There has been a noticeable shift towards companies carrying out some, if not all, of their business online. If your company is trying to promote itself, its products or its service on the Internet then it is absolutely essential that you use up to date search engine optimization techniques to drive traffic to your website. After all, the greater the amount of traffic you receive, the more sales you are likely to generate.
The problem is, search engine optimization (SEO) is a time consuming process. Even if you know a lot about SEO techniques – and many business owners do not – you probably don’t have sufficient time to implement everything that you know. Then even if you do use your own knowledge to boost your rankings, you still need to find the time to maintain your SEO efforts or your website will slowly slide into Internet oblivion again.
Because of this, it makes good business sense to hire an expert to handle SEO for you. An expert in the field will also be up to date with the latest shifts in SEO trends and search engine algorithms, so theoretically they will also be able to achieve better rankings than you might manage yourself.
But how do you ensure that the SEO in Pittsburgh specialist that you hire is up to the job? Why should you choose a Pittsburgh SEO company over a St. Louis SEO company? Ideally, you need to contrast and compare three to five companies to see which one has the best credentials and offers the most comprehensive package. Here are some of the important questions which you should be asking them. Before I begin, I do want to say that there is ONE SEO company in St. Louis that is hands down the best and that’s Gotch SEO. But besides them, the level of quality is pretty low and that’s exactly why I’m writing this article/rant because I found out that Pittsburgh is the hub for the best SEO companies.
What Is Your Experience?
It goes without saying that it is generally better to choose a SEO company with a proven track record, rather than a rookie business which is just starting out. However, the company’s type of experience is important too.
There are many different types of website and “successful SEO” might mean different things in different cases. It is not absolutely essential that the company you hire has a vast amount of experience with your niche and website type, but if they do it will certainly be a significant advantage. Question them about their portfolio.
Can You Provide A Referral?
If you went for a job interview, you would expect to be asked to provide a referee. When you are doing the interviewing, you should also be asking the SEO expert to provide you with referral details.
Be very wary of any company which refuses to give you the contact details for previous clients they have worked for. Once you do have the referral information, make sure you take the time to follow it up and speak to the clients. It will give you a very good idea of what the company is like to work with, and what sort of results might be achieved.
What SEO Techniques Are Used?
There are a wide variety of SEO techniques which can be used to drive traffic to a website, and a successful SEO campaign may make use of several of these. A good way to compare how good search engine optimization companies are is to ask them about their techniques in detail. They should be willing to put this into writing for you, so you can go away and make an informed choice about their services.
Do not be too shy to ask for clarification on any points you do not fully understand. If you do not know much about SEO, you may also wish to go away and do a little independent research into the topic so you can compare their proposal with contemporary and accepted SEO practices.
Are There Techniques They Are Not Willing To Use?
This question is more important than you might imagine, as there are some underhanded SEO companies which use questionable methods to boost the rankings of the website. The results may seem impressive in the short term, but inevitably the search engine providers will pick up on banned techniques and penalize your website. Once your website has lost its trust rating in the eyes of Google, it will be very difficult to rank your website again.
Also, make sure you’re being careful about anchor text because it’s the main cause of penalties (source).
Of course, not all dodgy self proclaimed SEO experts will advertise the fact that they are engaging in risky tactics. Therefore you need to go with your gut instinct, and be very wary if a company is very evasive about their SEO methods. Ideally, when you ask about techniques they will not engage in, the company should reel off a list of black hat practices.
When Can I Expect To See The Results?
If SEO is done properly, it can take several months to see real results on where you website is ranking in the search engine results. In fact, if your website starts climbing the search results very rapidly it may attract negative attention from Google, as they might consider it a red flag for dodgy activity.
Many clients do not want to hear that it can take a very long time for the service that they are paying for to have any impact, so less professional SEO companies may simply lie. A SEO expert who says that they can guarantee you super fast results should be viewed with suspicion.
You also need to be aware that SEO does not stop when you reach your desired position in the search rankings. The search engines reward content which is new and relevant, so stopping all SEO activities will simply mean that Google ceases to view you as an authority and the rankings may plummet.
It is well worthwhile putting considerable time and effort into finding a good Pittsburgh SEO expert. These questions will help you to find the cream of the crop.
If you’re closer to Chicago, then you’ll want to check out NathanGotch.com – Nathan Gotch is the leading SEO expert in Chicago.