Search engine optimization (SEO) services can be hard to understand to those not well-versed in the language of the Internet. The basics are easy enough to grasp: through a series of digital marketing strategies (such as pay per click campaigns, keyword research, and quality content), your business’s website will appear higher up on a search engine’s results page. Since the top five URLs get 75% of user clicks, that could make a huge difference in your business’s success.
The nuances of just how this comes about, however, are more complicated. As a result, many businesses and startups rely on consultations with SEO companies to do the work for them. While this is entirely normal (and expected in such a competitive market), choosing the right digital marketing firm to represent your online presence is vital — it could mean the difference between onboarding new customers and getting banned from Google. Here are three mistakes to avoid when choosing an SEO company.
- Don’t use Google as your filter. Google is generally the be-all-end-all in search engines, but that is precisely why you should rely more on referrals from other companies than what Google is giving you. Truly successful SEO companies don’t need to advertise on Google’s top pages because their work speaks for itself — they’re often too busy to need to optimize their site.
- Don’t trust ‘Top SEO’ lists. Many sites advertising ‘best of’ lists are doing so for a fee; they’ll purchase domain names like bestseo.com and then turn around and sell the number one slot to the highest bidder — they don’t actually tell you anything about the competency of the company.
- Don’t fall for the ‘secret ingredient.’ Sales pitches that involve processes that can’t be explained are often nonsense. A quality SEO company should be able to explain precisely why what they do works; if you get anything other than straightforward honesty, keep moving in your search.
Take the time to do your research; find a firm that fills your needs, not just the generic needs of all businesses in existence. Get to know the people you’ll potentially be going into business with, either through consultations or simple QandAs, and take the time to feel your way. Your business will thank you in the long run.
Rick Hogan, CEO & Co-Founder – Bleevit Interactive
Rick possesses over 20 years of digital marketing experience and started Bleevit Interactive with the primary mission of helping local businesses succeed online. When he is not working he can often be found hiking Great Falls, Virginia with his Labradoodle Lily, or sailing the Chesapeake Bay.
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