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What to look for in a SEO company

     
8:54 pm on Mar 11, 2005 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



Hi everyone,

Our company is looking to get a SEO company to help increase our rankings. We had one company in a few times and we are thinking about going with them. I just want to make sure I go with the right company.

They have a guarantee that they will increase our visitors by 2000/month. Also they guarantee we will rank top 10 for at least 5 of the 15 keywords we choose. Now the price they gave us included an analysis of our site, optimization consulting, search engine and directory submissions and a link exchange system. With that they will initially get us 500 links and hand submit us to 20 directories and auto submit to 200+ SE & directories.

Now I'm not sure if that sounded right to me. Like first thats only 66 visitors a day. It doesn't seem like that much of an increase to me. Also that guarantee would be with google and yahoo for top 10 ranking. If they did get us 500 links would that put in effect the sandbox issue with google and throw us up at the top 10 ranking just to loose it 2 weeks after our contract goes out?

What is everyone else opinion? Is there anything I should look out for?

Thanks for your help.

Wes

2:47 pm on Mar 24, 2005 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



They are a web design company who also do SEO.
2:50 pm on Mar 24, 2005 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



- Can the SEO work be turned off instantly?
- Will you own any part of the SEO system (domains, sites, etc)?

If they answer yes to either of those then run a mile. ;)

Recapping on my previous post + some more stuff:

- Are the traffic estimates from PPC (pay per click) or organic search?
- How do you identify target keywords?
- Will you drive traffic to my site from any source other than organic search?
- What search engines will you be targetting?
- Do you have any other clients in my industry?
- Will you take on more clients in my indsutry?
- How do you review a potential source of links for my site?
- What experience do you have? Who are your former clients?

3:05 pm on Mar 24, 2005 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member leosghost is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month



BTW to be able to verify if indeed the site does use them
( like oddsod said )

You can ask them to include your name in the front page of the site in the comments ..if they already aren't identified some way when you "view source"..check the "new source" at the site via Google or whatever or even by typing in the URL from your own machine ( not their maybe cached version of "source code" display in their browser ..I'm suspicious.. I know..it's the "guaranteed" that makes me that way )..

If you can read source code ..what do you think of what they did..

Oh yeah and do they use "flash" nav systems or landing pages ( I love "flash" ..but in a nav it's SE suicide) ..most designers ( I'm one ..but I learned ;) dont understand that "flash" isn't for first page or nav ..

3:05 pm on Mar 24, 2005 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



Thanks Marketing Guy,

I will have to ask those questions.

5:16 pm on Mar 24, 2005 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



Some one who is honest.

Don't laugh now. A company that has the resources to give your company the best results.

I have worked both sides of the fence. If you can afford it employee a marketing person who can also do seo. Even better someone who is an seo expert.

I work for a company and that is all I do and they are seeing the rewards for it. I used to work for a SEO company and you would be lucky to get one to two full days a month. See the difference.

Of course if you can not get someone on your books ensure that you buy as much time as possible a month and get the seo company to record every minute of work they do for you and get them to tell you what they have done in that time.

There are some excellent SEO Companies out there. Obviously I can not mention on the forum. Good luck and take your time to get it right.

6:43 pm on Mar 24, 2005 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member pageoneresults is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



Get the seo company to record every minute of work they do for you and get them to tell you what they have done in that time.

I turn down clients who request this type of accounting. You'll spend as much time recording what you are doing that you are doing what you are doing. It's not worth the time or the effort. Sure, a summary of services is in order but to sit there and record every minute of work is not feasible.

If your SEO is providing you minute by minute accounting like that, then they have way too much time on their hands. ;)

6:45 pm on Mar 24, 2005 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member leosghost is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month



Agreed ..it's not the time spent ..it's knowing what to do in that time ..
9:20 pm on Mar 24, 2005 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Administrator incredibill is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month



I turn down clients who request this type of accounting.

How hard can it be to dump a list of target keywords selected, pages modified, any brief specifics done per search engine, etc. into a report? Besides, if your client wants it - BILL THEM FOR the report, and if you really don't want to write that report bill it HIGH enough that you'll enjoy writing it.

I think it's more fear that they'll figure out they can do it themselves.

9:41 pm on Mar 24, 2005 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member pageoneresults is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



How hard can it be to dump a list of target keywords selected, pages modified, any brief specifics done per search engine, etc. into a report?

Not hard at all. I guess I work a little differently than others. My clients don't want those types of reports. They want to see that their website is generating ROI. The only way for their websites to be generating that ROI, is for me to be focusing on what I can do next to maintain and/or improve that ROI.

