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    47 Replies Latest reply on Dec 2, 2009 2:29 PM by bear23

    How do I know, which company does best web optimization of my web site, so my site stay at top of ranking?

    score81 Adventurer
      Client has question on ecommerce:*******************************************
      My question is, how do I know who to work with? What criteria do I use to judge which company will best serve my needs? Why do some companies charge $3500 for optimization, while others charge $1000? What should I be looking for? What strategy works best to get to the top of the search engine rankings? Thank You.******************************
        • Re: How do I know, which company does best web optimization of my web site, so my site stay at top of ranking?
          ScubaDive Wayfarer
          I think I have some helpful tips for your client score81. The difference in price for natural search optimization is the same as in any professinal service. There are different levels of experience, expertise and results. I recommend evaluating several companies and seeing their work in action. The best thing about search engine optimzation companies is that you can on the spot evaluate their results.

          Look at their client list and track record. There are many different strategies companies employ to rank high. Since the range is so vast, I think it just requires analysis of many companies to see what is the right fit.
          • Re: How do I know, which company does best web optimization of my web site, so my site stay at top of ranking?
            wiredrhino Newbie
            I would ask to see a client list.

            At the end of the day you get what you pay for in any industry.

            Ask to be given specific search terms that they have optimized for, on what engines and which sites.

             

            You should be looking for a search company that has already provided proven results. The best deal would be to work on a pay per performance basis.

            Ari
            • Re: How do I know, which company does best web optimization of my web site, so my site stay at top of ranking?
              SEO-Expert Wayfarer

              Few things that you can check are:

              • Ask the company for which keywords they have optimized their own site and other sites. Depending on how competitive the keyword is, you can decide who does a better job.
              • Prefer to work with companies based in USA as many of our SEO clients who tried to work with companies who offer SEO companies in other countries, had bad experience.
              • Results of SEO cannot be seen immediately as after making changes on the site, search engine has to index your pages and then change their indexing. Nobody can control the search engines. Normal time frame can be 4 months to 12 months which depends on age of the site, how old is the page, keyword competition, site design etc.
              • The price depends on what activities will the vendor do on the site and offsite to improve your visibility.

              SEO should be considered only if you are ready to wait. It is very important that you find the right company at reasonable price because you cannot afford to loose the time on ranking high on search engines. We usually advice our client to start pay-per-click which SEO is in progress and gradually stop PPC as you start ranking high for those specific keywords.

              Hopefully this will help you. If you have additional questions feel free to call me on 515-865-4591

              • Re: How do I know, which company does best web optimization of my web site, so my site stay at top of ranking?
                matt_w Newbie
                SEO is essentially best practices in web development. If you're going to build
                a web site, these are the things you do to help it along in the search
                engines. If your current web developer isn't pushing you in that
                direction, find another. If you have an SEO-aware web developer, there
                should be no need to pay an SEO consultant or expert.

                In the end it is the content, uniqueness, quality, and usefulness of
                your site that will help it most in the search engines. The search
                engine companies work tirelessly towards including the most useful and
                appropriate sites in their results. So instead of trying to trick them,
                just make your site one that the search engines will use by providing
                targeted, high quality, useful content.

                The other side is just plain old networking, but on the web. Make sure
                your site gets listed anywhere sites like yours are listed. For
                example, I always make sure the page on Wikipedia that lists Wiki hosts
                includes my site. Little stuff like that adds up.

                I haven't done anything more than that and my site continues to be on the first page of Google for 'wiki hosting'.

                Matt
                • Re: How do I know, which company does best web optimization of my web site, so my site stay at top of ranking?
                  arooly.com Newbie

                  I am a computer engineer and I learn quite a lot about SEO (Search Engine Optimization). After a lot of money and effort my conclusion is: do not bother. The search engines bring very little traffic to small business websites, even for a well optimized one. You will not get your return on the money.
                  • Re: How do I know, which company does best web optimization of my web site, so my site stay at top of ranking?
                    Faerie Wayfarer

                    I own a small family business that sells online. Most of our traffic comes from search engines - both organic search and sponsored advertising.

                    Search ranking - no company can guarantee you search ranking. They can optimize your site (and keep in mind that each search engine ranks by a different formula) but the search engines determine your ranking. If you are putting your url out there eventually the search engines will find you. Being found but having a ranking of 937 for a keyword isn't particularly useful.

                    Remember that a web site is made up of individual web pages. Each web page should be optimized for 2 - 4 keyword phrases. Optimization is about content (including use of keyword phrases), organization (including links both inbound and within your website) and accessibility.

