Hiring an SEO firm for optimizing the website has its advantages. The article talks about what these advantages are and how you can select a good SEO firm for carrying out SEO of your online properties.
What you must know about SEO
If well understood, you can perform SEO for your own website. Every piece of information required to carry out SEO is present online. What needs done is research on what works and what doesnt, whats ok with search engines and what isnt.
You also need to keep yourself up to date with search engine news, regular algorithm updates, user search pattern, competition check and also monitor the link building partners in order to ensure that your links have not been dropped, update your on-page optimization regularly to ensure your pages are informative and in tune with the search pattern. These are just few of the things that you need to keep an eye on.
What SEO professionals bring
The problem is that even if you have the time, you probably dont have the resources to research the algorithm to know if its changed, which parameters are still important and which have become redundant, what you need to do to stay in the top ten.
In all probability, you would know about the algorithm change only after it has affected your rankings. You would then either research on your own to find what happened, or visit forums where the SEO professionals are discussing what probably went wrong (which again are individual views of SEO experts) and get confused by the different answers. Since you dont have the resources to validate all the theories, youll pick the one that seems logical to you (or the one which is given by one of the more known professionals), implement it and wait to see if the rankings reappear. This would take 5-8 weeks anyways. Then, if the results dont show up, youll try another thing, probably losing another 5-8 weeks of business.
Its been about 16- 20 weeks already, another search engine changes the algorithm and search pattern changes - youve probably missed the boom sale period and since you were so involved in getting your rankings back, you didnt even utilize the PPC program affectively.
Thats why you need professionals
SEO companies have the resources and are doing this day in day out. Since they are working with more than one industry, they know the search pattern, are pre-warned in case of algorithm changes because of the research and can affectively implement the changes - and test it in quarter of the time youll take while consulting you on the alternatives so that you dont stop making money!
How to choose the right SEO firm:
Here is list of questions you must get a YES for from the SEO firm before you consider it to be your Internet Marketing service provider.
1. Do you have a website?
2. Do you have a phone line where I can contact you?
3. Do you have case studies that I can review?
4. Do you have a list of clients I can call for reference if required?
5. Can you send me a copy of your SEO/PPC/LB process?
6. Can you send me a copy of the contract?
7. Can you send me a document listing the SEO practices you consider unethical and would not be carried out on my website?
8. Can the above list of SEO Practices - not followed be made a part of the contract?
9. Can you send me a copy of the SEO Guarantees that you give and dont give?
10. Can the SEO Guarantees document be made part of the contract?
11. Would I have a Project Responsible assigned from your end?
Once you have the documents, review them and compare the SEO firms for the process details, contract details, unethical practices document and their Guarantees document.
NOTE: Any firm giving ranking guarantees needs to be approached very cautiously. No one can guarantee organic rankings.