(Hint: Try a search on Google for "Los Angeles SEO" or "Los Angeles SEO firm" - you will find us on the first page).
Review those who do have top SERP rankings: Just because a company does obtain top rankings for itself doesn't exactly mean that it's methods were the kind that you should have used on your site. These methods can range from Black Hat (i.e. cheating) which can get you into trouble with the Search Engines, to spammy page content. Spamming (a.k.a. keyword stuffing) is obvious as the pages are not succint - they are usually very long pages with a lot of seemingly unnecessary content. If an SEO Company has long and spammy pages of content on their site that don't specifically speak to the subject then you can expect the same on your site. This can result in higher ranking but will cost you dearly in website conversions.
Don't "Buy" Keywords: Many SEO Companies center their business model around the selling of keywords, (i.e. you choose a certain amount of keywords and you pay for ranking for those keywords). This is an extremely counter-productive method. The structure of Search Engine algorithms uses the relation between keywords to distinuish relevance and therefore the usage of related keywords is vital to the success of an SEO Campaign. Companies that sell keywords limit their effectiveness and limit your potential returns, while minimizing the work they have to do for you. The goal of an effective SEO Strategy should focus on a Master Keyword List that is a prioritized list of desired keywords but should not exclude or limit the possibility for specific words, phrases or terms to be used.
One Year Contracts: Yearly contracts are more of a convenience than anything. SEO does require certain time-tables as there are certain events that require the time for things such as research and analysis for the creation of the SEO Campaign or the implementation of that campaign, to the time it takes for those optimized pages to be spidered, indexed and ranked by the Search Engines.
This, however, can happen within a relatively short period of time. We recommend that you seek a 6-month term in any agreement as this provides the SEO Company with enough time to provide quantitative results while not binding you to a year with a company that may not be prove to be sufficient. Many say that SEO takes 8-months to a year. This can be absolutely true depending upon the desired keywords but the real process of SEO is primarily re-optimizing existing content and the creation of new optimized content. You should, however, see results within the first 6 months that provide you with a context and confidence in your SEO Firm.
Is It All About Backlinks? If an SEO Company tells you that SEO is all about obtaining backlinks or that the most important thing in SEO is backlinks then they are misleading you.
All Keywords are NOT Created Equal: If a company tells you that their SEO packages are x, y or z then you need to determine if they are willing to charge you the same for a tough keyword like "Los Angeles Real Estate Company" over an easier keyword like "Bakersfield Ball-Bearing Supplier". Both are valid keyphrases but the Los Angeles Real Estate keyphrase would definitely have far more competition. It would make sense in the real world that that keyphrase would cost more to rank for. This means that before a company can even provide you with a package they would need to determine the difficulty of your specific target keyphrases, keywords or keyterms.
How Does Meteorsite Charge: We have seen the spectrum of pricing and service scenarios out there. We charge on an hourly rate because the specific of each Client's campaigns are different, specific and unique to each Client. One may require more content while another may require more structural development changes and yet another may need more Social Marketing or quality Backlinks. At a flat hourly rate you are able to receive what you need as opposed to what the SEO Company wants to provide you, while SEO packages usually provide you with x amount of links, x amount of content pages and x amount of keywords.
Experience Counts: Experience does matter in this game. Meteorsite has been providing companies in the local Los Angeles area, as well as nationally and internationally, for more than 15 years. Our founders have been professional SEO consultants since 1998 and began in the Web industry in 1995 when the Web was in its infancy. We understand the links between Web Development, Search Engine Marketing and Conversion and how Social and Viral marketing can affect results. Be sure to ask a potential SEO provider how long they've been around. Double check their domain name on Whois.net to see when they first registered it or check the WayBackMachine to see when they launched. It will benefit you to do some background searches to verify their claims. We stand by our experience and reputation for quality.
For more information please feel free to contact us and ask us any specific questions you have. 888-265-6007 or Email us!
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