Getting a professional to build your or optimize
There are many factors to consider when selecting a
professional to build your website and if you already have your own
website then the selection of a person to optimize your site such that it
gets ranked well in the search engines. Unfortunately, many businesses
that haven't previously used search engine optimization to promote
themselves are unsure how to evaluate potential vendors, and many are
intimidated by the entire concept. There is no doubt without the search engine optimization your
site will NOT be successful. The following article is intended to
help in the selection process and better still motivate you to just do it
I meet few people who have understood the importance
of optimizing a website for search engine. This is by far the most
important issue regarding a website. There are many different approaches
and levels of service available to anyone looking for a search engine
optimization company. Never rely on tricks to increase your search engine
ranking. Anyway there are few that work nowadays and those few that still
do work will also get detected and penalize you in the long run. You
probably also want to be certain that your vendor doesn't work with your
Here are important questions to ask your potential
search engine optimization company:
- Do you use secret tricks to get the pages
If the answer is yes, you are probably
dealing with a search engine optimization company that violates the
terms of most search engines.
- Do you guarantee that you won't work with my
competitors while you are working with me?
The optimization techniques used for your site could probably be used
to help your competitors. Naturally, you don't want your search engine
optimization company taking the lessons learned from your site and
applying them to a competing site (diluting the effectiveness of your
campaign). Some unscrupulous firms will go so far as to use the
positions they achieved for your site to sell your competitors on the
need for search engine optimization.
Almost every search engine optimization company has
a "brag book" of positions that they have achieved.
However, looks can be deceiving. When evaluating the past results of a
search engine optimization company, there are really five important
components to consider.
- Which Engines?
Make certain that the positions the search engine optimization company
has achieved are for the most popular search engines, not smaller
engines for which they may have a knack. For a current list of the
most popular search engines, visit the Nielsen Netratings page at Search
- Which Keyphrases?
Wordtracker is a valuable tool (free
for limited use) in determining if the positions your potential search
engine optimization company proudly displays actually have any real
value, since it shows the popularity of individual search phrases
based upon actual search activity on popular engines. When Wordtracker
displays a very low number (or zero) for a particular term, it is most
likely not very competitive (or beneficial), and high positions for it
are probably nothing to brag about. In other words, if the search
engine company you are considering is boasting of the high positions
it achieved for the term "dog silverware" and
Wordtracker tells you (not surprisingly) that nobody searches for that
term, know that you shouldn't be impressed.
- What About An Entire Site?
While it's easy to focus on one particularly impressive position on
one popular engine, it's more important to focus on a broad range of
positions achieved for one site. It's entirely possible for a site to
have one great ranking and be sorely lacking in positions for all
other keyphrases. Ask your potential search engine optimization
company to show you a report for an individual client that
demonstrates good positions on many popular engines for many popular
keyphrases. An effective search engine optimization campaign will
achieve maximum exposure across a broad range of keyphrases and
engines, not one notable position on one engine.
- How Have Results Stood Up Over Time?
When you find a search engine optimization company that can provide
you with the data mentioned in the previous component, ask to see a
report showing how those positions have held up over time (ideally for
six months or more). Since search engine marketing is an ongoing
process, you want to be certain your vendor is capable of maintaining
a high level of exposure for your company.
- Did They Really Do It?
The most obvious of the five components is to confirm that your
potential search engine optimization company is really responsible for
the positions they are claiming. It is not unheard of for unethical
companies to take credit for the work of others in order to increase
their chances of landing a sale. In some cases, vendor claims are easy
to confirm (such as when a client site includes the vendor's name or
logo). If you can't confirm that a particular search engine
optimization company is truly responsible for the positions by looking
at the site, don't be afraid to pick up the phone to do so
Ongoing Support and Reporting
As previously mentioned, search engine optimization
is an ongoing process, rather than a one time "quick fix".
