Search engine optimization (or SEO) is the practice of modifying your website and its place within the internet to increase its chance of ranking highly on search results. In the modern world, with so many consumers doing their research about what company to pick for any number of services through the web, SEO is becoming essential for any growing business – and SEO companies are popping up everywhere, with a variety of services on tap, and a variety of nebulous, sometimes confusing, often highly questionable promises to go with it. So, how do you know who can actually provide a beneficial services to your company? This article will help you choose the best SEO services out there.
The first step is to determine what kinds of services you require. This can be difficult, because SEO is a very wide net. The algorithms that search engines use factor in a huge number of factors (Google’s current algorithm has over 100 different criteria on which search results are assessed), and so SEO companies can increase your ranking in many different ways. Seeding your website with the right keywords that match what people are looking for is important, which can mean extensive research to understand what your market needs and how they act on the web. Modern search engines also put a lot of weight behind the perceived authority your site has, determined by how popular your site is and how many sites link to it. SEO companies can help with this as well.
SEO companies also work on different time frames. It’s possible to get simple one-time consultations, where the company will discuss possible types of work that they or another company can do. A bit more in-depth, many companies will offer one-time SEO website audits, where they will look through your website and provide an in-depth report on what is and isn’t working. And many businesses will opt to hire an SEO company on an ongoing basis, with a monthly retainer for constant updates, keyword research, link building, marketing, and reporting.
When it comes to choosing the best SEO services for your company, it will ultimately come down to the company that you feel most comfortable with. Speak with several companies before you make a decision, and ask them what kinds of services they suggest. Ask for testimonials from past customers, and research the kind of work they’ve done.
Also, keep in mind, even with the best SEO services out there, it will always ultimately come down to the quality of your content and the applicability of your services to the searcher. Recently, Google released a radical new update to their search algorithm called Hummingbird. With this update, they’re moving towards so-called ‘semantic search,’ meaning that Google searches for the site that best answers the question the searcher is asking, not just that contains the best keyword matches. The days of simply loading your pages with keywords and hoping for the best are gone. When it comes down to it, a successful website identifies users’ problems and attempts to provide solutions.