                    Obtaining top ranking takes time but it is possible even for small businesses. I have products that rank #1 on google and many in the top 5. I also have products that are in such a competitive area that I am no where to be found. Where it is not expected that I will get good organic results I use sponsored advertising.
                    • Re: How do I know, which company does best web optimization of my web site, so my site stay at top of ranking?
                      doublehead Newbie
                      Getting ranked at #1 will do little for your web traffic if no one is searching for your key phrases. A lot of SEO companies promise high rankings knowing darn well that its a cinch when there's no one competing simply because there's no traffic to be gleaned from it.

                      Here's an example . . .

                      I'm in the marketing software business and I just came out with a new tool that creates an exit survey on a site when a visitor leaves. If you do a search for "exit pop" or "exit pop up" you'll see there are quite a few competing sites.

                      In spite of all these competing sites, I ranked rather quickly at #9 by simply creating a blog that points to my sales page. I wrote two quick articles, published them and submitted each to the social networks.

                      Piece of cake because no one else had updated their exit pop sites in a long time due to the fact that, even though there are thousands of competing sites, they're all competing for less than 50 searches a day.

                      On the other hand, I also promote the best article submission software on the market. I dominate the searches for the product name, of course, but I wanted to target traffic to the most popular key phrase relating to the product, "article submission."

                      I put together a blog, just like for the exit pop, but with this one I update it almost daily with good, solid content.

                      Regardless of how much content I put on the blog, I can rarely get ranked above #64. Why? Because I get 30 to 40 Google Alerts every day about new articles submitted for "article submission". The key phrase gets 640 searches day, so competitors are actively trying to grab those hits.

                      So there's a big difference between competition and active competition!

                      The work around is to target the long tail key phrases relating to the main one. You do this by clustering smaller sites, like blogs, optimize them for the less popular key phrases and point them to the main key phase site.

                      This will give you back links, and get these smaller blogs ranked higher adding more "weight" to them. You'll start drawing traffic from searches for the lesser key phrases to your main one.

                      This works! I'm actually getting more hits than I'm supposed to for most of the key phrases I target, and it didn't cost me a penny.
                      • Re: How do I know, which company does best web optimization of my web site, so my site stay at top of ranking?
                        Volusion Newbie
                        Bear in mind that much of seo comes down to you participating in the social web. This means posting to forums in your industry, writing articles, writing a blog that people consider relevant and would link to, etc. Google favors content over anything else, so this could help you considerably.

                        Regards,
                        Michelle Greer
                        http://onlinebusiness.volusion.com
                        http://www.volusion.com
                        • Re: How do I know, which company does best web optimization of my web site, so my site stay at top of ranking?
                          NatOnline Tracker
                          Score81,

                          I will say check first the SEO ranking PR, in generalit is a good indicator, if they are able to rank well with a high PR, they should rank well their customers. If they are under PR5 there is a chance they are poor SEO. This is a quick way to select, but you need to check deeper.
                          • Re: How do I know, which company does best web optimization of my web site, so my site stay at top of ranking?
                            BlueKnowledgE Newbie
                            I am the CEO of BlueKnowledge.com. My company delivers the latest in Small Business Web Services by leveraging the
                            power of Social Networking Technologies (SNT) and Search Engine
                            Optimization (SEO).

                            Here's a page on SEO.
                            http://blueknowledge.com/search_engine_optimization

                            To anser your question, SEO has many risks right now. SEO designed sites are one thing, but looking at SEO as a sevice is quite another. Many companies promise great results, but there are no gurantees and certainly nothing to measure by. You are basically shooting in the dark on this one.

                            My company does provide SEO designed site, but we offer a great deal more.

                            Honestly, the best way to market your site is through SEO designed site (will take 4-6 months to be picked up "organically") and then use paid search from Google and Yahoo!. You may also want to consider Google SiteMaps as a way to help the crawlers better index your site.

                            Good Luck

                            David
                              • Re: How do I know, which company does best web optimization of my web site, so my site stay at top of ranking?
                                Endeavor Newbie
                                BlueKnowledge,

                                In response to your comment:

                                "To anser your question, SEO has many risks right now. SEO designed
                                sites are one thing, but looking at SEO as a sevice is quite another.
                                Many companies promise great results, but there are no gurantees and
                                certainly nothing to measure by. You are basically shooting in the dark
                                on this one."

                                I mean no disrespect, but that's not entirely true and I don't want the readers of this post to take on the mindset that SEO is a crapshoot and there's no way to measure results. Sure you may not become #1 over night, but by analyzing your traffic and measuring your results, you can learn from your mistakes and keep testing new tactics until you see an increase in your results and continue to optimize upon that performance.

                                There's a large amount of testing and strategies one can perform once
                                you've established your key performance indicators and begin monitoring
                                the results. As the saying goes: You can't improve what you can't
                                measure. So if what you're saying is true, if you can't measure your
                                SEO performance.. then you can't optimize or improve your search engine
                                results.

                                There's a number of KPI metrics you can use to measure your performance.

