Optimizing your business website for search engines is becoming one of the most popular techniques for getting business and getting noticed as a small business. If you own a small business and either don't feel SEO Marketing is a good investment, or are simply not applying the strategies, you're missing out on a huge source of free advertising.
Although Search Engine Optimization is key to becoming popular in your geographical location, business owners are usually not skilled enough or have the know-how to do SEO on their own. This is where an SEO Consultant comes into play. An SEO Consultant will help small business owners put together a strategic internet marketing plan that ensures success online, or if one person is not enough, business owners can consult an Internet Marketing Company. Here are some tips to filter out the bad and choose the best company for your business needs.
When researching SEO companies, you must check the reputation of the company. There is a practice known as 'Black Hat SEO' and many companies employ this. Black Hat SEO is an unethical form of SEO, that, while sometimes successful, will more than likely get your website blacklisted by major search engines.
Top Ranking on All SEs:
Beware of this promise. Companies that promise visibility or top rankings on ALL search engines for the length of your seo contract are lying to you. This is not possible as search engines, especially Google, are changing the way they rank websites all the time, and usually, without warning. Websites will move up and down all the time in rankings based on these changes, so guaranteeing a spot is unethical. An Ethical Search Engine Marketing Company will let you know that results are NOT guaranteed and your place will fluctuate with how the search engines are reading your website.
Legit SEO Companies will list their specific specialties on their website. The best SEO Companies will supply their website visitors with SEO strategy articles, blogs and other information. You should ask for recommendations from trusted online sources such as Google Maps, Yelp and other reviewing sites or ask business connections when looking for an Internet Marketing Company or SEO Strategist.
The Cost of SEO
If you're not sure what the average cost is of hiring an SEO Company or Consultant, it's best to do some initial research. First, know that SEO is not a one-time thing, and it will typically take a few months to see significant results, especially if your website has never been optimized before. Your second step will be to check out your competition: are you going up against a competitive niche? If so, it may be better to hire an Internet Marketing Company over a single SEO Consultant. Thirdly, remember that your cost will be based on how aggressive you want to be. If you want more backlinks, more social media activity, more articles and blogging, you're looking to spend around $800 on the low end. If you're hiring a huge company, be ready to pay at least $3000 a month in Online Marketing. Integraphix prides itself at being one of the less expensive SEO Companies in Chicago and you're more likely to be in the $300-600 range for monthly SEO marketing.
The most important thing to remember is this: You have a business to run, and if you're trying to become popular online, it is less expensive to hire a SEO Company than to lose business by doing it yourself. If you are unable to apply the correct strategies on your own, you might be hurting your SEO in the long run and it will be more expensive to fix and optimize you correctly. Be sure to do your research, ask questions, and ask to see their work. If they're not willing to share, they're probably doing some shady things behind closed doors.
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