If you intend to use your search engine optimization company to help you
improve and maintain your positions, you should ask to see a sample
monthly report. As the quality of reporting can vary from firm to firm,
consider the following three items in your evaluation:
Reports should always be based on the most popular engines, not the
engines that the search engine optimization company has had success
with. Be sure that the sample report includes only popular engines
based upon current figures (once again, visit SearchEngineWatch
for a current list).
Your reports shouldn't be solely comprised of raw data that details
individual positions (although this should be included). It is
impossible to tell how your site is performing on search engines over
time by looking at a slew of individual positions on individual
engines and comparing them to the previous month. The sample report
should provide easy-to-understand overviews of ranking performance,
such as an ongoing chart that covers a long period of time and shows
trend data such as "top 40 positions by month" or "top
three page appearances by month".
You don't want to pay a search engine optimization company merely to
report on positions - you want to be sure that they are looking over
your ranking performance on a monthly basis and are actively making
the recommendations necessary to maintain and improve your positions.
Be sure that the sample report contains monthly observations and
recommendations specific to the site. Otherwise, you may be paying
somebody to simply compile reports, not to promote the ongoing success
of the campaign.
Obviously, this is a large consideration for most
companies, but focusing too much on cost and not enough on results can
hinder your chances for success. Some things to remember:
- Search Engine Optimization is NOT a Commodity
Unlike selecting a gas or electric company (where the quality of the
product is largely the same regardless of vendor), your choice of
search engine optimization vendors will have a dramatic effect on the
overall results. If price is your largest consideration and you are
unable to find a vendor within your price range with whom you are
confident, it may be advisable to wait until you can afford one that
meets your criteria.
- Prices Are All Over The Board.
As with most businesses, the vendors with the best reputations and the
proven track records command the highest fees. However, it is possible
to find a competent, lower-priced search engine optimization company
without a proven track record that will do an excellent job (every
optimization firm has to start somewhere). Just be aware that there
may be risks associated with unproven vendors, and be sure that you
are comfortable taking them.
If a search engine optimization company you are
considering is unable to provide you with references, you may want to look
elsewhere. In almost every business, excellent references are a necessity
when considering expenditures over a certain dollar figure. Why should
choosing a search engine optimization company be any different? Some
optimization firms may cite "confidentiality" reasons, but
search engine optimization is no longer considered the black art that it
once was. Every legitimate firm should have at least two clients (past or
present) that you can call upon. Here are some important questions to ask
when you do:
- Did You Enjoy Working With Them?
This doesn't bear much explanation, but you should find out how
available the vendor was for questions, whether they met their
deadlines, and how the company would classify the overall experience.
- How Reasonable Were Their Requests?
Some companies will ask you to make changes that seriously
compromise the visitor experience on your site. It is important to
find a search engine optimization company that can find a balance
between the needs of search engines and site visitors, not a company
that goes for high positions at any cost.
- What Overall Effect Has It Had On Your
This is the most important question, and the most important overall
factor to consider when selecting a search engine optimization
company. While high search engine positions and more site traffic are
an admirable goal, the true value of search engine optimization is
found in positive effects on customer acquisition costs and bottom
Search engine optimization can drive numerous,
targeted prospects directly to your website, typically at a fraction of
the cost of traditional marketing. However, as with most things, your
results will only be as good as the people you work with. By taking the
time to carefully evaluate search engine optimization vendors before
signing a check, you will take much of the guesswork and uncertainty out
of the process - and greatly increase your long-term chances for success.
Your other alternative is to learn to do it
yourself which is affordable and doable and does not require any
technical skill at all
More resources about building an internet marketing
strategy for tourism services using the internet
If you have any questions about any of this then drop
me a mail or give me a ring 036/3523143 and I will see if I can help
you. I am not an internet expert or an internet provider rather a tiny
guest house owner in the foothills of the Drakensberg. All I can give you
is a wealth of information on how to go about promoting your tourism
service by building a website yourself affordably.
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