Got a website or a blog? If so, than you are at least familiar with the term SEO, or search engine optimization. It has become an integral part of any web design, especially if it’s for a business. So we all know it’s important, but many people are still confused as to exactly what it is or how it works. Because of this confusion, many businesses hire companies that claim to be SEO experts, and often times, they are making lofty promises and charging even loftier prices for their service.
SEO is an acronym for “search engine optimization” or “search engine optimizer.” The goal is to get your website and/or blog a higher ranking in the search engines and drive more traffic to your business site. There are a handful of things that go into achieving this type of specific web design, which include: content development, keyword research, expertise in specific markets and html formatting, just to name a few. Now, this type of service can be a good thing, especially if you or your company doesn’t have enough time to devote to this aspect of their business. That being said, many of these companies are promising immediate results and charging an arm and a leg for them.
From everything I’ve researched, it seems as if it takes more than a couple of days to generate heavy traffic to a website, in fact it can take several months. So, if you decide to hire an SEO specialist, be vary wary if they promise quick results. To me an SEO company is like a psychiatrist, in that it’s an ongoing process and one really never knows what is going to happen. Now that’s just my opinion based on what I’ve learned for my own web design company. Another question to ask is, is the money you are paying these people worth it?
Some of the quotes I’ve seen for SEO services range between $20,000-$30,000 and a monthly maintenance fee. It seems a bit pricey to me, especially if you can find out how to do it all yourself. But that’s the question, is improving your website’s ranking worth that much money to your business, and do you really need to spend that much or can you find companies that will do it cheaper? My feeling is that you have to devote a lot of time to your company’s blog and/or website to really get it going. Creating the web design is just the first step; you have to also ensure you are providing fresh, quality content to your blog on a regular bases, you have to research the appropriate and most-used keywords on a daily basis and you have to submit your pages to the various search engines and social networking sites. And that just scratches the surface.
So here are a few questions to all of you. How much do you think a business should pay for an SEO specialist? Do you think you even need to hire outside help for your website, or should you just do it yourself? How long do you think is a reasonable amount of time before you start seeing higher rankings and more traffic to your blog? And what are some of the warning signs to look for, when hiring outside help? I know one thing you definitely want to be careful about is hiring a company that breaks the rules set forth by Google. There are a lot of dirty tricks companies are employing, and they do get quick results; however, these results don’t last and it can get you banned from some of the most important search engines out there. Now let’s hear what you all have to say about it.