If your website doesn’t show up on the first page of search results on Google, Bing or Yahoo, your potential customers might not even know you exist. Better search engine visibility can be critical to boosting visits to your website. But what if you lack the time and technical expertise to improve your site’s search ranking? It might make sense to hire an experienced, reliable search engine optimization or SEO consultant. Colorado Springs experts think these things should be considered.
A reputable SEO consultant should be open to sharing a brief list of current and former clients and his or her contact information. These references can help you gauge how effective the candidate is, as well as verify that the person did indeed work on specific SEO campaigns. Clients may not provide specific analytics but they should be able to at least tell you if they saw a positive impact on their search.
Make sure the candidate’s proposal includes an initial technical review of your website to weed out any problems that could lower your search engine ranking, including broken links and error pages. Consultants also should provide “on page” optimization, a process to make your website as search engine friendly as possible. It involves improving your website’s URL and internal linking structure, along with developing web page titles, headings and tags. Also, ask consultants if they provide “off page” SEO strategies.
You want a consultant who strictly abides by Google’s publicly posted webmaster best practices, which specifically prohibit 12 common SEO tactics, including automatically generating spam content and adding bogus hidden text and links. If a candidate doesn’t follow those guidelines, your website could be relegated to a dismally low search results ranking. Or, worse yet, Google could ban it from search results altogether. Bing and Yahoo also post webmaster best practices that consultants should confirm they follow.
Although it’s impossible to guarantee a number-one ranking on any search engine, some unethical SEO consultants do make such bogus guarantees. Consider it a red flag if the candidate claims to have an insider relationship with Google or any other search engine that will get you priority search results rankings. Only Google, Bing and Yahoo can control how high or low websites appear in their search results.