SEOwhat.com was started in 2004, but our knowledge base goes back to 1996. So allot of the things we do as a service comes at a price. We will answer minor questions for retainer or reoccuring clients but we aways ask for our clients to remember we are a service provider, as well online marketing experts. In the beginning we will give you options for your online marketing package and one of them is to add consulting hours to your monthly package, this will secure your spot for myself to consult with your account manager as well you on as needed bases. Plus the hourly rate goes from $425 to $250 per hour. We always suggest clients use this so consulting questions can be asked and given back to the client on a timely manner as well, We also suggest asking these questions in email, this will allow for a faster answer, and you can keep the answer for future references. Plus the bonus to using the consulting in email vs the phone, your time do not get used up fast. A normal phone call usually will take up 45 – 80 min, and from there your time is gone if you only add 1 hour per month.
Search Engine Optimization
So why do you need to do SEO? Well simply put, to increase visibility and reap the corresponding increase in website traffic and products consumed from your site. An elementary but appropriate way to think of SEO in the real world is that a search engine is purely a referral site. Just as you would ask a trusted friend for a referral on where to purchase a television, so to do many folks ask a search engine the same question. In both instances you expect an appropriate response and the best referral you could get. The more credible the responses, the more likely you will ask again. Therefore, to keep searchers returning to ask for more referrals, it is in the search engines best interest to return the most relevant and credible sites. This is why and where SEO comes into play. You need to optimize and market your site so that you are the most credible site for a searched keyword, and thus continue to rank higher and higher in the returned results of a search engine.
The resources you have at hand vary from partner to partner. Some partners already have a website, others do not. Some have newer websites that are more appropriately laid out or optimized whereas some partners have older sites that may no longer be optimized correctly. Some may have already done some previous SEO work which may be helping or hindering the process.
The resources you apply are uniquely tied to the resources at hand and the keywords you would like to rank higher for. It goes without saying that typically the more resources you can apply, the faster and higher you will rank.
The keywords you are going after truly are what dictate how much effort you must apply to rank higher because it really boils down to a competition. You are in a race to the top and must run faster and harder than your competitors to win. Your competitors are the other results ranking for the desired keywords. How much of head start have your competitors had in the race? How much effort are they continuing to put behind the race or have they stopped?
Step 2 is the strategizing phase. With the information gathered in step 1, and the resources that we can apply known, we devise the most cost effective and fastest route to obtain your desired results.
Step 3 is realizing your efforts. Here we begin to experience the fruits of your labors with better rankings and increased traffic.
Step 4… “Hey wait” you say! We only said 3 steps so what is step 4? Well step 4 is an optional step but we find most elect to take it once they have gotten to step 3. In step 4 we maximize your returns by working on conversion. It is one thing to get all these folks to your site; it is another thing to get them to buy. We work with you on establishing best practices used by industry leaders to squeeze every last dime out of your customers on the products they love. Some examples we utilize are design and accessibility changes, ease of purchase, dropped cart features, and more!
Here is 3 options: Fast, Good, and Cheap. We strive on GOOD Seriously though, less than that slacker who works for you by surfing the web all day! Alright no more corny jokes, I promise. Costs would be significantly less than you would ever have to pay someone on your own staff. In fact costs vary all depending on where you currently are, where you want to go, and how fast you’d like to get there. You can contact us and let us know what your expectations are and we’d be happy to give you an estimate anytime.
Absolutely! We work with a wide variety of businesses, each coming from unique corners of the marketplace. The first step in our process is all about getting to know you and your brand/service before we put any pen to paper.
We find that most folks end up needing some coding changes to better optimize their sites and typically meta tags need some work to better fit into the desired keyword strategy.
Again though, we really stress utilizing the step 1 process to avoid apply resources unintelligently. With the step 1 process, we will be able to obtain you the best possible results faster and for cheaper. In fact we have saved some partners a lot of money they had anticipated spending based on the findings in our step 1 process. Yep, we’re honest like that… weird right?
Be wary of companies that promise you being #1. Achieving the top ranking in Google or any other search engine is never a guarantee, whether it’s for competitive or even not-so competitive words. Doubt the ability of any company who promises to be able to do so.
Get trusted recommendations. Word of mouth is sometimes the best reference for a company. Ask friends, business partners, and even people you know “in the field” about the companies they use and their experiences with them.
Ask online communities. Reputable web master and SEO forums can often provide you with great, trustworthy answers as to which SEO companies are worth investing in – and which SEO companies you should avoid. Of course, keep in mind that not every forum member is an honest one, so take all opinions and recommendations with a grain of salt, and do your own research before making your choice.
