Should You Hire a SEO Agency Locally or Online?

Feb - 05 2016 | no comments | By

SEO Companies that offer marketing and content optimization are everywhere in the web. Each company claims that they are the best, that they offer excellent and top-of-the-line services, and that they are not a fraud. Well, spotting the real deal is hard.

The question is “should you hire your professional SEO agency locally or online?” Here are some of the factors you should consider:

Availability

Hiring an agency in your local area to optimize your website seems more practical and more secure. However, not all website owners have this opportunity.Before choosing an online SEO agency that is based outside your locality, try searching for a local agency. Before optimization became popular, local companies that offer SEO are few. Most of them are all either US-based or from Europe. However, due to the rising demand for content marketing, business-minded people began to see the need to localize SEO companies.If going local isn’t possible, the next option is to avail of the services of an online SEO company. If both are available,consider the succeeding factors before finalizing your decision.

Security and Confidentiality

How well can the company keep your information secure? You need to know the protocols they adopt. If security is breached, how do they handle the situation and maintain confidentiality.

Methods

A good SEO company that knows the ins and outs of the business should be able to discuss to you the methods they use in bringing your website to the top pages. White hat SEO is the safest but the longest route.Do not get carried away with promises of immediate results because it might hurt your site in the long run.

Customer Support

If you opt for a local agency, you have more options to contact them when something goes wrong with their service. You can call them through their customer service hotline, email them, or visit them when they are not picking up your call or answering your email. With an online SEO company, you only have two options – call or mail them.

SEOIf you’re having a hard time contacting customer support, especially during the planning stage, take it as a warning sign. It could only mean a number of things. One, the customer support service is outsourced. Two, the company is not professional in handling problems in their services. Three, the company is a fraud.

When you are not certain if the SEO consultant is the real deal, you can ask around if some of your friends, relatives, or colleagues have worked with the company you are eyeing. If they have, interview them how the company handled their complaints.

Cost

As a website owner, you would like to minimize costs especially if you are starting. What is then the optimum costs in hiring the service of an SEO adviser? It all depends on your ultimate goal and your willingness to spend on the service. Hiring an SEO consultant is like buying a personal computer. The better the performance you want, the higher it will cost. It is the same with search engine optimization. The better the results you aim for, the higher the cost it will entail.

If you want cheap SEO that offers good results, you are in for big disappointment. No real SEO consultant will charge cheap when you are aiming for long term, massive results with your website.

Considering all the factors above, which one should you hire, a local professional SEO Agency or an online one? If an SEO agency is available in your local area, try scheduling an appointment with them first. However, if they are asking for an initial fee without even discussing your goals, take heed. Consider it as a red flag and stay away from such company.

You have decided to hire a consultant to do your SEO. What will you do next? Here is a basic step-by-step process that you may follow.

1.Face-to-Face Interview. If possible,talk to them personally.If not, you can have the initial meet up through online correspondence where you can see your consultant. The first meeting is about discussing your goals and the results you want to achieve for your website.

2.Ask for a sample of their work, like websites that they have or are currently working on. The consultant does not have to discuss those sample works in detail because of confidentiality matters. What you need to watch out for is the “how” the company brought their existing or past clients to the top.

3.On your next meeting, the consultant should have a marketing plan ready for you. In this stage, evaluate how detailed the plan is. Did the consultant study your website, its strength and weaknesses, its competitors and among others.

4.Ask about the costs. Establishing the cost is extremely complex. However, the consultant should discuss to you in detail and what you are expected to pay. At the same time, you should also convey your own expectations and marketing budget.

5.If everything is laid out and you are satisfied, it is time for the contract to be signed.

Of course, during the entire process, be sure to remain professional.

4 Pieces of Bad Advice a SEO Company Can Give You

Jan - 19 2016 | no comments | By

Search any topic related to SEO and you will get hit with hundreds of thousands of results. In fact, you will get so many ideas flying around, that you may find it hard to believe that most of them are wrong. You may run into a blog post or a bit of content from a SEO company, and when you explore a bit more, you’ll realize that they too are wrong about optimization strategies in these modern times.

seoIf you are looking to hire a professional, you will need to look at the bad advice and run far away from it. In trying to find the truth of the SEO world, the following has been compiled. You’ll find that these tidbits are tried and true in that they have debunked common optimization myths that are still being advertised by certain companies. If you see this offered by a company that you want to hire or you are going to try your hand at doing it yourself, be careful, you may end up losing out in the long term.

