What to Look for When Outsourcing SEO
One danger sign in an SEO pitch is when the vendor guarantees rankings. Nobody except the search engines themselves can provide such a guarantee. Rankings aren’t even the proper metric to evaluate the success of an SEO campaign. A better way to measure is to look at total free traffic over time, and total conversions from that free traffic. An effective SEO campaign may increase total traffic or improve the quality of traffic, resulting in more conversions even if total traffic doesn't increase.
Here are a few things to do before signing on with a search marketing contractor (these tips will help you avoid wasting money on ineffective services, damaging the effectiveness of your site or risking a search engine ban before looking for a search marketing contractor):
- Look for a vendor who specializes in search rather than a general purpose advertising agency or web development shop.
- Ask to speak with the person who provides the service rather than a salesperson. Make sure that person can explain what the firm does in terms you understand.
- Proposed actions should provide clear value, such as improving organization, fixing technical glitches or rewriting content to use commonly searched terms instead of jargon.
- Avoid anybody who cold calls or sends you email out of the blue. Those who understand search marketing can use search to generate sufficient demand for their services.
Jonathan Hochman is founder of Hochman Consultants, an internet marketing company. He's the director of Search Engine Marketing New England and an active speaker and contributor to trade journals. Reach Jonathan at firstname.lastname@example.org.