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Does SEO Really Work?

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We often talk to people who have lost faith in Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) firms because of bad experiences. Either they saw no results, felt tricked into subscribing to a service that could not work, or wasted money on a firm that did them no good. Although we agree that there are bad SEO firms out there, we know that there are also many good ones. It’s your job to ensure you find an SEO firm that will work for you.

Search engines are the basis of Internet existence and survival. Recent studies have concluded that over 90 percent of all web surfers use search engines to find what they are looking for. Thus, your website and content must be search engine friendly to be successful on the Internet. Furthermore, if people who search the Internet for your products or services are not finding your Web site, you need search engine optimisation (SEO).

Some of you may take on the task of optimising your sites. For those people, plenty of how ‘to’ articles on the Internet can help you. If you need more help, drop me an email, and I’ll give you some ideas. However, many webmasters decide to let an SEO company handle their marketing instead. Search Engine Optimisation is a full-time job, and many companies need to hire someone. If this is your intent, you should know what to look for and watch when selecting the right SEO services.

Make Sure They and Their Clients are Successful and Well Optimised

If your SEO company does not rank high on most major search engines under their specific services, then they probably won’t have the ability to get you a high ranking on yours. We will use us for an example, and we are ranked high on the first page of Google for the search term ‘SEO Wigan’. This can be an indicator of what to expect from your SEO services because it proves that they can deliver what you pay for. If you found them through pay-per-click or sponsored listings, this only means that they cannot optimise their websites and are forced to pay for their clientele.

In addition, it is a good idea to check the success of their clients. All SEO companies have a client listing for no reason other than offering front-page links to their big spenders. Take a good look at these clients’ sites. Check for quality of content and keywords. View the source and see how well the meta tags are structured and how well they apply to the content given.

And most importantly, go to the major search engines and find where these clients land on the search terms they are targeting. If the SEO company has created a successful marketing campaign for each client, chances are you’re looking at a good SEO firm. However, if neither the SEO company nor its listed clients have high rankings, we recommend you find a firm that does.

Make Sure Someone Answers the Phone or Responds to Email

Although this may sound funny, we can’t stress how important it is to find an SEO service that will be there when you need them. So, before choosing an SEO company, call them. If they pick up, you’re in good shape. If they don’t pick up but call back within 2 hours, you’re still looking pretty good. However, you might be in bad shape if it takes you a handful of phone calls and emails or several days to get a response.

Say you’ve just received a new product you would like to market. Say that product is seasonal, only for the holiday season, and your ability to sell it relies on the timeliness with which you can see it on search engines. You need a company you can contact to put immediate marketing efforts into your new pages and products. If it takes 3 to 4 weeks for your SEO firm to make changes and improvements, you might want to look for a company that can keep up with your fast-paced business and demanding customers.

Make Sure They Understand How Search Engines Work

Keeping a website at the top of search engines has become a science. The best search engines frequently modify the way their databases list Web sites and constantly change the search criteria used to find and present web pages.

To understand the quality of a company’s search engine optimisation services, you must first understand how search engines work. Search engines list websites in two distinct manners: pay-per-click listings and organically optimised listings.

Pay-per-click listings appear on the top and below average organic results and are accompanied by a small ‘ad’ box coloured in green. This type of listing is paid for. Websites wishing to get top search engine placement without optimisation can pay a specific cost to their search engine accounts every time a prospective client clicks on their sponsored link. Cost-per-click rates range anywhere between £0.10 and £200.00+ per click.

Organically optimised listings are the listings that appear at the top of search engine pages without having to pay for these listings. This type of listing is free. However, your website must be optimised to appear at the top of all search engines using organic optimisation. Search engines use unique programs which send agents referred to as spiders and robots to your Web site to collect data. Therefore, your website must be appropriately structured to aid these robots in their search for information.

A quality SEO firm will know how to properly structure your website for top organic optimisation and, ultimately, top search engine placement. However, watch out for SEO firms that take your money and invest in pay-per-click marketing. Although this will get you immediate results, it does nothing to optimise your site in the long run, will not be as profitable as an organic marketing campaign, and will keep you dependent on SEO companies for measuring success. And pay-per-click marketing is something you can easily do yourself; if that’s the route, you wish to take.

Make Sure They Follow Up with Internet Research

In addition to knowing how to optimise correctly, an SEO firm should constantly investigate the Internet’s most popular search engines to stay aware of the latest techniques for promoting a Web site on the Internet. If they are not giving you monthly reports on the status of your listings, the increasing quantity of your links, and the number of unique visitors to your site, you might not be working with the right content SEO company. These reports should show where your site is ranked on each of the major search engines for each of the essential terms you target, but also show you how you have improved from the previous month and where your competitors stand.

Make Sure You Constantly Know What They’re Doing

Most people have a significant problem with internet marketing guys because they don’t see them daily. It’s not like these guys come into the office daily or even sit with the boss for a daily conference call. Most of them work out of their homes, spending 12 hours a day on the computer. I’m not saying they will take your money and do nothing for you, but it’s good to keep your eyes on them like any employee. On the days they work for you, have them send you day-end reports detailing the pages they optimised, the content they added, the keywords they marketed, and the links they added. This will allow you to understand better what they do on your clock and keep your eye on their progress and effectiveness.

Overall, you can find a good SEO company. There are hundreds out there. But it is your responsibility to make sure you find the right one. Don’t just pick the first firm you find, then complain when you see no results. Find your results before you hire any SEO company, and you will put your business on the right track for Internet success.

Interested in our SEO Services in Reading? Get in touch today!

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