10 Questions To Ask An SEO Company Before You Hire Them
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10 Questions To Ask An SEO Company Before You Hire Them

Posted on: February 19, 2010 by in Internet Marketing, Search Engine Optimization
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Numerous times I have been asked what questions to ask an SEM or SEO Company before hiring them. Below are 10 questions that will help you interview possible candidates and ensure you pick someone that actually knows what they are talking about.

1. What SEO tools do you use?
An SEO’s toolset says a lot about an SEO, like a carpenter’s toolbox does.
What firefox extentions do they use? And what functions do they have?

For Keyword Research they should answer one of the following:
Google Keyword Tool, Wordtracker, or Keyword Discovery.

For other general tools they should mention:
SEO Elite, IBP, Optilink, or Optispider

2. What strategies have you implemented to achieve at least a PR4 for a client, and what is their domain?
Once you have the domain, run a backlink check, using SEO Elite or a similar tool. Take a look at the quality of the links.
Are the links quality or are they coming from link farms? Are they coming from Paid Links, that actively advertise they sell links?
To verfiy that they actually worked on the website, ask them to place your name on the website, temporarily to see if they have control of the domain. If they can’t show at least one example of this and make excuses, move on to the next company.

3. Whats the difference between PageRank, and Toolbar Pagerank?
If they answer, “Isn’t it the same?” you should end the conversation immediately. The PageRank toolbar only updates 4-5 times a year, while PageRank is an ever-changing number.

4. Ask the SEO Company if their SEO Campaigns are working?
If they don’t mention anything about sales, or conversions, and all they talk about is traffic, move on. A lot of SEO’s can drive traffic but it takes a Good SEO to understand what keywords are driving conversions.

5. Why does Wikipedia rank for so many keyword terms?
This should produce some insightful responses, but what you are looking for is something related to Wikipedia’s authority.

6. What well known SEO’s do you follow, and pay attention to?
Look up their answers and get the well known SEO’s points of view, because most likely the SEO you are talking to is going to have the same thoughts. If you can’t find them on Google then they probably don’t know how to do SEO.

7. Tell me your biggest failure in an SEO project?
Most likely the SEO is going to freeze up a little here. If they say they have never failed, be forewarned this is most likely their first job, or they are not being honest. In either circumstance, move on to the next prospect. I have failed; I’m sure last week I failed on something. You learn and you improve. If your prospect can’t admit failure, you’re in for a nightmare.

8. What areas of SEO are your weakest?
Make sure they admit to some sort of weakness. Those who don’t have weaknesses should throw up a red flag.

9. Ask the SEO to look up their name in Google. If you can’t find them, ask why?

10. What areas of SEO are your strongest?
Once they answer, give them a test. Test with a small project, and a secondary domain, not your money site!  See if the SEO can really achieve their claims.

6 Simple But Effective SEO Tips You Should Know

Posted on: February 18, 2010 by in Featured, Search Engine Optimization
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Hey all, I wanted the post to be something that everyone would get a lot of value out of, and could get instant results with!

Below are 6 Simple but extremely effective tips to increase the money you get to keep!

1. Submit an XML Sitemap to Google

The program I use is at http://www.xml-sitemaps.com

2. Don’t be lazy with your title tags!

A lot of website owners and webmasters choose this as a place to be lazy. Let me assure you this is not the place! Your title tags for every page need to be unique. Duplicate Title Tags can literally kill your search engine ranking positions. (SERPS)

3. Check cache date of referral Site

If you are going to buy a link or do a link exchange check the cached date of the page where your link will be placed. You are looking for a fresh cache date, the newer the better. I won’t consider the site if It hasn’t been cached in the last 2 weeks. You can check the cache date with the Google toolbar, or you can go to Google and search for cache:www.yourdomain.com.

4. Fresh content

A great tool to help your website, and content gets indexed at a regular pace. I recommend using blogs when possible as they are easy to update, and they get indexed fast. Below is a list of the sites that I ping when I have a new post that get help get my site indexed fast.

5. Check your website for broken links, I suggest once a month.

I use this tool, and it works great: http://home.snafu.de/tilman/xenulink.html

6. Make sure your title tags, and description tags are compelling.

Imagine changing these, and getting a 25% increase in traffic, and even an increase in your conversion rate. Take a look at the example below for ideas.

toner kw sample 6 Simple But Effective SEO Tips You Should Know

Extra Tip: Sites to Ping for your blog

To update,  1) log into wordpress, 2) then click on settings > writing and 3) post the urls under update services.

