I work for a large SEO company.
There are a few things you should look for and a few things you should avoid
when you're looking to hire a company to do "seo" for you.
1) Never pay more than $6,000 for optimization of 20 keywords for 12 months.
That's total cost. If you come to a total higher than that when you add in
"maintenence fees" or any other such silly fees, you're paying too much.
2) Make sure they have a reporting system that's always available. You should
have 24/7 access to reports that are VERIFIABLE! Don't get suckered into
"Bi-Monthly hand generated reports" or anything else along those lines.
3) Make sure (and this one you should really, REALLY, pay attention to, even though
it sounds silly) the company you're looking at can actually GET RESULTS.
When I say results, I mean multiple rankings for the same client that has
keywords in the millions of pages catagory.
So they showed you one? Great! Have them show you more! and MORE and MORE!!!
Either the company you're going to contract with CAN or CAN'T do what they say they can do.
If they can, then they will have no problem showing you client after client that has results.
4) Make sure that YOU get the final say for your keywords and make them your TOUGHEST!
Keyword selection is, by far, one of THE most important parts of the seo
process. The company should have knowledgeable technicians with a wealth
of data at their fingertips to ensure you're picking the highest quality keywords.
5) Make sure they update your seo data on a REGULAR basis. This means
every few days now. Anything less and you're not going to have consistent rankings.
What to avoid?
1) Seo companies that express a desire to "Manage" your pay per click sponsored search engine listings.
2) Seo companies that use the same base url for EVERY promotional site they build. How long is it going
to take the general public to catch on that yourproductorwebsite.<same seo company url>.com
in the search results is the same company? Not long.
3) Seo companies that use slandering OTHER seo companies as a way of getting business.
You're not talking to them to find out why you shouldn't be going with their
competition, you're talking to them to find out the merits of what
they can do for YOU!
4) Seo companies that spout testimonials. 4 lines of text on a web page is NOT impressive or even verifiable.
References should be: Clients you can actually talk to with a site
benefiting from the company's services. Any company that is large
enough to be able to do consistent seo will have happy clients willing to
share their personal experiences.
5) Making decisions based on "facts" you've read on a forum somewhere.
Forums are NOT verifiable sources and are often run by seo companies
themselves to provide a very biased environment. Do your own research,
don't take someone else's opinion for it.
If only one person follows a few pieces of my advice and successfully chooses
a reputable seo company, my job is done. I help people achieve placement on
the search engines every day and I must say I enjoy it thoroughly.
Please do not PM me to ask what company I work for. I will not give out that
information and I have no desire to "talk" about other companies in this industry.
My only desire in posting on this forum is to give advice that will help my industry become a better place.
The more information people have before making a decision, the less opportunity there is for unethical seo companies to exist.
It's 9:44PST do you know what YOUR current rankings are? :)