While developing your online business, you sometimes come across different types of promises or claims that SEO companies will make. More often than not, these are outrageous exaggerations that should give you signals to keep away from certain consultants.
One of these is the following claim that some consultants will tell you: they have a secret way of improving your site’s traffic. This is often followed by their inability to share this way – which is supposed to give it credibility. After all, if they’ve got a secret way of handling the optimization, why would they just share it away freely, right? Wrong. This is something that should immediately turn you away from them. There is no “secret” to SEO that only some have figured out. Search Engine Optimization is a very open field, and its one that is well-researched and understood. The way it develops as a field of research makes it practically impossible for anyone to have a so-called “secret” or “proprietary” methodology that puts them apart. So if the next consultant or firm you want to hire says something along these lines, tell them “no, thanks”.
Sometimes even searching for a good SEO company can feel hard. On most search engines, if you simply put in “top SEO company” or something similar, you will find a ton of websites that are simply lists of SEO companies. Even if you narrow your search using specific locations or specialities (e-commerce, for example), you’ll most likely be left with not-quite-the-best of SEO companies.
The explanation for this is twofold.
First off, the best SEO companies don’t have to rank good in search results, since they will inevitably have a lot of client retention, which makes them highly in demand, as well as extremely busy. They don’t really need to be on the front pages of search results, since they don’t concentrate a lot of energy on getting new clients.
Secondly, the “top SEO lists” you often find are a business in their own right. These websites are optimized to rank for specific terms (like “best SEO companies”, “top SEO consultants”, etc), just so they can sell these listings to the SEO companies. From the perspective of the consumer, you, who’re looking for a good consulting SEO firm, this is not ideal. Since the SEO-list websites’ goal is to simply sell slots to companies, there can gather a lot of inexperienced consultants who want rank well on search results because they might need a good start. But their lack of experience will not get you, the consumer, good results.
Truth is, every site will need different SEO tactics in order to succeed. A good company or consultant will know exactly what your website needs after taking a good look at it. What separates good SEO companies from mediocre ones is the capability to understand the different needs of each client’s website. The mediocre SEO companies will apply the same principles and methodology to every site, while a good SEO company will always know how to adapt for the specificities inherent in each website.
A great SEO company will also have a good understanding of all SEO levels: the technical level (a site’s structure, which determines how easy or difficult it can be for engines to index the content), the on-page level (using elements such as keywords and HTML tags in order to increase traffic) and off-page level (link building & others). Ideally, you need to find a company able to tackle all these three essential dimensions of SEO, in order to maximize results. For example, all the keywords in the world won’t do any good if your site’s structure is so messy that engines can’t get to the content.
Furthermore, in 2017, SEO has to be understood at a level that goes beyond technical methods. It requires an understanding of marketing in a broad sense, as well as the psychological aspects that go into it, the social media landscape, web analytics, the specific culture where the marketing campaign takes place, web design, viral marketing, etc. In other words, an ideal SEO company will understand exactly why you need your business to thrive, why your product must be