How Many Calls Have You Received From SEO Experts?

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I recently had a discussion with a group of small business owners and local attorneys who shared with me that they continually receive calls from consultants and search companies that can guarantee results! Some of the owners “got it” that there was “something up” with this guarantee. Others have concluded that search is somewhat commoditized and there is not differentiation.

Small business owners need to beware! Not all self-proclaimed SEO experts are created equal. Why do you need to beware? Search marketing is a true hero in today’s recessionary and cluttered market. The promise of performance has created a need for SEO resources.

Here is a 4-point checklist to help you choose the best SEO resource for your needs:

1. Consider Experience. Since search marketing is a relatively new service most consultants do not have too much experience. This lack of experience is OK, though. When choosing a search marketer, look for someone with varied industry experience (vs. “I’ve done search marketing for florists). Many say that the best background includes some mix of IT and marketing.

2. Beware Guarantees. No one can ensure that you will receive any specific rank. All you can expect is well-informed strategy to give you the best chance for a good ranking.

3. Beware Instant Results. There is no such thing as overnight success with search. If you want success, then you buy the words and phrases on Google Ad Words. SEO is a fine-tuned strategy that needs to connect with your target audience.

4. Ensure a Competency in Technology and Marketing. Too many SEO consultants rely on an off-the-shelf solution that is heavy in technology. Technology tools are key to check on as search engine position, keyword density, back-links, and keyword selection. The secret sauce of SEO is understanding the target audience and crafting copy, headlines, meta tags, and finally obtaining high-quality links.

So, when the next SEO “guy” calls you to offer you some deep experience in generating instant guaranteed results using a lot of technology “stuff” … challenge him!

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