Why You Need SEO, and What to Look for In an SEO Company
The modern internet is dominated by search engines. Typically, search engines account for 70-80% of a new site’s traffic. For new businesses, snatching the highest spot possible on search engine results pages (SERPs) is absolutely imperative; because that will undeniably have a profound, make or break impact on a young website’s growth. However, few business owners have the free time to research the algorithms that search engines use to sort their vast internet indexes into lists of relevant results, and even less time to implement the strategies and practices that will take an active role in securing stronger rankings.
Search engine optimization (SEO) is the answer to a business owner’s dilemma. SEO is an assortment of practices and techniques engaged in by an SEO analyst to help your website climb search engine rankings based on the rules that the engines have laid out. While the business owner focuses on running the business and growing the services provided, the SEO analyst will work to make sure that customers will find the business through web searches and an increased web presence. This is achieved by utilizing several tactics including targeted writing, content creation, and link building strategies to achieve results.
However, not all SEO firms are created equal. Because the search engines do not make their algorithms public knowledge, there is no objective list of guaranteed practices. Rather companies tend to follow their methods of “best practices,” with varying effectiveness for the different markets involved. With so many different SEO companies actively vying for your trusting business, the following are a few criteria for selecting the best company possible to entrust your business’ budget and reputation with.
As with any business, the company should be able to answer directly for the product that you are paying for. Thus, transparency is essential. Results of your SEO campaign should be presented in an easily digestible format that explicitly reports the successes and failures of the campaigns, as well as a record of all of the measures the analyst took to optimizing your campaign.
Next, adaptability is absolutely essential for search engine optimization. The business of SEO is highly dynamic, which is why SEO is usually outsourced to a firm. The nature of the business relies on the major search platforms (Google, Bing, and Yahoo as the big three) and their algorithms, which are constantly being tweaked and updated for the purpose of creating the best user experience on the constantly evolving internet.
Your SEO analyst should constantly be educating themselves on the changes being made, and researching which tactics are increasing or decreasing in effectiveness. Also, not all tactics work for every campaign, and any SEO analyst worth their salt should have a repertoire of strategies to attempt to compensate for a lackluster campaign performance.
Finally, ethics should play a massive role in choosing an SEO firm to handle your campaign. Like any industry, there are unscrupulous practitioners who seek to take advantage of the system for profit. These tactics are referred to as “dark hat” SEO, and can include anything from attempting to trick search engines into thinking your content is relevant, to poisoning the search engines against a competitor’s site through negative SEO tactics.
However, the SEs understand these tactics, and uncover new ones every day. Unethical techniques are never as effective as white hat (ethical) practices, and ultimately will be exposed by the search engine’s massive anti-spam departments. If your website is caught up in unethical practice, you could be permanently blacklisted from a search engine, which would have an enormously detrimental effect on your incoming business and reputation. Also, a white hat SEO analyst will be trained to tell if you are the target of a negative SEO attack from a competitor, and can take steps to repel and repair that attack.
Search engine optimization could be just what your business needs to get that edge on the competition in terms of web presence and gaining new customers. Make sure to choose an SEO company that excels in adaptability, transparency, and especially ethics so that you experience the best results possible and grow your business beyond anything you could have achieved without the power of internet marketing.