The wrong one will bite you in the XSS.
There has been a massive effort by SEO (Search Engine Optimization) companies to promote their services to every company that has a website. Most of you know that I teach a Social Media Course for Restorers and many have attended my classes. During those classes, I’m always asked “should I hire and SEO company?” My answer has always been a loud NO. (Only because most SEO companies don’t have your best interest in mind!) This was originally written several years ago, and I now say “Maybe” if you’re careful.
First, if you follow a very simple process on your own, you can dramatically improve your page ranking WITHOUT hiring it out.
Most importantly, many SEO companies (probably most) love to give you all the hype about how they will improve your page ranking but fail to tell you that if you want to discontinue their services, they’ll trash you all over the web! Some of the questions you need to ask them before you hire them!
- What measures or metrics define success to you?
- How long before we see results?
- How do you do key word searches?
- How do report to me regarding my SEO?
- What will you need from our company to be successful?
- Do you integrate Mobile into the process?
- What tools and methods do you use?
- Our industry is very different from others – how will you comply?
Some former SEO customers are finding out the hard way about the vengeful ruthless way SEO companies either force you to continue with them, by intimidation, threats, or even blackmail. They can “report” you on sites as a dead-beat, they can “review” you on referral and review pages and say nasty things about you. Even worse, if they have been remotely successful at improving your name and page ranking, your “bad” reviews show up first – ultimately hurting you more than if you never had a great page rank.
Often, you choose to cancel them because you don’t or can’t pay for it anymore because it just doesn’t seem to be working. The likelihood that you can afford the $10,000 to $100,000 in legal fees to fight them is even more remote.
Even though there are legitimate SEO companies out there, the challenge is to truly know which ones they are. Someone that is using one of those companies now may not really know if they are legit until they try to cancel the relationship! The best way to choose one, (if you really aren’t willing or able to do it yourself) is to hire someone that you know personally or get a recommendation from someone that previously used them, had good success, AND professionally ended the relationship!
Remember that utilizing a Blog (on your website), Facebook, YouTube, LinkedIn, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, and Snapchat, you can easily improve you SEO ranking yourself.