Anyone that markets their business online should be aware that SEO is a time consuming process. There are large firms like Yodle, ReachLocal and Yext that would have you believe that for a few hundred dollars monthly they can have you on the top page of Google and other search engines in a couple of months. They tend to lure clients that don’t have much technical background and convince them they can get them top ranking quickly. The problem is these people may end up signing a contract with these companies and paying for services that are ineffective or offer media-core results.
Since these firms offer special deals like free sites and discounted or cheaper click rates many uninformed marketers try them out but end up with an unsuccessful outcome. It’s best to find a reputable internet marketing and SEO provider that can help you optimize your site for search engine traffic and uses techniques that will give you results over the long term, even once you’re no longer using their services.
In order to make sure you are dealing with a real internet marketing company, ask a few questions before signing on with them.
Are you able to guarantee a number 1 ranking?
If they answer yes to this question, they should be crossed off your list. No one can promise this. The only exception is if you use Pay Per Click ads and anyone can be pushed to the top spot quickly by opening a Google Adwords account and paying the right price for the keywords they want.
Will I receive access to my own analytics and pay per click accounts?
You’ll want to see data from third-party providers, not just from their proprietary accounts. If that’s all you get you’ll only see the results they want you to see.
Who is responsible for performing search optimization for my website?
If the person who’s selling the services is handling it, that can be a problem. They have reps who get paid on commission. They are sales men and not internet marketers. They get your order and complete the initial work, then they move on to another client. You’re not going to be getting continuous support or if you do, it will be very limited.
What are they promising? How do you determine success of your campaign?
Don’t just have a vague objective like you want to rank on a certain page on Google or get more site visitors. Figure out what you want and see if that’s what you’re getting. For instance are you getting more sign ups through your subscription form and growing your list or generating more sales? How much are you paying for each? This shows if you’re investment is working. Remember, reputable firms will not promise you overnight success, internet marketing and SEO doesn’t work that way.
Exactly what are they doing that’s getting more results?
If the company claims they have some secret magic trick that helps them get traffic, then you need to forget about doing business with them. The reality is SEO is work, but it follows a simple formula. You need to optimize your website right, continue to create fresh content, get quality backlinks to your website, have a clear call to action and use third party analytical tools to track where your visitors come from and what they do on your site.
Find out what their markup is if they use Pay Per Click
Many say they get a special rate from Google which isn’t true, they don’t offer advertiser discounts. A professional PPC specialist can set up your account and allow you access. Many of these other companies don’t give you access to your account so you’re not able to see what they’re markup is and what you’re really paying. Above that, you will lose your account as soon as you are not paying them.
Ask them if you get full control over ALL YOUR ACCOUNTS
This is important, I cannot emphasize enough. When you have a new company working on your marketing you cannot give up control. What if you don’t like the company anymore and you find someone new? You want to be able to provide access to the new person. As a business owner you need to have full access to your hosting account, your domain name, your cPanel (with login information). Then if the new company sets up new accounts on 3rd party websites, you will need access to those as well, like Adwords, Search Console, Yelp, Facebook etc.
If it sounds too good to be true that a company can get your website top search engine ranking and help you surpass your competition fast and for little money, you’re right. They claim they can set up PPC accounts or put you on Google Maps? You can do that yourself in minutes with a little research.
Take the time to ask the right questions and find an SEO firm that will help you get quality website traffic over time the right way.
Real CONSULTANTS will work using techniques that will work in the long term, even after you stop working with them. You won’t lose all you’ve paid for by ending your business relationship with them.