SEO Services are awash on the internet, with everyman and his dog claiming to be an expert on the subject. If you’re planning your own small business start-up and thinking about using an agency or consultant to help you optimize your website for Google and other search engines, you’ll need to be confident that any investment you make is with a person or company who knows what they’re doing. So, here are 3 pertinent questions you should ask your shortlist of SEO service providers and the answers you should be wary of when they come back to you:
1. Is it realistic for us to achieve results for our keywords in 2 weeks?
The answer to this question should be a resounding “No, it’s not realistic”! Any SEO service provider who claims they can achieve top placements in the search engines in weeks rather than months is, at best, an unprofessional organization and, at worst, blatantly criminal. Although top rankings can sometimes be achieved quite quickly for very low competition keywords, you would need to rank highly for 100s of these phrases to see any benefits in terms of traffic referral. A professional SEO campaign should be measured and long-term, with realistic keyword and traffic objectives determined from the outset.
2. Is it possible for you to get our 5 page website onto page 1 for a highly competitive keyword?
The answer should be another resounding “No”! Depth, quality and freshness of content are key ranking factors on the content side of SEO. You would need to put in place a content development strategy to compete with larger websites in the top 10. The only scenario where you might outrank a much bigger site with a 5 page website would be when you have hundreds or thousands of natural looking inbound links pointing at your domain.
3. I’ve been offered a service that will submit by website to a 1000 directories for £10, is this a good idea?
Your SEO provider should firmly state another resounding “No” to this one too. Link building is absolutely crucial to SEO and directory submissions are still a credible way to build links. However, like most things with SEO, they need to be measured and long-term. You also need to focus on quality rather than quantity. 1,000 links from a thousand low-grade directories will not help you achieve better search engine results. They may even result in your site being flagged as potential spam. Make sure your SEO provider uses ethical, measured link building tactics.