Google the company name. You google your boss, your friends, your ex, maybe even your current significant other – so why not google the SEO companies you’re considering? If the company is known for less-than-stellar practices and client handling, you will most likely find a lot of information on them. However, a lack of negative commentary doesn’t mean that they’re great; also, some negative feedback can be subjective, and should always be weighed against any positive feedback found – as well as your own intuition.
Ask for examples of current or past clients. Any forthcoming SEO company will have no problem with such a request, and should be happy to produce not only some sites they’ve optimized, but client references, too. Citations of client confidentiality should be a warning bell about a company’s credibility.
Check the SEO company’s own PageRank. A decent SEO company should easily be able to optimize their own site for a PR of at least 4.
Ask them for a list of their own keywords. Then, check to see if the SEO company’s rankings match up with their choice keywords. If they don’t, then they’re not as professional and as on-the-ball with optimization as they claim to be.
Avoid SEO companies who use automated submissions. Automated submissions are frowned upon, and can result in you being banned from search engines.
Avoid SEO companies who use black hat SEO tricks. Make sure you familiarize yourself with black hat SEO tricks, then check to make sure that any SEO company you’re considering doesn’t use them.
Where are they getting backlinks from? Find out where an SEO company is getting their backlinks from. Backlinks are important, but they should only come from reputable sources. Link farms and similar setups can cause a lot of trouble, and should be avoided at all costs.
Try to get a personal impression. If you’re able to meet in person with a representative from an SEO company, do so! In-person meetings can provide you with gut instinct reactions, and a more personal approach to how you may do business with the company.
High price does not equal high quality. Don’t expect to get more if you pay more. Compare several SEO companies to get a feel for the general price range of the services you need, then go from there. In some cases, SEO firms may charge more because they work inefficiently; in other cases, you really do get what you pay for.
Be clever with your questions. Use trick questions to find out if an SEO company will really provide what they say they will, and if they really do execute white hat SEO techniques, or if there’s some black hat SEO mixed in, too. For example, you might ask how many search engines they will submit your site to. If they give you any answer other than, “no automatic submissions”, be on guard. The same goes for questioning about keywords – provide them with a list of your preferred keywords and ask if they can get you in the top 10. They should provide a rebuttal indicating that they will choose the keywords, not you. If they don’t, then you should probably cut them loose.
Ask about subscription services. SEO is a never-ending process, and in order to establish a decent rank and maintain it, continual efforts are necessary. For this reason, you’re better off choosing an SEO company that offers post-optimization maintanence, rather than choosing a company that gets you to where you need to be and then leaves you hanging.
Hiring a new SEO Consultant can often be a confusing and daunting task. But fear not, the right ones are out there, you just have to ask the right questions and get a good feel for each one. Ask to see where there clients are ranked and proof of it. A good consultant will first need to look at the back end of your website (‘Step 1 – Site Analysis”) and most likely will need to spend some time making sure all the right puzzle pieces are in their correct spots. A good consultant will also continue to keep their finger on the pulse of the search engine world and its forever often changing algorithms. Good SEO Consultants will be able to tell you then what needs to be changed or added to your site per the current algorithm changes and more importantly what the search engines are currently looking for.
Overnight top search engine results is a farce! Don’t get fooled into believing that is the case or possible. On average it takes anywhere from 6-8 months after all the right modifications and changes to your website are completed to hit the top of Google…..PERIOD! “Black Hat” SEO’ers will promise top rankings within days or weeks, but beware, the changes and tactics they are applying to your website/company will most definitely get you BANNED or SANDBOXED from Google and other search engines!
Dont believe the hype! There is truly only one way to achieve top organic search results and that is thru your website performing like a well oiled machine built or modified per spec of the current search engine criteria. In other words…pleasing the SE gods current wishes and demands!!
We once had a client who sold routers which are tools that rout (hollow) out an area of wood like on a cabinet face. They had been spending lots of money for a long time to optimize for “router” but simply were not seeing great results along with horrible conversion rates and came to us for advice. We pointed out that not only were they competing with other companies that sold routers, but they were competing with networking routers too! No wonder their conversion rates were so terrible. We suggest optimizing for more long-tail terms such as “wood routers” and “wood working routers” which would be much cheaper to obtain as well as have higher conversion rates. Guess what? Within several months they ranked highly for the new terms and were seeing purchases go through the roof!
Just remember….what would your neighbor type in to search for your product?
That is why keywords matter and that it why it is paramount that implement step 1 before wasting money.