In my opinion you should rethink your marketing strategy in terms of Inbound Marketing instead of SEO/SEM. Of course that SEO and SEM are key components of the strategy. However, I’ve seen that some businesses go to a cheaper service because someone else offers more visits or better ranking but sometimes without generating more sales at the end. What is required to generate more qualified leads that generate better ROI.
For more information about Inbound Marketing: http://www.hubspot.com/inbound-marketing
Our blog is this one: http://blog.gdlsystems.com It is also about Inbound Marketing however it is in Spanish so I recommend the HubSpot’s link.
We are an agency in Guadalajara, México. We get the best results working with customers in our city. So even when an oversees provider could work, my recommendation is that you look for one that is close to you even when it could cost more money at the beginning. Marketing is about generating more qualified leads that in turn generate more money. Cheap provider could at the end generate less money.
Simon Cocking... The discussion is about SEO not about social media. What does SEO have to do with likes and fake followers?
Guillermo Hernandez... SEO is a core skill in an SEO agency and not for a startup or most other companies including Internet based companies. You will get mediocre results if you choose a non-professional SEO agency.
Juan Pablo Orozco Barba and Dave Reimherr... No doubt Inbound Marketing is an important marketing factor/strategy these days but saying it's better because there are SEO agencies or freelancers that don't know how to choose the relevant keywords for their clients makes Inbound Marketing better? Saying Inbound Marketing can replace SEO? - Search Engine Optimization means improving your website ranking on search engines. Your final goal is to get more qualified leads and improve ROI by getting more relevant traffic to your website that will generate more leads. But there are many different factors that can affect your lead generation such as your web design... UI/UX... website content...your product is just not good enough...your competitors offer better value and so much more. You can't really blame it all on SEO but having said that I should note that choosing the right keywords is not an easy task and it takes a great deal of experience to have it done right.
Robin Pendoley... You're right about technical tricks; that is not really possible anymore but optimizing the website design and structure and creating and sharing content is not enough for SEO (at least not for competitive keywords).
To get real SEO results that last for a long period of time you need to be able to do perform the following tasks:
1. Keyword Research and Competitor Analysis (Google wise).
2. On Site Optimization (Generating On-Page reports).
3. Content writing and updating on the website - Only high quality content.
4. Link building - Only high quality serious professional link building!
Unless you have a budget for a serious team or division that can handle all of the above (keep in mind that you need content writers and editors that really know how to create content for SEO, developers that really know how to do on-site optimization, employees that really know how to take care of link building and more), you don't really want to hire an employee to do your SEO in house because you don't have any chance of achieving professional SEO results without a dedicated SEO team. If you think doing keyword optimization and writing content will get you to first page positions you are wrong.
How can you check if a freelancer or an SEO agency is professional enough?
1. Ask to see current positions for competitive keywords. Long-tail keywords are super important but if you want to know if the freelancer or SEO agency is really professional they must be able to show a few examples of very competitive keywords.
2. Make sure the positions were on the first page of Google for at least a few months, or even better, a few years.
3. Ask to talk to at least 5 satisfied clients that can vouch for the freelancer or SEO agency.
How can you check if the freelancer or SEO agency you are considering is really working while getting paid?
1. Ask for a monthly keyword positions report.
2. If for the first 2-3 months there is no change in keyword positions that might happen because the first months' time is usually spent on keyword research and competitor analysis, onsite reports and link building strategy and these won't have any effect before the second or even third month. In that case you can ask for a monthly report that will show what was done in that time period.
In conclusion, it doesn't matter if you choose a US-based SEO agency or an offshore SEO agency because the reality is that most of the SEO agencies out there will do subpar, unprofessional work. You should choose your SEO agency very carefully and do so according to my above suggestions in order to make sure the SEO agency you choose is truly professional and not another SEO agency that promises a lot, yet accomplishes little.
Well, I just did...so we'll see how it goes.on traffic results :-) So far I have found all preliminary actions to be exceptionally professional and attentive. They are also updating my website. I am happy to refer if you'd like.