Dropping Comments on No Follow Blogs

In the past, you could use the comment section of a website and gain a lot of backlinks. You could even hire an SEO company to diligently drop comments and links into no follow blogs and you would score huge ranking jumps. This is absolutely bad in today’s framework. If you’re doing this still, or you’ve hired someone to do this, you are going to end up with a lot of problems. The latest algorithm shifts in major search platforms are penalizing sites that do this, and it’s because the commentary is traditionally spam. Offering something valuable to a conversation takes time, and effort. Every comment you leave on a blog will get tracked and the time stamp, length of post, and link to your site will be scrutinized. If there’s a proliferation of the comments across several similar blogs, you are going to lose traffic.

Forum Signatures

There’s nothing wrong with forum signatures, if you’re an active member of a forum. However, if you hire forum users to change their signatures to point to your page, or any sort of service that does this, you’ll end up losing out as well. The problem here is repetition and constant spamming of forums. Webmasters that host forums online have started to implement rules against this, making sure that their forums aren’t used for the sake of SEO spamming, but it’s still prevalent. Try to avoid anything that requires you to duplicate content, or continually hinge on one keyword for the purpose of backlinks to your site.

Article Marketing (Spinning)

Spinning articles is a slippery slope. It’s something that you should not engage in, and should be wary of from certain companies. If you hire a SEO company and they are going to post content on your behalf, and will be spinning articles, make sure that they are not done with duplication, software, or any sort of shortcut. It’s easy to spin, and cause major break downs of information. This is seen as spam. If you’re going to engage any sort of article publishing, make sure that everything you have is 100% unique, and new, with careful consideration of the end user. Otherwise, you will fall out of favor with search results.

Buying Backlinks From Link Farms

Be careful when you’re directed to buy links, or hire a SEO company that is notorious for buying links from these farming sites. You want to make sure that you have a direct relationship with sites that are linking to you, or at least ensure that you’re not buying placements on pages that are not relevant to your page or simply have been penalized for lackluster compliance with modern optimization rules.

Important Reminders When Hiring an SEO Company

Oct - 21 2015 | no comments | By

(SEO) campaignsSearch engine optimization (SEO) campaigns are now commonplace among websites as a marketing strategy that it is probably harder to find websites that do not employ them (literally). Most marketers agree with one another that SEO campaigns are integral to a successful marketing strategy for almost any kind of website.
There are still people out there who have no idea what SEO operations are about, let alone what they can do for a website. In essence, SEO operations help improve a website’s performance. SEO operations achieve this in a variety of different ways. For one thing, successful SEO campaigns provide websites an increased amount of visibility on search engine results pages (SERPs). Increased visibility on SERPs translates to an increased amount of traffic as research has shown that most people rely on SERPs to discover new websites. The increased amount of traffic, which is pretty much what every website wants, means more advertiser interest and more conversions for websites that practice e-commerce.

The benefits of SEO operations are rarely disputed. It may have a few disadvantages or cons, but the benefits outweigh the negative issues.
Websites that do not have the capability to launch their own SEO campaign will do well to hire an SEO company to launch and operate their campaign for them. In fact, that is how most websites launch their SEO campaign. Before choosing and SEO company, though, here are a few important reminders that can help in choosing the wrong one.

Thinking about the kind of relationship
The first thing that a website must take into consideration is the kind of relationship they plan to establish with the SEO company. Will the service be a onetime thing or will it be one of those long term partnerships?
See, some websites only employ SEO companies to help start their SEO operations through an SEO campaign. Once the campaign is launched the website waits for results. When the results start to manifest, the website then takes over the SEO operations and continues where the SEO company left off. The relationship between the website and the SEO company is in a temporary capacity. This is only advisable for websites that have the resources necessary for the continued maintenance of their SEO operations.
Other websites like to treat their SEO companies as a business partner. SEO is not a onetime deal. Sure the website already has traction in that it has achieved a high rank in SERPs, but that does not mean that they can fall from the top. Many in fact do. For that reason, some websites establish a long term relationship with their SEO company.
White hat SEO techniques. Yes. Black hate SEO techniques. No.
SEO techniques fall under two general and distinct categories, white hate SEO techniques and black hat SEO techniques.
Black hat SEO techniques are the unfavorable means by which some SEO practitioners or companies give websites a top tier ranking on SERPs. These techniques are frowned upon by search engine operators as they are fraudulent by nature and do not give search engine users the kind of websites that they want.
White hat SEO techniques are the legitimate means a website can achieve a high rank on SERPs. A good SEO company will only employ white hat SEO techniques.
Understand that websites that use black hat SEO techniques are at risk of getting banned from search engines, that is to say, their websites will never appear on an SERP ever again.

Looking at the fine print
This is very important, especially for those who are just about to enter into an agreement with an SEO for the first time. In an ideal world all SEO companies play fair. In the real world, some SEO companies are dirty cheaters who ruin the reputation of the industry as a whole. Always make sure to read a service agreement carefully as the price is not as important as the fine print.