The two most important qualifications to look for in an SEO expert is competence and professionalism.
The way to find out if a company or an individual is competent and professional, as well as legitimate, is to do your due diligence. You must check credentials thoroughly and exercise common sense.
Consider the following steps when searching for an SEO firm to help you achieve your business goals:
1. Verify their contact info. If the company provides an address, Google it to be sure that it is real and if they provide a telephone number, call to see if it's answered by a person or an answering service. If they don't provide a telephone number, move on.
2. Talk to their clients. If they publish testimonials on their website, try and contact a few of their customers and get their feedback. If the company can't provide testimonials, they're probably bogus.
3. Visit SEO forums. Visit reputable SEO forums to find out what others have to say about the company.
4. Check their Better Business Bureau (BBB) rating. Most members of the BBB post it on their website with a link to their record.
5. Avoid companies that send you unsolicited e-mails. Legitimate companies don't send unsolicited e-mails and they don't send spam.
6. Avoid companies that don’t rank well on major search engines. If an SEO company can’t to secure a competitive ranking for their own site, they likely can’t secure one for yours.
7. Don't rush. Choosing the right SEO consultant is critical to the success of your business, so don’t rush into any decisions when it comes to hiring an individual or firm.
8. How long have they been in business? A company's longevity is a good indication of how good they are at what they do.
9. Are they experts in their field? Ask if they or anyone on staff has written articles that have been published on reputable SEO websites or if they have spoken at major SEO conferences. These are indicators of professionalism, reputation and expertise.
10. Ask for a money-back guarantee. If you aren't satisfied with the results, or if the company hasn't delivered on their promises, you should be entitled to either a full or partial refund. Avoid companies that won’t stand behind their work.
It would be great if we could take SEO companies at face value without being suspicious. However, especially when it comes to SEO, there are a lot of unscrupulous companies out there, so you have to stay on your toes.
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