Let’s face it, there’s a lot of work that goes into SEO. You have to optimize your entire site, including every post if it’s a blog, as well as images, internal linking, and more, and that’s just the easy part. Knowing what backlinks to get, and in what proportions, is much harder, and if you get this part wrong, your site could potentially be sandboxed, and if that happens, you won’t get any search traffic for many months, maybe even years, so make sure whoever you’re hiring to work on your SEO really knows what they’re doing, because the consequences for hiring any random person (such as someone in a country people typically get their VA’s from), can be very detrimental, and get you and your business in trouble with Google.
If You Don’t Have a Website Already…
I’ve seen it time and time again, where someone has a website that was made by a “Professional” web designer, and these sites usually have two major things in common. 1) They’re (oftentimes) REALLY good looking, and 2) They (almost always) have absolutely TERRIBLE SEO, or essentially no SEO done to them at all. Images aren’t tagged or named correctly, internal linking is done poorly, no site map, poorly written title and description tags (assuming they bothered to make any), and this is a NIGHTMARE for anyone who wants to go back afterwards and try to properly SEO the site. On top of that, the domain name is usually poorly chosen as well, and that makes a very big difference too.
Why is this? The fact of the matter is that typically these Pro web designers are good at what they do: web design. They are not however, Internet Marketers, or Professional SEO consultants in any way, shape, or form, and just design websites to look good, but these websites usually will have no chance of getting onto the search engines at all until their on-page SEO is completely redone. For this reason, it’s advisable to wait for someone who knows both Internet Marketing AND website design to create your site for you, even if it turns out to be not nearly as good looking, at least people will find it. The prettiest website in the whole world won’t do you any good if you’re the only one who sees it. So make sure whoever does your website is an SEO pro.
1 Avoid Companies Who Use A Lot Of Fancy Jargon
I’ve seen so many companies that just try to confuse people who don’t know too much about SEO or Internet Marketing in general, and just use a bunch of fancy words and jargon to get people to think that they’re experts. You’ll especially see this fancy Internet Marketing talk on the home pages and other main pages of their websites. These companies typically tend to know a few fancy words, but not much else, and unfortunately, there’s a lot of companies like this out there. If someone can’t explain to you clearly what they’re going to be doing, and in very simple terms, and tries to confuse you with a lot of complicated industry terms, that’s your queue to run away immediately, and work with a company that makes things clear and easy for you to understand.
2 Get Detailed Reports
When choosing an SEO company, it’s important to go for one that provides very detailed reports… first of the website, and it’s current state of affairs in SEO (an SEO analytical type of report), and then, of course, detailed backlinking reports once they’ve started linking. These reports should show exactly what backlinks were built, as well as what TYPE of backlinks they are. Are they contextual backlinks, are they Web 2.0 backlinks, Social Media, blog comments, forum profiles, etc. What percentage are dofollow, and what percentage are nofollow? How many of them are high PR (Page Rank), and how many are low PR? These are all things that the SEO company should know, because if they don’t, they probably don’t know what they’re doing.
3 Create A Natural Profile
Another thing you want to avoid, is companies that advocate only focusing on ONE specific type of backlink, even if it sounds like a good one. For example, if they say, “Oh, only High PR backlinks are good, so we only focus on getting those”, or “Only Dofollow links matter, so we don’t build any nofollow links”. Again, this is a sign that you should run. Reason being, Google is always looking for websites to have a “natural profile” with their linking, which basically means, it looks like all the links were built naturally, and of course, if you have too many of one link type or ALL of one link type, such as ALL dofollow links, or ALL high PR links, Google will know right away that these links were not built naturally, and most likely you’ll get your site sandboxed, so make sure that whoever it is that you use for SEO knows the importance of building you a natural linking profile for you.