So you’re thinking about hiring a search engine optimization firm? Phew. Actually, this is the time to consider making the investment after all of the recent Google updates. But what’s the biggest problem you’re going to have choosing one that doesn’t suck?
Well, since I own a search engine optimization firm myself, I can assure you there are five things you want to consider. Honestly, these are pretty obvious no-brainer requirements. However, I’ve heard a few horror stories. Believe me, there’s a lot of cloak and dagger techniques out there that will drive you backwards in rankings.
Don’t believe me? I get it. Since most of the content on this site is free information what most search engine optimization firm gurus do wrong, some people think I’m out to trash my competition. That’s pretty funny. Never has the thought crossed my mind.
There’s so much business out there for thriving firms to scoop up. Only, when I see blatant trickery it kind of pisses me off. Mostly when honest, genuine business owners get sold a bag of goods worth about $71.
Search Engine Optimization Firm Hiring Secret #1: Penguin
Ask if they have experience with Google Penguin. If they say yes (which they will), tell them to out line the three biggies surrounding the algo. Hopefully they’ll share how …
- Penguin targets spam backlinks
- Keyword stuffing in site content
- Then using link farms/networks to increase your rankings
Sure it all worked for years. Not anymore.
Listen, if you were hit by Penguin, don’t crawl into a corner and cry. Millions of sites were hit and many have no idea why. Truckloads of search engine optimization firm people are still scrambling to recover. But, a really dynamic search engine optimization firm should be able to share at least one case study of a client Penguin recovery project.
But don’t get bummed out if they gloss over the subject of Penguin. Just move on to the next one on your list. There’s a truckload of SEO types out there who are borderline clueless. Your job is to find one that is genuine and honest with rock-solid credentials.
Search Engine Optimization Firm Hiring Secret #2: Panda
Yup, Panda was launched a while before Penguin. Inquire if they really know the difference between Panda and Penguin. Hopefully the smart search engine optimization firm sales reps you speak with will have a half a brain full of how Panda relates to razor thin content on a site. Here’s a case study to give you the full picture…
Relax:-). Panda really just dinged site owners who either stole content from another source or worse. Your site has stinking awful content designed to waste everyone’s time. If you do, G, Yahoo! and Bing will simply ignore you forever.
Search Engine Optimization Firm Hiring Secret #3: Sitemap
Do you have one? Is it outdated? Do you know what it is and why it’s one of the big, fat reasons your site will rank better having one?
In the old days, sitemaps were clunky HTML files. They worked but in the last few years the search engines have started to prefer XML sitemaps. In real simple terms, it’s a file on your site with links to your content. They’ll ping it from time-to-time (sometimes everyday, but at least a few times a week) to review your content.
If you have the dopey old HTML file, chances are much of your content isn’t being crawled (looked at) by the engines. But wait, there’s more. Smart search engine optimization firm geeks will also recommend:
- A mobile sitemap
- A video sitemap
If they’re telling you it’s no big whoop having them just roll your eyes and cross them off your list.
Search Engine Optimization Firm Hiring Secret #4: Video
I know, I know, don’t go there right? You think video is so far out of your league it makes your head spin even thinking about it. Well, this is going to be a major pill for you to swallow but you need video.
Why? Hmmm…about 75% of all online content consumed everyday is video. Are you starting to get it? I recommend you look for a search engine optimization firm that also produces HD video as part of your agreement with them. Ouch? Yuppers. The problem these days is video is not something the old-timer search engine optimization firm techniques fully understand. Or really care about.
Video does two things:
- It helps with your site conversions
- Blows the doors off your competition (think Google relevancy )
Search Engine Optimization Firm Hiring Secret #5: Google Relevancy?
Okay, this is where the super duper search engine optimization firm superheroes crush the little guys.
Google relevancy standards are based on your text content. For example, is it optimized for one target keyword phrase? Doubtful. Every time I talk with people about this topic they glaze over bored out of their minds.
Seriously, it’s not high school algebra. But it does require that your text content be highly optimized. Then you add optimized video into that content. The result? A wicked relevant piece of content Google will love. So will your rankings. It takes time–along with adjusting your content over weeks and months. Remember, fresh content is the icing on the cake when it comes to ranking well.
Need help? Learn what our search engine optimization firm does for clients.