                                1. Rankings checked on a monthly basis for increases or decreases
                                2. Keyword Visibility (% of keywords ranked top 50 out of the entire keyword set, or % of top 10 rankings of the entire keyword set)
                                2. Measure traffic (increase in site visitors) from organic search engine referrals

                                For a large brand marketer, they may not be as interested in traffic as they are in branding and generating awareness through increased number of rankings, not just an elevated lift in their core keyword set, but widening their reach to include keywords that are complimentary and could be used to introduce others to their brand.

                                For a small business, your interests may be in improving the amount of conversions (leads, sales, signups, etc) that you receive from your site. In that case, using analytics, you could measure the top converting keywords from your SEO or PPC campaigns and choose to focus your optimization efforts on those terms, rather than those broad, extremely competitive keywords that may be a waste of time (due to the poor conversion rate).

                                Ben
                                • Re: How do I know, which company does best web optimization of my web site, so my site stay at top of ranking?
                                  NatOnline Tracker
                                  I am very sorry but a site cannot be designed for SEO as the algorithms are always changing, it can only be SEO friendly.
                                    • Re: How do I know, which company does best web optimization of my web site, so my site stay at top of ranking?
                                      BlueKnowledgE Newbie
                                      Good points everyone. I tend to look at things through the eyes of the small business owner more than through the eyes of a technology person (or technology oriented person). When I said SEO "as a service" is a crap shoot, I was referencing the same issues people have posted already. From a novice's perspective (the average business owner), it is difficult to make a decision on a consultant or service provider when coming from a place of ignorance. There is so much junk out there now regarding SEO, in my opinion, it is a "crap shoot". But you all certainly make it easy for the readers of these postings to become educated on the subject.

                                      Seems like the majority of people posting here have a wealth of knowledge on the subject and are making very good recommendations. I hope the business owners appreciate the thoughts from the "SEO mavens" (ya....I read "the tipping point").

                                      I do agree that search results can be dramatically improved over time provided the development person/team is knowledgeable on the subject and is given the time, funds and resources to make the needed changes over time. We've all been on projects where the expectations are set to see results QUICK and with little money and litle time allocated.

                                      So, when I said SEO designed in my orginal posting, I was referencing the various design/development/freindly/<insert your descriptor here> aspects of how the site is developed, implemented and maintained.

                                      Great discussion all and the volume of ideas, suggestions and knowledge is impressive.

                                      God's speed.
                                        • Re: How do I know, which company does best web optimization of my web site, so my site stay at top of ranking?
                                          NatOnline Tracker
                                          Thanks this is a very nice post.

                                          When I started my business online I was like many small owners with my Deamweaver program and my e-commerce template. I found a SEO company in our city, and our first developer in Quebec, Canada.

                                          I did not make any money for the first 6 months and I started to think why with a SEO company it is not working, then I discover through different webmasters forums, tips, advises, technics, and experiences from others.

                                          I discover after reading different technics, that my "SEO" guy was using the "black hat SEO": links farm, doorway, hidden keywords. This guy was using the clients websites to generate traffic he hosted. He simply builded pages on his own from all the domains customers he hosted. Can you imagine how many honest companies were involved? MANY. Anyway, all the bad and illegal tricks, no wonder why I lost the $1200 I gave him for this "service". I was almost banned from the serach engines, certainly penalized.

                                          Then I did not give up, and took the high road to save my business and my website. I read a lot, hours, days, months and I applied what the others advice me on the webmaster forums. I listed my site on thousands directories 7 days a week, 14 hours per day ( at this time it was working better for ranking). Yes I wanted to raise this challenge, even if my wife started to tell me to give up. Well after the first 6 month of my work and learning in the same time, my site started to generated some orders, it was a good news, and gave me confidence to keep going. After 1 year I started to build a relation beetween my customers, and give them more than just their orders to thank them for giving their confidence in my business.

                                          Two years in business with this online store, and we are starting to make some projects to sale new products. I am learning every day more and more, if my experience can help others, I will be very happy, because we all have being helped one day.

                                          When you love your business project, and you believe on it, NEVER, EVER GIVE UP follow your feeling and never trust anyone before they can show proofs of their work.
                                    • Re: How do I know, which company does best web optimization of my web site, so my site stay at top of ranking?
                                      BreezeSEO Newbie
                                      Ok ladies and gentlemen I'm going to give you a gift. Here is the proper way and best practices where search engine optimization should be practiced. This is from 10 years of owning a marketing firm.

