First of all, here's a little
information about why web pages need to be optimized. .
Search engine optimization is, in its
simplest form, nothing more than constructing your site so different
search engines can review the content of the pages on your site and
decide where to place it among millions of other sites on the
internet to match other similar topics during a search. Each search
engine uses different ways (called algorithms) to review your site
and these algorithms are closely kept trade secrets of the search
engine company. (Unfortunately, they have to do this. There are many
companies who "spam" -who try to fool the search engines by using
hidden coding and who design sites by repeating a word over and over
only to get higher rankings) But aside from all the technical data
the search engines are looking for with these algorithms, we all
know it comes down to one goal-good quality content having to do
with a single subject and proof that the site is really what the
website designer said it would be.
So you've decided to optimize
your site. Or maybe you are already optimizing the site. How do you
tell if your SEO marketing company is legitimate? Here's a few ways
to tell . . .
1) Most likely they aren't
genuine if.. . the company that is optimizing your site guarantees
that they can get you into the top 5 spot on Google, Yahoo or
another major search engine.
It is quite possible they can. But
here's the catch. They optimize your site for the name of your
business or for keywords that simply aren't the keywords potential
customers would even look up to find you. Let's say you have a
camera company by the name of Big Al's Colossal Camera Equipment.
Odds are, there isn't anybody else with that name so you have no
competition with any other companies called Big Al's. Odds are, too,
that a whole lot of customers aren't going to find you because they
knew you were there and typed the exact phrase "Big Al's Camera
Equipment". But ask those same companies to get you in the top
5 rankings on Google under "cameras" or "photography" and suddenly
it just isn't going to happen!
Try this: Look up your site under
your name. Then look up your site under specific things you sell
along with the name of your state or the name of your town. Are you
listed? You should be!
You find out the only customers
you are receiving are from the company's own sites. Or your prices
rise dramatically. When you tell your SEO company that you can't
afford to optimize any longer and the company threatens they will
change your coding, you'll lose all your business or they can
already see your sites losing ranking while you are talking on the
phone. Most likely, you were never in the
rankings anyway. But here's a good way to tell. Make sure you
have a good stat program for your site from the very start. Nearly
all experienced site developers and hosts offer a stat program for
free with their services. (These stats will tell you how many
visitors are coming to your site and which sites are sending
customers to your site, to name just a few) Make sure your hosting
site has a stat program before you begin optimizing! See the stats
now. Watch them grow over the next few months. And make sure
they are willing to send you the stats when you need them or you can
look them up yourself. This is one of the most important keys
to owning a website and should never, never be overlooked! You will
be able to tell what keyword phrases are working and if your
optimization efforts are worth the cost. Don't just assume your site
is being optimized! Ask to see the stats and make sure you are
actually getting visitors to your site and not just showing up for a
few specific words.