Great Advice on Vetting and Hiring an SEO Firm
If you hang around SEO, as we do, you’ve seen a recent video from Google Tech Lead Maile Ohye getting a lot of sharing love lately, especially from legitimate SEO companies, like, well…Horizon Web Marketing.
We like it so much we’re embedding it below. But in case you don’t have 11 minutes handy to watch it, here’s the bullet pointed highlights (and if you know us you’ll know it’s what we’ve been preaching for years now):
- Hiring a bad SEO isn’t just a waste of money, it can actually hurt your rankings
- SEO is NOT black magic or some bag of “tricks”
- Any SEO can only succeed if you invest in a good website and will make suggestions about your whole website experience for your visitors, and not just where you rank in search; they want to help your business, not just your rankings
- SEO starts with making your site “search friendly” (we call it “search engine friendly” or SEF)
- A legitimate Search Engine Optimization program will take 4-12 months to start bearing fruit
- If an SEO recommends something, they need to be able to back it up and show you how their practices are based on Google documentation, they should be willing to educate you about what they do
- The starting point in a relationship with an SEO firm will usually be an search engine optimization audit, and yes, it usually does cost money to perform one
- Competitive analysis is important (what are your competitors doing that affects search and their website)
- Technical issues are important (so any firm you hire has to be technically competent)
- If you’re not ready to commit to improving your website and following the recommendations of your SEO professional, don’t bother
Here’s the thing that strikes me repeatedly in the points that Maile makes: an SEO has to be able to communicate well with you about your business. Having a 2-way dialogue is critical.
These are just a few of the high points. Make sure you watch the whole video. We’re glad that what Google thinks is important is exactly how we would represent our business value to you.
Ross Barefoot got his start in small business managing an importing company in the bicycle industry. While there, he tried his hand at programming to find more effective ways to track, market and sell his company’s range of bicycle parts. He loved the web marketing side of things so much he became a professional web developer in 2001, starting a website design business in Western Colorado. He took his first SEO certification course from the Search Engine Academy in 2002, followed it up with another in 2004, and decided to jump full time into SEO training and consulting in 2011, becoming a Master Certified Instructor with the Search Engine Academy, where he continues to serve on the Board of Directors. Today, Ross is CTO, trainer and chief SEO strategist at Horizon Web Marketing (www.horizonwebmarketing.com), a full-service digital marketing agency based in Las Vegas.