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 is the Chief Technology Officer at Horizon Web Marketing. In his work with Horizon Ross brings 35 years of small business management experience, 25 years programming experience, 20 years web development experience, and 13 years experience as a professional SEO. Ross is also currently a certified SEO trainer with the Search Engine Academy and serves on its board of directors.