|Choosing the Right SEO company|
been burned too many times
We are a company in the medspa industry that has both company stores and franchises. We have invested thousands of dollars with various SEO/website/ecommerce companies and have had very poor results. Our last vendor, basically, sold us vaporware, used us as a beta test site (without our permission) and has caused our website to virtually disappear from the various search engines. We were supposed to have a site that would allow us to capture emails, run email campaigns, sell gift cards and allow our various stores to make changes to their website. Needless to say this has only happened to a very small degree.
We are not a big company. I believe,(if what our current vendor says is true) that a seo/ecommerce provider can port our current site(s) and bring it to the level that we expect.
My question is how do we find the company that fits our needs. There are hundreds, if not thousands, of alternatives and we do not have the time to talk to them all. The last company we talked to said our current vendor's code was proprietary and they would have to rewrite our site at considerable costs. What we finally found out was that he was running an apple server application and ours was in the microsoft world. Had he been forthright in the beginning we probably would have proceeded with his company. Needless to say, we moved on.
[edited by: engine at 6:13 pm (utc) on Dec. 18, 2007]
[edit reason] No urls, thanks. See TOS [webmasterworld.com] [/edit]
We chose a company by talking on the phone with them and meeting face to face.
You usually have a gut instinct if they are any good or not.
Ask them to demonstrate past successes with other companies.
You will soon know if they are genuine or not.
First, go with your gut. If they're promising things that seem to good to be true, run.
Second, ask them for a description of their method. If they say "It's a secret", then run, again. There's no great secret to effective SEO. It's hard, it requires a lot of skills, but it's not a secret: Smart code, great content, effective link bait. That's it.
Third, what's their history? Search them in Google News and blog search. If you see one or two disgruntled customers, don't worry. If you see a long list, though, you should at least ask the firm for an explanation.
Fourth, make sure they're not a development or design agency that merely SAYS they can do SEO. I've seen many, many clients badly burned this way.
Seo work is a hard work, you can do it in 10 hours mostly you need 1000 hours that it works out fine for you. Imagen to pay some one who spend 1000 hours for your website.
I think there are 2 possibilities, 1. buy a company or 2. teach it yourself, i used the 2.posibility
If you own only one website why not employ a guy who is good in SEO?
Employing a single in-house SEO can get very expensive. A first-rate SEO pro can cost a fortune.
However, getting an intelligent person who's somewhat web-savvy and paying them to learn the ropes can be a good plan.
I think the more you learn yourself, the better equipped you'll be to make well-informed choices.
We are currently working both strategies: we have someone in-house who is just learning the ropes and an SEO consultant that works directly with her. (They are helping out, she is doing a lot of the work). That way, she'll get more knowledgeable and we will be able to see results faster than if she was doing it all on her own.
We also had a bit problem with SEO companies in beginning, but we also have huge website! So we employed one SEO guy who understand that stuff, and than we started to look for SEO companies. Basically that SEO guy was our safety against such companies who cheat their costumers. One good way is to write, lets say "SEO" or "SEO Services" in google search and than chose some First results from Organic search, because those companies are already proved what they can do when they put their site in top position. Also if you do not want to spend a huge money on SEO than better find someone outside US and Western Europe, because they are doing the same work, more cheaper! But before you sign contract I suggest to met with them personally...!
In my point of view before deciding to choose a right company, it is better to analyze their site positioning on different search engines, see their portfolio, make a phone call, talk to their previous clients, etc.
|it is better to analyze their site positioning |
If they can't do it for themselves, you know they can't do it for you....
First...Welcome to Webmasterworld wps11!
I'm sorry to hear about your issues. It's an unfortunate, but all too common occurrence in this industry.
As others have already mentioned, the more you know, the better off you are. Even if you aren't wanting to handle it yourself, having some knowledge of SEO allows you to give a better interview with potential SEO firms. It's hard to ask the right questions when you don't know what to ask.
It's also harder to smell the "BS" unless you have some basic knowledge. ;)
The bottom line is get a basic understanding for what SEO is and what is involved. Then talk to and interview various companies. You will find companies in this field vary greatly. There are no real standards that a company must follow so the more you know, the better off you will be.
Philosopher is right. One should at least know what is SEO and what do you actually need for your website, before hiring an SEO or oursourcing a SEO company. :)