These days, it’s difficult to get new customers if your business doesn’t have a strong web presence. Few consumers use the yellow pages to meet their needs; instead, most turn to Google to find service providers in their area. To improve their rankings and attract more customers, more and more business owners are turning to professionals for search engine optimization. That said, to find a good, reputable Internet marketing company for SEO services; you need to know a few things.
Why It’s So Important
Studies have shown that most web searchers tend to view only the first one or two pages of search results. This means businesses that do not rank on these pages tend to go unnoticed, regardless of the quality of service they provide. A good online marketing company can help get your company’s website to rank higher for popular search terms that will attract new customers. That said, according to Ryan Lawrence of Ethical SEO Internet Marketing, bad providers could cause permanent harm to your business.
“In the old days, search engine optimization professionals used shady tricks to get websites to ascend in Google’s rankings,” he said. “These days, Google is cracking down on these tactics. If a marketing specialist uses these “black hat” tricks to get your site higher rankings, you could face long-term penalties that could cripple your business.”
A Dangerous Situation
Recently, both JC Penny and Overstock.com faced hefty penalties from Google, thanks to some shady online marketing strategies used by an SEO firm they hired. Ultimately, Google dropped the companies’ websites in its rankings, costing each millions of dollars in profits. According to Lawrence, it happens every day to smaller companies, who aren’t familiar with how the process works.
“If a company uses black hat tactics to get your company better rankings, you are going to get caught eventually,” he said. “When that happens, the provider will walk away with your money, while you get stuck with the consequences.”
Choosing the Right Company
According to Lawrence, there are two key things business owners should look for when hiring a company to provide search engine optimization.
“First, you need to ask how they will go about marketing your business,” he said. “If they aren’t willing to divulge this information, be wary. These days, the only real way to improve rankings is by creating content in the form of off-site and on-site articles. At Ethical SEO Internet Marketing, we have a staff of professional journalists that write newsworthy articles aimed at promoting our clients’ businesses. These articles attract links to our clients’ websites, which improves rankings. Since we ghost write the articles using the clients’ names, the articles also help promote the client as an expert in his or her field. This is highly effective, because it is exactly how Google wants businesses to enhance their rankings; so by remaining ethical and following the rules, we get solid, long-term, risk-free results.”
Besides asking how companies get rankings, Lawrence says business owners should be wary of contracts.
“I’d say try to find a company that will work without a contract,” he said. “Generally, contracts are meant to ensure that the Internet marketing company will profit even if it doesn’t provide results. In the end, the provider should be confident enough in its abilities that it will work for you without needing a contract.”