Besides, if your client wants it - BILL THEM FOR the report, and if you really don't want to write that report bill it HIGH enough that you'll enjoy writing it.

Of course, by all means. The time it takes to assemble those reports is the factor. Most of us have various programs available to us that present reports to the clients based on a wide of variety of factors. Ever watch a client look at one of those reports? lol! They get that glazed look? You know what I do now? I send them screen shots of the bar graphs showing a summary of the month. I then include a few paragraphs of my commentary. They see the continued improvement in their monthly traffic and it also translates to increased sales for their company. All of my clients have Brick and Mortar businesses, so I am in a slightly different position.

I think it's more fear that they'll figure out they can do it themselves.

Nah, I doubt very seriously that most will even want to try and figure all of this out. Sure, you can teach them the basics, but who is going to take care of everything beyond that? Do you think the small to medium size business owner is going to want that responsibility? I can tell you from experience that 9 out of 10 of them won't. I've tried it, been there, done that, etc.

There is just too much involved in today's SEM environment for a client to even think about doing it themselves. Which comes back to the topic of discussion, what questions should the client be asking their SEM provider?

3:39 am on Mar 25, 2005 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



I got a call from a supposed "SEO" company last month. That's my specialty so I just kept my thoughts to myself and let him go on with his speel. He also gave guarantees he could increase my rank (i'm already ranking on 1st page for most of my keywords and get so much traffic I can hardly keep up with it so he obviously hadn't checked my site).

He gave me a couple URLs to check out that they had "optimized". I didn't have time to investigate closely until after he hung up, then I checked the source code and also what I could see on the site and what they had done was increase the keyword density so ridiculously high it made your head spin to read the text along with spamming the alt tags, image tags, comment tags and everywhere else they could get away with it.

They had repeated the name of the site ***34*** times on the home page. They just spammed the sites just below the point where it would be considered spam. Of course the sites were ranking at the top but nobody would buy anything from a site when they repeat the main keywords that often.

They had promised top placement in the search engines and that's indeed what they produced. That doesn't necessarily translate into sales. And it's likely to get the site banned for spam.

5:29 am on Mar 26, 2005 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



They are a web design company who also do SEO.

Well, that doesn't mean they do SEO. I know three web firms that say they do SEO because they outsource SEO to my group. Nothing wrong with outsourcing, but if you ask them expert questions they will have to get back to you. Is that bad?

...ask what sites they SEO... ask them to put code into the source to prove it

No way. 80% of the time I am bound to confidentiality, and offer it to all clients. I also will never add anything to a client site that is not for the client (again, I put that in my contracts). I'd be very wary of any SEO who felt privileged to insert code on client pages that did not directly relate to the client's SEO work.

regarding good SEOs working on their own sites

Of course we work on our own sites. But we also like people and appreciate there is more to business than what you see on your screen. It is quite enjoyable to lunch at a top-tier venue as CEO of a successful company, with other CEOs. That inevitably leads to consulting and work for hire.

A regular topic of lunch conversation with clients is how socially inept many SEO types are, especially those trying to sell traffic. Those guys need to get out more!

{BTW, consulting is an excellent way to fund R&D periods. As sales drop off for an aging campaign and R&D ramps up, consulting allows you to earn additional revenues while expanding perspectives]

9:11 am on Mar 26, 2005 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



Hi,

Yes i do agree with all my friends posted above.I too do SEO work for my IT company, from many yrs i am resarching into new techniq for Ranking and brand visibity.

No body can gurantee Top Ranking in my words an SEO can work hard to give you good ranking.

If any SEO gives you GURANTEE word you tell him to show you the rank and get the pay.

Best Regards,
BT

9:20 am on Mar 26, 2005 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



I like that idea as a customer, but that will never happen. BUT it will sure rattle those that are just trying to snowball you for the deal... pretty funny!
10:06 am on Mar 26, 2005 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Administrator incredibill is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month



If they don't have an espresso machine they aren't real SEO, start with the coffee pot.
8:18 pm on Mar 27, 2005 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



As many of you have mentioned, no one can guarantee a top position in any of the search engines. I do seo for a company in Connecticut as well as on the side.

I was updating my consulting site as well as the rankings for where the companies I have worked with rank. I was surprised that Google already indexed and placed among the top 5 results an eBay store I optimized for a client 2 weeks ago! I also noticed that Yahoo has among the top 5 (#2 in reality) one of the pages I optimized out of 112,000,000 pages - that is kind of neat.

To address the original question that started this thread. I would recommend any merchant to hire an seo consultant not to optimize his/her site, but to train the merchant staff on how to optimize the site- that is what I have begun to do.

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