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Are there any SEO Industry Awards or industry publications that rate different SEO companies? Also, is there a standard way of comparing different companies service offerings so that I am comparing 'apples with apples, and oranges with oranges?'
Any point in the right direction would be much appreciated. :)
Most of them are scams taking money off gullible mugs who don't realise they would find out much more by reading here for a month than they ever will from a course.
In this industry the playing field can move so quick that what you learnt at the start of a 6 week course could be out of date at the end.
I have not yet seen and SEO school or course that offers any kind of value for money.
Yep. The problem is -- who "certifies" the certifiers?
Anyone can create a "school" for SEO, or web design, or anything similar and say that the people who they teach are "certified." But there's no authority behind it, beyond in some cases the good reputation of the organization. In other cases, though, not even that.
I also agree that spending a month here will teach any competent web marketer what it takes to do SEO in today's changing SE climate. An SEO success story that is two years old says nothing about the practitioner's prowess today.
As is well illustrated in Brett's definitive article on the subject, true SEO is not a one-off visit by a consultant, and that is the hardest concept to sell to a client. I tend to quote an annual price, a workshop where I teach the staff how to stay at the top, and a one-off visit where I do my stuff. The businesses that need it most are the small ones who don't want to spend much. :(
PS: don't bother to contact us. We are not taking on new clients at this time. They are such a pain.
- Do they provide references freely?
- Do they have proven results?
- Will they put their money where their mouth is (e.g. option of commission-based earnings for increased business)?
One more suggestion is that you review their profile if they post here.
i work for an SEO, if you would like some bachground info on our company sticky me and i will pass it along.
we are publicly traded, employ more than 40 individuals, 8 year old company, speak regularly at the search engine strategies conferences, and happily provide free testimonials for you to contact.
as for general information on what to look for in an SEO, there are some good articles at [sitepronews.com...]
There are companies who are certified in SEO,SEM. from respected schools.
1. Sorry this does not exist. There are companies that offers "the basics", however, a couple of hundred dollars course and "how to" use some tools is not "industry certified" but only "promoting company certified". (particularly when there is currently is no industry standard).
A simple fact - SEO is about ongoing knowledge and skills developments that initial certification only gives you a right to learn... more
2. A_Web_Guy has some good tips - ask for referrals and then contact them.
3. Don't rely on self promotion only - all companies (not just this industry) promote their best, and never show the negative results or lackluster results.
4. Never rely on a single SEO - A reputable company's services will stand against scrutiny - an amateur will not.
5. Request a sample contract of "precisely" what the consultant/firm will do and what they don't do. If the language is SEO lingo based and not comprehensible to someone without a background in SEOing --walking away. If no contract available -- walk away.
6. And the biggest consideration - "your business has value"... remember that! SEO services do not produce "magical instantaneous results" that generate magical quality visitation and your end goal (most of the time) more sales.
As such you should ask yourself one question?
Is the consultant/firm looking for a business relationship with you or a once only get my fee in advance relationship, and on to the next client?
My pet peeve - never let an SEO place their link on your site in advance producing satisfactory results - this is a warning sign! This should be reserved for relationships that do produce quality services and only at your discretion (it is YOUR site... not theirs.
In addition - equal linkage -- if the SEO requires a link on your home request the same link on their homepage, if on all pages you should get the same thing or a equal value in return - e.g. referral fees (promotion is promotion).
That link (and in many cases on every page of your site) is referral business (many times over) and your leverage in the business relationship.
Also -- if you do get scammed - add the link yourself and then link it to an article about your own experience.
Above all - it's your business and your site - you are responsible. If it doesn't make sense - question the validity from others.
[edited by: fathom at 2:11 am (utc) on April 8, 2003]