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A top website is of no benefit if it cannot be found. So how do you choose a great search optimisation company that isn’t going to rob you blind? How are you to know if they’re doing a good job?
When searching for search engine optimisation services, consider…UK or USA company?….new company or established?….DIY or professional? There are many choices to consider when outsourcing the SEO for your site.
Although many optimizers have stretched the limits of the term “professional operation”, SEO is a legitimate business practice. Deciphering the ever changing Google algorithms can be overwhelming, so it makes sense to employ the services of a search engine optimization company.
White Hat And Black Hat – What’s The Big Deal?
White hat SEO conforms to accepted search engine guidelines and does not use deception to get higher rankings. Content is king for the whites who will concentrate on making your content easily accessible rather than trying to pull one over on the system.
This has long term stickiness because it always references good content. After all it doesn’t matter if you jump from 2 hits to 3429 hits a day when your site has useless content as no one will come back.
It’s a fact that return visitors are more likely to make a purchase than first timers so make sure you’re providing quality information.
While not illegal, black hat SEO is sneaky and deceptive and break the search engine’s Terms Of Service (TOS). No matter what you read, you will be caught eventually and your site will be removed from the search engine results pages (SERPS) and quickly ruin all your hard work. It does not make for a long term business strategy.
Black hat techniques include having keywords that are hidden, or written with the same colour as the background, cloaking links, redirecting from a search engine friendly page to a different one for the reader, and much worse.
These practices are not just the preserve of the one-man-band operating SEO out of the basement. In February 2006, Ricoh Germany and BMW Germany were removed from Google for using deceptive practices.
Does Search Engine Optimisation Really Work?
There is no doubt, SEO works wonders when done properly. It’s important, when you’re looking for your search company, to apply common sense, just as you would with other decisions you make.
Here are a few tips to get you on your way.
- Hire a company before you start creating your web site. They can optimise your menu titles and site map before you even get any content posted. It is easier to tweak SEO rather than changing everything continually
- Check their references. Ask the company to provide before and after evidence, including screenshots, for the work they’ve done. Then you will see if they really know the subject
- Try to choose someone in your own country. Search engines react positively to local spelling and links. UK links to your site will hold more weight than US or European links. A local business will have better knowledge of local markets anyway
- When interviewing an optimiser, suggest a black hat technique to them and see what they say. If you’re told its one of the things they do, end the interview. If they explain why that method is a bit dodgy, that’s perfect
- Be prepared to pay for good service. A good rule of thumb for all web work is that you get what you pay for. If you want it cheap, chances are, you’ll get cheap, shoddy work
To summarise, if you need to out-source web site SEO services, check references, test for black hat, test competence. It can all be done by picking up the phone and talking. You’ll know when you’re onto a winner.