How do you find a great, but reasonably priced SEO provider who knows about Google's Penguin, etc?
We have two different providers for SEO in the last 2 1/2 years. I feels like we got very little out of the experiences, and have now just redesigned the website and moved it to a deter host. It's already faster. I don't have time for SEO and my work too. I will pay to have someone double check the new theme's optimization, but as far as monthly SEO, should I try another provider or do it myself? Any advise, experiences?
A penguin is an algorithm that was introduced by Google to fight spam on the web.. The google penguin recovery service helps you to recover your site from penguin attack and improve site ranking.. For more information see this http://seorecovery.net/penalty-removal/
I am an expert SEO consultant. Unless you worked your way up and have, in the very least built dozens of websites and can write css and html code, chances are you are not competent. I have seen my profession crowded by incompetents and inexperienced newly declared SEO pros .. who are not. I have seen large companies with good reputations use these very people. When I question their techniques it is apparent they do not understand SEO. They more so resemble the spammers that forces Google to issue updates. Updates only affect cheaters. None of my clients have ever been hurt or affected by updates. In reality, Google does not want vast manipulation of code and content. They want scope and focus, they want original fresh content, they want popularity, and they want to know how you stand out from competitors. .. My company provides expert SEO and professional optimized blogging, essential in a competitive environment.
I agree with most of the people here - a good SEO provider must know about the latest changes in Google and what is considered quality service in the long run. Everything else is pretty much spamming around and getting good results in the short term, but negative after few years.
Now to your question - I think its always best when the owner of the website does the SEO work, for the following reasons:
- They know their niche best (at least most of the time)
- Can provide high quality leads for their business
- Can easily identify industry's influencers
- Generate relevant keyword ideas
and the list goes on. However, keep in mind that it takes time and if you do not have any - its better to find someone, who can do it for you. When I have to make such decisions, I simply ask myself - what costs me more - the money I will pay someone to do it or the money I will make during that time doing what I do.
Hope this helps. Good luck!
Hi Ms. Starkman,
I see that you have gotten some good advise in helping you search for a SEO and a few self promoting pitches as well (And there is nothing wrong with that guys, so put away your pitchforks Okay!)
But I have not see one of the answers ask you what product or service your business is offering. What demographic is your market trying to capture. Is your market local, national or international etc. Do you want to gain traffic with organic or paid search or both. What are your ROI goals?
There are several questions that need to be answered about your business that should guide you to your SEO budget and the outcome of your budget. Remember, you get what you pay for.
You have enough on your plate running your business and adding the steep learning curve to do your own SEO will leave you with many sleepless nights.
This is why it is very important as a business owner to have a marketing plan to help you make the marketing decisions for now and in the future. Your business growth depends on it.
First I recommend that your find your local SCORE chapter at www.score.org to find a certified mentor in helping you create a marketing plan (If you dont already have one) or get some useful tips on SEO via webinars & local seminars.
I hope this helps and good luck to you.
Hopefully any SEO provider would know about something that was rolled out in 2012.
Here are some things I found out, some the hard way:
Any company that "guarantees" any ranking, run as fast as you can. no one can guarantee anything when it come to SEO not even a Google employee!
Make sure there is a plan in place ad that the company or person you are using is following it. The easiest way to follow up it to compare monthly reports they provide to you with a little research of your own. There are a ton of websites out there now that can provide you basic info. Here is a good free one: http://www.seositecheckup.com/
Remember SEO is not a get to the first page quick plan, it is slow and steady. If you are in a highly competitive industry it can take quite some time to get to where you want to be. Make sure everyone has the same expectations.
Google ad Facebook hate each other but they also need each other. The more social media info you have out there the better your ranking will be. Video on Youtube, Quality Facebook posts, Blog posts, Tweets, published articles are all things Google is looking for.
In all I am saying content is king! Someone has worked hard to get you to worry about Google Penguin and where your website is hosted. Quality content will drive Google ranking far and above all the little tricks. Focus on that, if someone tells you otherwise they probably work for a company like the ones you have worked with for the last 2 1/2 years.
All the best,
Hi Nancy, the SEO/SEM game has completely changed over the past couple of years. I noticed you mention "Google's Penguin" in your question but do you realize that Google has had two more updates since then, namely the "penguin 2.0 and Hummingbird update" . Which means your SEO provider would need to account for all those changes as well right away. The truth that most people will not tell you is that SEO is no longer just finding keywords and building back links to your site. There are many number of factors now that you need to address both on page and off page to really see your site grow in rankings, authority and traffic. I cannot explain all this in one comment here but if you would like to learn more about it I have all this information on my blog, including info about the new Hummingbird update and what Google is looking for. http://repeatbusinesssolutions.com/blog/
All the best.