                                      Breeze - SEO Process Methodology

                                      · Business / Competitive Analysis

                                      Our
                                      business analysis document helps our team of SEO experts get a good
                                      feel for your short and long term goals. This lets us understand your
                                      business like you understand your business. Once this document is
                                      completed we start our keyword research identifying organic keywords
                                      that potential customers are searching for in the major search engines.
                                      · On-Page Tactics

                                      The
                                      beginning stages of the SEO process is one of the most critical.
                                      Picture building a new house you always start with a solid concrete
                                      foundation creating a strong base. This is the same concept just that
                                      we are using technology and code instead of concrete and wire mesh.

                                      Before
                                      Breeze implement's any changes we create and install a custom tracking
                                      code to every page on the server. The analytics gathered from this
                                      tracking will give us a base line report showing us what type of
                                      traffic is going to the site, how long they are on the site and the
                                      source. This data will also be used to track our progress going forward
                                      and help you increase conversions.

                                      Verifying
                                      your site with the major search engines is very important and must be
                                      done correctly. Breeze creates custom search engine verification files
                                      for Google, Yahoo and MSN. These files are uploaded to your server and
                                      an electronic verification process takes place through our proprietary
                                      application. This also helps us identify any server errors that might
                                      be present and remedy the problem.

                                      Breeze
                                      also creates a custom XML sitemap which is a complete list of all the
                                      images and URL's on your server. Each page and image is assigned a
                                      priority and time frame for the search engines to crawl the site. Once
                                      the file is completed it is uploaded to the root directory and a live
                                      feed is injected directly into the search engines.

                                      Google
                                      enhanced image search is a feature that is setup and activated from
                                      Breeze's headquarters. This feature allows Google to collect the images
                                      on your site and serve them to image search viewers. When a potential
                                      customer clicks on the image it will take them to the exact page that
                                      the image resides on. For clients that have ecommerce stores this will
                                      help increase your ROI driving customer directly to your products.

                                      At
                                      this stage in the optimization process consists of On-page programming.
                                      Here is where the keyword research comes into play. Breeze will create
                                      custom metadata for each page on the site. By doing this we turn every
                                      page into a landing page increasing your chances of search results in
                                      the search engines. Some of the metadata that will be created includes
                                      title, descriptions, keywords, headers and image alt text. This method
                                      is considered SEO best practices and establishes a more relevant and
                                      SEO friendly site.

                                      Another
                                      part of On-page programming is content restructuring. Keywords that are
                                      used in the metadata are used in the content as well. This has to be
                                      done in a way where is makes sense to the user and also meets SEO best
                                      practices. URL nomenclature is the art and science of restructuring the
                                      URL's within the site. Having correct URL's is a major factor in
                                      ranking your site and is heavily weighted upon by Google.

                                      o Create / Install Tracking Code on Client's site

                                      o Create Google / MSN Live / Yahoo verification files

                                      o Create / Upload XML sitemap / robots.txt file

                                      o Turn on Google enhanced image search

                                      o Keyword Research / Page Recommendations

                                      bq.
                                      • Metadata* Content Restructuring* URL Nomenclature
                                      · Off-Page Tactics

                                      Off-page
                                      optimization tactics are also very important and must be done correctly
                                      in order for an increase in page rank. Breeze reaches out to other
                                      relevant websites and creates back links with the proper anchor text
                                      pointing back. We also create press releases and blast out your content
                                      all over the web. Our team will write into blogs with the correct
                                      anchor text and submit the content to social network platforms.

                                      o Link Building Campaign

                                      o Press Releases

                                      o Social Networking

                                      · Ongoing Maintenance

                                      o Monitor / Analyze Analytics

                                      o User Experience

                                      bq.
                                      • Conversion Strategies* Information Architecture* Click-path Strategies* Look and Feel / Design If you have any questions feel free to ask

                                       

                                      Anthony Troia
                                      845-704-7121
                                      • Re: How do I know, which company does best web optimization of my web site, so my site stay at top of ranking?
                                        websolutions Tracker
                                        come on people, this article is dead, the original poster did not even mark any of the answers... I mean, what is the purpose of posting if the topic is not worth anything to the owner? Come on, it is 2009!
                                        • Re: How do I know, which company does best web optimization of my web site, so my site stay at top of ranking?
                                          SEOpro Adventurer
                                          Ask each vendor for a list of their "top 10 customers".
                                          Put the home page URL of each customer through the website www.websitegrader.com and note what score they get. (Full disclosure - I am not affiliated in any way with that website).

                                          You'll see a clear pattern emerge. The SEO vendor with customers of the highest scores are, without a doubt, the most likely to deliver yor own website the highest on search results.

                                          Best wishes.
                                          Liam Scanlan
                                          www.siteleads.net
                                          • Re: How do I know, which company does best web optimization of my web site, so my site stay at top of ranking?
                                            koz4change Adventurer
                                            Check out the marketing tools from http://www.TheBlueKingdom.com. Also try more of an organic SEO by posting blogs, forums and writing articles. This will spark word of mouth marketing. But, make sure you are adding something that people want to read.