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Saturday, June 23, 2012

5 Things You Need to Know About SEO Before Hiring an SEO Firm

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is the art and craft of improving Internet visibility. Professional SEO agencies use a number of approaches to help their clients improve ranks. Content, links and improved websites are just a few approaches that are common. The leading search engines are famous for changing their algorithms on a regular basis, and a constant effort is usually required for continued success. Most SEO firms guarantee their work, but understanding how they accomplish results is essential. Here are 5 things that you should know before hiring an SEO agency.

  1. The rules keep changing: Google is famous for updating its algorithms on a regular basis. In the past, many SEO companies relied on keyword stuffing and lack of meaningful content to achieve high results. This approach was successful for quite some time, but Google is working hard to provide its clients with substance. For this reason, the current trend is towards quality content that offers value to visitors. Google is constantly refining its algorithms to reflect its push towards great pages that have user value. Choosing an SEO agency that updates landing pages to meet algorithm changes is essential.
  2. Improvement takes time: Some experts guarantee that they can get high results overnight. This may be true, but the results usually do not last. Black hat techniques and keyword stuffing can boost online rankings in the short term. However, the major search engines pay attention to link-building campaigns. It is easy to see the date that links were built, and it is best to spread the addition of any backlinks over a period of time. Gaining top ranks is a job that requires time and dedication. Google also monitors sites to see how results are achieved. The company uses this insight to improve their service.
  3. Narrow queries for better ranks: The major search engines are engineered to provide answers to simple, specific phrases. Many shoppers also rely on heavily specialized keywords to help them find products. Including specific phrases is a great way to receive top search rankings. This is also a good idea for businesses that are in competitive industries. Competing with everyone in a broad industry is difficult. Leveling the playing field is one of the benefits associated with refining search terms. The narrow terms reduce the competition and make it easier to get high ranks.
  4. Black hat techniques are ultimately penalized: Some SEO companies rely on black hat techniques that are designed to take advantage of the search engine's flaws. These techniques may work for a while. However, the results are short lived, and most search engines pay attention to underhanded tactics. Using black hat SEO agencies is not a long-term answer and can actually compromise a company's brand image on the Internet. Google actually kicked BMW off its results pages for using black hat techniques.
  5. SEO is worth it: Advertising on the Internet is a great way to improve profitability and find new revenue streams. The Internet is one of the fastest growing marketplaces in the world, and estimates show that more than 70 percent of North Americans use the Web on a regular basis. In addition, the Internet's global influence is growing. More consumers from around the world are tuning into the web, and this is an untapped market for most companies. Reaching these buyers requires websites that have great ranks. Discussing options with an SEO agency is one of the best ways to ensure a successful foray into the market. It is also essential for Internet marketers to understand the basics behind SEO and how it can improve their bottom line.
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