Hiring a Search Engine Optimization Specialist
With Your Goals in Mind
If you want your website to succeed, you need to understand search engine optimization, or SEO. Like many business people, you are probably too busy running your business to dedicate time to learning how to market your website. You may want to consider hiring an SEO company to help optimize your website for search engines. It's sometimes hard to find a legitimate SEO company, however, because there are many scams and companies that use poor tactics out there. It pays to research SEO companies before hiring one because the right company can help ensure that your website gets seen by millions of people, while hiring the wrong SEO company can put your website on Google's spam list.
The main reason to hire an SEO company is because representatives of these companies are experts on SEO. A proper SEO company can analyze your website's structure and content to determine whether there are any weaknesses that prevent the website from being ranked highly in Google and other search engines. Ideally, an SEO company includes a web designer that can help make changes to your website to improve SEO once the company has analyzed the website's current SEO.
Before hiring any SEO expert, though, you need to make sure that he is really an expert and that the company he works for is legitimate. Legitimate SEO companies know the Google Webmaster Guidelines and can explain how to comply with these guidelines as well as get your site more highly ranked. These companies also don't make outlandish claims or solicit customers through mass email marketing campaigns. The company should have a portfolio of successful jobs and testimonials from satisfied customers.
Avoid SEO companies that use questionable tactics. These tactics, known as "black hat practices," dolittle or nothing for your website's search engine ranking and can even cause your site to sink to the bottom of search engine listings. Most companies that use these kinds of tactics are similar to spammers. They often send out unsolicited emails to new webmasters stating that they can guarantee top placement in Google. They may offer to put your site into link directories, which is useless because link directories contain thousands of links and in addition do nothing for your site's SEO. In addition, companies that use these bad SEO practices often don't explain exactly what they intend to do or won't have any references to give you to satisfied customers.
Evaluate SEO companies carefully before you choose to hire one. While legitimate SEO companies can help you increase your web presence, illegitimate companies can ruin your reputation and waste your money.
Some SEO companies simply take your money without doing anything other than posting your website in large web directories, which doesn't help your SEO, or advertising your website instead of working on getting it ranked in Google. Other SEO companies engage in practices that get your site marked as spam. For example, they may "stuff" pages with keywords. Overusing keywords can cause Google to flag the site as spam and refuse to list it.
Be especially careful of any SEO company that talks about using shadow domains. This unsavory tactic involves tricking customers into viewing your site. The SEO company puts up a fake link or site at one domain that automatically redirects viewers to your domain without their permission. This kind of behavior makes your business look illegitimate and angers or frightens visitors. In addition, the SEO company can easily change the code so that the domain no longer links to your site. It is even more dangerous to allow the SEO company to put "doorway" pages on your site that are overstuffed with keywords. Not only are such pages likely to be flagged as spam, but unscrupulous SEO companies often sneak redirects into these pages to content you might not approve of, such as porn sites or sites promoting illegal activity.
If you want to make money with your website, you need to use SEO effectively. It makes sense to outsource SEO work just like you outsource other aspects of your business that you don't have the time or skills to take care of yourself. However, as you've read, you need to protect your reputation by hiring only a legitimate search engine optimization specialist to help you get your website ranked in Google and other search engines.
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