The long-standing holy grail for any website has been to hold the top search result for the site’s primary keyword. While the SEO game and landscape has changed and evolved, this still holds true today, for webmasters and site owners as Google remains the most visited website on the Internet.
With all of the Google algorithm changes and demands of content marketing, social media and everything else online, it may make sense to outsource your SEO efforts. Keep in mind though, that just like a mechanic, there are good SEO companies and shady ones, as well. There are a number of things you want to keep in mind before handing over the reins to an SEO company.
Automated or Manual
While there are some useful submission tools, it’s a good idea to make sure that your outsourced SEO is not just another name for automated bot submissions. Automation always sounds great in theory, but the problem is that it typically creates garbage links and easy to trace footprints that tip off Google and Bing that you’re trying to game the system. It doesn’t matter how many back links you’re getting if your site is sandboxed, so avoid SEO agencies that use automated services.
Attention to Content
There’s no way around it, solid content is an essential. If you have an SEO company that does not bring up content, or says they’ll simply take some of your existing content and make their magic happen, be leery. They may ask for some fresh content, or offer content writing services, which will be up to you to decide how to handle, but there’s no secret way around good content and not being concerned about it is a good sign that something’s not right.
Back links from Bad Neighborhoods
All back links are not created equal. Therefore, it’s important that back links are coming from quality sites, sources and locations that will properly reflect your site and brand. There are plenty of spam-riddled forums that have been used heavily for link building purposes, If your SEO company wants to use these locations, keep in mind that the location of the links do matter and stay with you. Be sure to find out what type of sites, if not the sites that will be used to get more back links.
While guarantees are great in marketing, they’re a possible red flag for SEO agencies. If there’s a guarantee to rank attached to a timeframe, that’s a definite warning sign. After all, SEO is all relative, so each situation must be analyzed and approached uniquely, so a blanket guarantee is sketchy. If a company says they can make no guarantee, they’re quite possibly being honest, since that ultimately is the case. Feel out a company for any guarantee, as they don’t always become a deal breaker, but a caution sign.
Proceed With Caution
Decent outsourced SEO usually carries a bit of a price tag, so be sure to examine what you’re going to get in exchange for your investment and use common sense along with the tips in this article to ensure that your SEO is in good hands.