Every business owner I’ve met has been encouraged at some point to invest in a website; often convinced with hype that if their business didn’t have a website then they might as well pack their bags and retire to the social security queue.
Hype aside, this statement is basically true. Certainly, any business deemed suitable for online marketing will miss out on a flood of new business without the incorporation of a thorough online marketing strategy.
In accepting this, you may choose to have a new website developed with all the bangs and whistles. But beware; unless your site can be found amongst the millions of web pages now shown on the Internet, your time and resources have been wasted.
That’s why a Search Engine Optimiser is essential in maximising your chances of online success. Search Engine Optimisation in it’s simplest form is the practice of fine tuning your website to achieve the highest possible position in the search results when a person searches for information using a search engine.
In this article I will highlight the does and don’ts of selecting a credible and effective SEO company. There are a number of points to be considered when making this decision.
Q. How can I judge if the SEO Company will produce what they say?
A. In answering this question, be aware of the following when either talking to them or reading their sales pitches.
1. No reputable SEO company will submit your website to more than 30 odd major search engines and indexes. These major search engines and directories feed their search results to the million or so other so called “search engines”. Submissions to a greater number is quite unnecessary and a certain indicator of a lack of professionalism.
2. Be wary of any claim that your site will be submitted to thousands of search engines. It is more than likely that these submissions will be made to what we call FFA websites. These are not search engines at all, but rather a kind of link exchange website. As a result, your email server may be flooded by huge amounts of unwanted email. In short, stay well away from any SEO making such claims.
3. Ask any prospective SEO to detail the successes they have had with their previous clients submissions. In being aware of these successes, your confidence in the ability of the SEO to maximise your website effectiveness will increase.
Q. How can I know if these website submissions are genuinely being done?
A. Unfortunately, in reality, you can’t. Be certain to ask for a list of search engines and directories where submissions will or have been made. Any reputable SEO company will supply you with a written monthly report highlighting the search engines to which your site has been submitted, the submission dates and progress of your website rankings. If, after 3 months, your website ranking hasn’t improved then it is more than likely that optimisation isn’t occurring and even doubtful whether the promised website submissions have even been made.
Q. How long before I can reasonably expect my search engine ranking to improve?
A. Usually, as a rule of thumb most of the major search engines will take up to 3 – 4 months before they will index your website. This is not always the case. Recently, I submitted my website to the Google Directory and indexation occurred the same day. The waiting time for indexation is unpredictable, but be prepared to allow 3-4 months.
Q. Will my SEO Company notify me when a search engine has added me to their index?
A. Yes. You should be notified within days of your website being indexed and at the very least at the end of each month.
Q. How will my SEO company optimise my website for submission to the search engines and Directories?
A. Basically, a good SEO will make your website as search engine friendly as possible. This will involve changing the text and html code behind your website. Simply, when the search engine robot enters your website it finds it very easy to determine what your website is about. The correct keywords and meta tags will have been placed within your site, to ensure that the robot is able to collect and pass off information with speed and accuracy. This results in a much improved rank for your site; higher than would ever have been achieved without optimisation.
Your SEO will also optimise each page differently so that the robot will include more than one page in the search engine. For example, if the robot comes to your homepage and it has been optimised and your primary message and keywords on that page were for new tyres then you would hope that when someone uses a keyword search for “new tyres”, your website would be within the first 30 results. But on the other hand, another page of your website may be about wheel alignments. You would certainly hope that another searcher using a search phrase “wheel aligners” would get results pointing to that relevant wheel alignment page.
Your website success is completely determined by effective search engine optimisation . It is pointless investing time and resources developing a website without consideration to how your prospective clients will find you. It is no different to burning $50 notes.
I hope you have found this short article useful and that I have helped you decide on a great SEO company. Of course, there are many more things to watch out for; but you are now aware of the main ones. Keep them in mind and you will get the results you are after.