update ping 6 Simple But Effective SEO Tips You Should Know

http://api.feedster.com/ping
http://api.moreover.com/ping
http://api.my.yahoo.com/rss/ping
http://blogsearch.google.com/ping/RPC2
http://ping.amagle.com/
http://ping.bitacoras.com
http://ping.blo.gs/
http://ping.feedburner.com
http://ping.rootblog.com/rpc.php
http://ping.syndic8.com/xmlrpc.php
http://ping.weblogalot.com/rpc.php
http://rcs.datashed.net/RPC2/
http://rpc.blogbuzzmachine.com/RPC2
http://rpc.blogrolling.com/pinger/
http://rpc.icerocket.com:10080/
http://rpc.newsgator.com/
http://rpc.technorati.com/rpc/ping
http://rpc.weblogs.com/RPC2
http://topicexchange.com/RPC2
http://www.blogdigger.com/RPC2
http://www.blogoole.com/ping/
http://www.blogoon.net/ping/
http://www.blogsnow.com/ping
http://www.blogstreet.com/xrbin/xmlrpc.cgi
http://www.lasermemory.com/lsrpc/
http://www.newsisfree.com/RPCCloud
http://www.popdex.com/addsite.php
http://www.snipsnap.org/RPC2
http://www.wasalive.com/ping/
http://www.weblogues.com/RPC/
http://api.moreover.com/RPC2
http://api.my.yahoo.com/RPC2
http://rpc.twingly.com/
http://www.bloglines.com/ping
http://ping.feedburner.com/
http://www.octora.com/add_rss.php

This will notify your new blog posts to all major news/info sites!

Web1 Syndication Does It Again!

Posted on: November 10, 2009 by in Company News, Rants
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I was taking a look at some of our projects, and this really stood out to me. 5 Results on the First Page of Google for: “HD News Footage’… Our results are in yellow!

hdnewsfootage

Is Yellow Page Advertising Ineffective Now?

Posted on: November 9, 2009 by in Featured, Uncategorized
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I picked up the Yellow Pages the other day, for the first time in probably 3 years.

yellowpages1

The book was printed in 2008, but why was it referencing 1999? Isn’t that right when the Internet really started taking off, you know the year before Y2k. 1999, when 83 million adults were accessing the Internet and spending an average of 12.1 hours per week. (from Media Awareness)

Fast forward to 2009 when there’s over 220 million people using the Internet. That’s 74% of the entire United States’ population.(from Internet World Stats)

So why are the yellow pages still referencing studies and statistics that were from 10 years ago? If more and more people are using the Yellow Pages, why are they using these old statistics?

So hmm? Think maybe they are hiding something, This is VERY misleading.

yellowpages2

In 1999, “66% of consumers reference the White Pages an average of 3.2 times per week.”

In 2005, “78% of consumers reference the White Pages an average of 2.5 times per week.”

I really can’t see how many consumers they took into this study. I’m no mathematician, but people who bought something through the Yellow Pages would have had to look at the book roughly 130 times per year. This really doesn’t add up. Seriously, who needs to check the yellow pages that many times a week and per year? These statistics are getting a little ridiculous.

Another great point about the wording here, the statistics are based on consumers ONLY, not the general public, which is what really matters for any business. How many doorsteps do these books get dropped on to just get thrown in the trash or just left on the porch?

Another Good Read

2005 Metered Ad Study

On page 6, you’ll see that the average annual calls for local display and ad space dropped from 885 to 784 between 1999 and 2004. That’s a drop of 11%. This is in 2004! Fast forward to 2009,  5 years later when the calls are still declining and costs are increasing!

Let’s just assume each call had an average cost of $10. That means, it cost $8,850 to advertise in 1999. Without the consideration of inflation, the cost per call is now $11.28. To reach the same 885 phone calls, that’s an additional $1,140.11.

Let’s not forget we haven’t discussed conversion, and revenue.

Are Yellow Pages Print Ads Cost Effective?

So how effective really is the Yellow Pages? Does spending roughly $25,000 into a book that no one really looks at actually help increase your business?

In a recent report by Blue Corona, who conducted their own performance tracking to determine how well the Yellow Pages was doing, they soon realized that business had declined drastically while costs have skyrocketed.

I don’t get it. Shouldn’t it be the other way around? Why would you spend your money in advertising that doesn’t work?

Needless to say, after the results, the client company refused to do business with them again unless the listing was free.

Reference: Blue Corona

If you’re still using it, it’s best that you have some sort of tracking system to see what kind of sales it is bringing in. My suggestion would be to try Internet Marketing!

SEO Outsourced? Or In House?

Posted on: November 7, 2009 by in Uncategorized
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Search Engine Optimization in house can be a lot more time consuming, and costly than most people initially believe.

If you hire an “SEO Expert” who is responsible for:
– Staying up to date with new rules, changing trends, algorithm changes

their base salary would be roughly $75,000- $150,000+  so your looking at roughly $6,500  to  $12,500 a month,  and roughly $40-$100 an hour.

For most employees it takes 2-3 months to see if that person is up to the job or not, and that’s about $20,000 later, with no guarantee that you will get results. And if you don’t, you’re already 3 months behind.

If they are successful, your company just paid $75,000-$150,000 for SEO.

When implementing successful SEO campaigns you need SEO teams, with individuals that specialize in different areas. Most likely the SEO that you would pay $75,000-$150,000 for isn’t going to spend their time in the trenches, writing content, and link building. At Web1syndication, our team has the availability of over 400+ people, that include writers, link builders, and account managers.

The Choice is up to you