Best thing to do. Get a person to generate really good content on your company and use some tools like -http://v-found.com/freetrial/- to assist this guy to focus that content on the right keywords and audience. That will increase your efficiency and solve the big problem: how fast you can feed Search Engines with high quality content.
Hi Nancy: If you care to take a stab at it yourself, check out this article at search engine watch: Unnatural Links Recovery: Emerging from a Manual Penalty http://searchenginewatch.com/article/2237534/Unnatural-Links-Recovery-Emerging-from-a-Manual-Penalty. Some SEO providers specialize in this field and I would suggest browsing the content at reputable industry blogs like SearchEngineWatch.com or SearchEngineLand.com to find one.
Nancy - I would try giving it a go yourself. All of my websites with outsourced SEO dropped ranking with Panda and Penguin updates, but the websites I did myself all improved. The Google changes were designed to stop questionable and black hat tactics which I did not employ myself. Its still very difficult to get a number one ranking, but at least it's now easier to get decent results by doing the basics properly.
If you do outsource, consider using Google. If you can't find them when you search SEO word combinations, they are not stacking up against their own competition. ;)
Any respectable SEO specialist knows the latest trends, updates and developments related to Google's ever evolving algorithms like Penguin, Panda and the Hummingbird.
SEO takes time, 3 months minimum to set up a budding already existing website to get more traffic, improve meta tags, reassess keyword research, article creation, webpage development, etc.
Finding the cream of the crop and avoiding the crap is a delicate thing to do.
One thing I have experienced first hand though is that SEO people in the Philippines are competitive and highly trainable, English is a second language to most of the trained ones. Their work ethics is high.
Filipinos are hardworking and even with typhoons hitting their country on a regular basis, I believe 20 storms at least per year, they are resilient and they always rise from any challenge.
To seal the deal, most of them work for less than 1000 USD per month. 350 USD minimum. Of course if you can find ones who accept lesser deals, you can start thinking, you get the value you are paying for.
Recommendations: Ask around from your existing network for any veteran and trusted SEO people.
If you have the time, you can try SEO yourself, however with lots of blogs and SEO "gurus" proliferating in the Net, it would be challenging to filter the garbage from the real advice.
Looking for anything about SEO? Trust in the name Matt Cutts.
SEO can take a lot of time and the biggest thing would is if is worth it. Sometimes, for a small businesses website, you have multiple responsibilities and your time is too valuable to try to put it towards SEO. Many small marketing companies and college students, as Patrick said, can help because they can make it cost effective.
When it comes to being knowledgeable about Penguin and Hummingbird updates, I would just ask them what they think about them. They should give a good response, opinionated too, and you know that they have enough experience in SEO.
In the end, I would see how much time and money you have compared to how much you want to invest and if it will get you enough customers to be worth it.
You do not.
Spending less than around $2500 on SEO per month is really tricky to do well for long. So I'd look to hire someone to do relevant keyword research (with an emphasis on key-phrases, not key-words)
Rant on that here:
Then make a goal to write a single relevant article per month-Based on what people are asking for and your keyword research suggests nobody is adequately answering yet.
Ghost or co-written is almost always better from a time/value standpoint.
I may be biased because I currently work here, but Hungary has many very good SEO professionals. I personally worked with a few and I can only say praises about them regarding their work ethic and dilligence in following the latest search issues.
The nice thing is about a relatively small market such as Hungary that the bigger google accounts get a lot of attention and good service from the local google team, and that results in a very fruitful relationship combined with excellent exchange of information between them and the SEO guys (and they are almost all guys) managing the accounts.
Of course, one must still do his or her homework and closely checking the references of the SEO professional before choosing one to hire.
Any real SEO provider will know about Google's updates, but finding a great and reasonably priced one can be hit or miss. There are some very good ones out there but there are also plenty not so good ones. If you know anyone who has very good luck with some, that is a good pace to start. If not, talk to at least a few to find out exactly what you will get for your money, get questions answered, form realistic goals together and see who you feel comfortable with. Beware of anyone who promises anything too good to be true, doesn't feel comfortable answering all you questions and seems to eager to get as much money as they can from you.
Anyone can do their own SEO... if you understand it and are willing to take time away from their business to do it... if not, it may be a frustrating waste of your time.
If you would like a couple referrals, I know a couple I would recommend to anyone from a large forum I am part of. I have not used them personally, but have see how hard they work to help small businesses in need. Let me know if would like to talk with them.
Tried to hire a (college/university) student?
Their generation is likely most aware of any new developments that may help optimizing SEO (won't say it's in their genes... but close...). And I don't know any student who's not open to earn a little money on the side.