Search Engine Optimisers: Business Necessity or Snake Oil Salesmen?
A lot of companies claim to be search engine optimisers but can you believe their claims? Or are they just the modern day equivalent of snake oil salesmen?
Well, of course, I’d argue that search engine optimisers are a business necessity. Someone, somewhere needs to be optimising your website for the search engines as well as for human visitors, otherwise you’ll get lost in the wilderness.
Finding reliable search engine optimisers
The best way to find someone who is likely to be good at optimising your website is through word of mouth. Talk to other people locally – in your industry or outside it – who are coming up high in the search results for their website and find out who their search engine optimisers are.
Some will have done their search engine optimisation themselves. This is quite common and if you’re not in a particularly competitive industry it can work out OK, at least until someone more internet savvy comes onto the scene.
Others will have used a local college student to perform their search engine optimisation. Again, this can work out OK but you need to be careful that they are using current techniques – the market changes on a regular basis and some things that were current a few years ago are no longer likely to work in your favour – and that they’re not likely to do anything unproven that could hurt your search engine rankings in the longer term.
And a few will have used a firm of search engine optimisers who are local to you.
These are the ones to seek out.
They have a reputation to uphold locally, so they’re likely to stay with ethical search engine optimisation methods that will work for you in the short, medium and long term.
Quiz them to find out the SEO techniques they use:
Reciprocal links used to work but are pretty much discounted nowadays.
Paid for links need to be clearly flagged as such and should only be considered for the visitors they send you, not for any search engine benefit.
Spammy things like mass commenting on other people’s blogs should be avoided.
The search engine optimisers to avoid are the ones who won’t give you straight answers to these kind of questions.
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