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5 keys to choosing a reputable SEO firm

Is your website getting all the traffic you'd like to see? Often, good web design is not enough. To draw visitors to your site, an SEO campaign may be necessary.

Search engine optimization is not a do-it-yourself project. SEO experts use a collection of sophisticated tools to dive into the details of your website to make it more attractive to search engines, and build sophisticated strategies to improve your search engine rankings. But not all SEO firms are created equal. Here are five red flags to watch out for when comparing SEO firms for your search engine optimization campaign.

1. Aggressive timelines.
If a firm promises high rankings and big results in the first 30 days, beware. True search engine optimization takes time to achieve. This sort of short-term gain usually requires a flurry of activity in promoting your site online -- and can often get you banned from Google or other search engines indefinitely. A reputable SEO firm will talk about results over months, not weeks.

2. A one-time shot. Just as you change your product or pricing in response to the market, good SEO requires changes in strategy over time. A short-term project may create short-term activity, but just because your site is ranked #1 today doesn't mean it will be tomorrow. Good SEO firms provide constant monitoring and updating as required to see search engine success over the long term.

3. A "trust me" approach. Your SEO efforts are only worth as much as the results. If you're writing a check each month for services and aren't sure exactly what's being done on your behalf and what impact that's having on your search rankings, find another SEO firm. Most solid SEO firms will provide reporting regularly (we provide reporting monthly)  and will keep you informed of how their work is progressing.

4. Tactics that harm your business reputation. No matter how much search engine rankings are worth, they're not worth damaging your business reputation. Some more questionable SEO practices can end up with your company information associated with unsavory areas of the web -- including adult content, organizations that you may not support, and websites that sell or in other ways profit from private user information. SEO firms that play fast and loose with your good name should be avoided.

5. Difficulty connecting with a real person that understands your business. SEO firms that use a cookie-cutter, one-size-fits-all approach will likely miss great opportunities to promote your website and add to visibility because they don't adequately understand your customer, your products, and your business goals. If someone wants to sell you an SEO package without an expert consultation which considers your wider marketing strategy, run.

Reputable, effective SEO firms can double or triple the number of visitors to your website over time, and they can make the difference between a winning web strategy and a site that's beautiful but unused. Before selecting an SEO firm, ask questions, get a detailed proposal, and make sure you understand what you'll be getting for your money.

BolderImage is a full-service Chicago website marketing company, developing and promoting stunning websites and dynamic mobile applications for large corporations and small businesses nationwide. Our SEO experts can design a search engine optimization campaign that grows your business without busting your budget. Contact us to see how investing in promoting your website can pay off over and over again.

- The BolderImage Team

Tags: seo 

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