If you want to learn about search engine optimization, you must understand its philosophy first. Basically, the goal is to improve your brand identity and your online business. Good SEO companies focus only on what is known as ‘white hat’ methods, which means they follow the rules. While their counterpart, ‘black hat’ methods, may get you to the top of Google in a day, they will also ensure you get yourself penalized, to the point of being banished from the search engines altogether.
What to Look for in a Search Engine Optimization Company
If you want to work with a search engine optimization company, there is more to look for than just white hat strategies. Some of the things to think about include:
- What is their specific expertise and optimization methodology? Some companies can only use basic HTML and work on static websites, for instance. Others go much further and know all types of programming language and they focus on both static and dynamic sites. The top SEO companies also use various eCommerce interfaces and packages and integrate these into your website. Naturally, the more a company can do for you, the more it is likely to cost as well.
- What piecemeal services do they offer and what is the depth of their optimization? Basic companies may say they perform SEO, but they don’t really. Rather, they automatically or manually submit your site to the various directories and search engines. This is a really cheap process, since they don’t actually do anything in-depths like content development, linking or coding. As a result, these services are also very cheap. However, this is something you can really do yourself. One level up from this is an SEO company that focuses a bit more on marketing by writing fresh content, building links, analyzing keywords, editing code and more. They may even do a bit of work on what is known as ‘off site optimization’, like submitting articles and press releases and writing blogs. Then, there is the top level, and most expensive, type of SEO. They do all of the above, as well as analyzing and tracking your conversion rates. This means they look at what does and doesn’t work for you and make adjustments to ensure what doesn’t work is changed. It is also important to understand that some companies float in between these three. What they do is create packages that suit your personal needs. In other words, you pay separately for all the different services.
Is SEO something you can simply do yourself? Probably not. While we live in an age where companies are doing all they can to keep costs down, you also have to remember that investing in services like SEO will give you a tremendous return on investment. Even the lowest levels of SEO, submitting your site to directories, takes time and a degree of knowledge that you may not have yourself, unless your particular niche is in online marketing.