The end of the world (of SEO) is coming! Or at least, that’s what some recent articles might tell you. Just a couple of erroneous statements I’ve read over the last few days:
“Social media (Twitter/Facebook etc) will soon be *the only* viable marketing medium”
There’s been loads of social mediums before Facebook and Twitter, and they’ve had their time and moved on. The net is an ever evolving, morphing, living thing, and just like everything living, it needs it’s heart and circulation. If you start following pages and links, all roads lead back to (you guessed it) Google (and other associated SE’s).
And one of the more confusing comments I’ve read to date;
“Google will stop using backlinks in the very near future”
Google’s (and other SE’s) index is built, in part, by the the way the web is interconnected; ie: backlinks. For them to stop using that method to crawl the web, and determine some level of relevance, they would have to “re-invent the wheel”. Seeing as that hasn’t happened yet, I won’t be holding my breath for this to happen either.
Search engine optimization and marketing strategies are an ever changing, and growing field. Full of pitfalls, short cuts, good ideas and bad. But it’s not going away, it will merely begin to fly instead of run; adapt and survive.
The Internet and the television have circled each other for years, but the timing was never right for them to form a serious relationship.
Now with Yahoo playing matchmaker, their union promises to flower in a big way.
The Sunnyvale Web portal, with the help of Intel, made one of the bigger splashes at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas earlier this month with the full unveiling of its Yahoo Widget Channel, a new platform for Internet content that will be embedded in TVs from a number of major manufacturers.
The initiative takes the flirtation that companies like Sony and Samsung have had with watching Internet content on the TV and gives it a profound boost, helping users consume a robust version of the Web through one of their most beloved consumer electronics devices.
Sony, Samsung, LG, Toshiba and Vizio have announced plans to deploy the channel on upcoming Internet-connected TVs starting this spring. Their TVs will feature at least 20 TV-optimized widgets or applications including MySpace, eBay, YouTube, CBS and – of course – a number of Yahoo properties like Yahoo News, Weather, Video, Finance and Flickr.
If you’re a small business shopping around for the right SEO to help you out, there are a lot of things you need to consider before jumping in and hiring a SEO subcontractor or firm. Even if you’re on a tighter-than-normal budget–and really, who isn’t right about now–you can’t shop for SEO simply on costs alone. That’s like buying an economy car when you really need a mini-van. You just need to find the mini-van that offers the best features at the right price.
Not all SEO providers are the same and not all sites require the same type of SEO service. All thing must be taken into proper consideration. Here are five things that are relevant to the overall pricing and success of your optimization campaign.
Size of your site
The size of your site will be a significant factor in how much work will be necessary to optimize. The smaller the site the easier the overall optimization will be. But if you’re dealing with a site with lots of pages or products then the optimization becomes much more complex. Even the pre-optimization work on larger site’s is more time consuming.
The difference between optimizing small and larger sites can literally be thousands of dollars per month. As you start shopping around and getting quotes for SEO, you need to be aware of the size of the task that you’re being quoted on.
Condition of site
While size of the site has an effect, so does the site’s overall condition. I’ve run across many smaller sites that were so completely screwed up that nothing short of a complete re-development was in order. This sucks for the small business owner, but when you didn’t invest in developing the site properly the first time, it means you either have to do it again correctly or simply suffer through ineffective SEO. Of course, you’re still paying for that SEO so you’re better off going for the re-development.
If your site is in relatively stable condition, from an architectural standpoint, then that will cut down the cost significantly. This is especially true for larger site’s where one change can be implemented across thousands of pages instantly.
There are a lot of factors that are considered when looking at the site’s condition. Things such as the architecture, usability, design appeal, usage and customization of title and description tags, page content, site navigation and internal linkage, all need to be considered when analyzing the condition of the site and what needs to be done to get it into proper order..
There is a huge difference in optimizing a site for a few dozen keywords, versus optimizing a site for several thousand. There are many sites in niche industries where keywords are pretty limited. Usually we can still come up with a list of a few hundred, but sometimes it’s even fewer than that. But in other industries the keyword variables are wide open and there can literally be an unlimited number of keywords that can be targeted.
The more keyword options there are for your site, and how quickly you want to get any and all of those keywords optimized and performing in the search results, will be a contributing factor in the cost of your campaign. If you are fine with a slower approach then costs can be reduced significantly. But if you want to be more aggressive, optimizing more keywords more quickly, then the cost will go up significantly.
Experience/Skill of SEO
Some SEOs charge $25/hour while others charge several hundred, and there is every shade in between. Not all SEO firms charge by the hour, but the quote for services is based on the number of hours of work estimated and how much the SEO believes they are worth for that amount of time, so essentially, everything is hourly based.
While you may not want to pay $200/hour for services when you can get it for $50, there is a skill factor involved in each pricing structure. Not everybody who charges a lot is worth it, but very few are worth more than they charge. Selecting a SEO with the skill level necessary to do the job and do it effectively is essential to your long-term success. Keep in mind, also, that more skilled SEOs will not only charge more per hour, but they will likely get more done in less time. At the same time, they are more likely to find and fix problems that would be left unaddressed by the lesser skilled providers.
Another factor to consider is the difference between hiring a solo-SEO consultant and a SEO firm. While firms tend to have more overhead that needs to be paid for, they often have a wider skill range to work from. It’s often difficult for one person to be an expert in SEO, architecture, copywriting, usability, link building, and social media all at the same time. In such cases these jobs will often be farmed out at a profit for both individuals/companies doing and managing the work, or simply performed less effectively.
The amount of services offered in a SEO contract can vary from company to company. It’s not too difficult to reduce costs of the SEO service by cutting out non-essential services. But frequently enough, essential services are cut as well, in order to get costs down. Cutting costs by cutting essential services is bad for everybody. Not only will you not be performing but then you’ll blame the SEO who will in turn point out that you may need to purchase additional services in order to perform.
While not every service is necessary for every kind of SEO contract, you need to make sure that the essential services are in place. And from there, you still need to keep an open mind if other services may need to be added to give your campaign an added boost.
All of these factors weigh heavily in the overall cost of any SEO and online marketing campaign. If your funds are limited then you may be tempted to go with a budget SEO provider. But keep in mind that SEO is an investment. If you invest little, you’ll likely get little. But as you increase your investment then your return usually becomes exponentially greater.
Everybody needs to budget and you don’t want to get into a contract that you simply cannot afford to pay. Considering each of the areas above carefully will ensure you’re selecting an SEO provider that will provide you the best service, giving you the most value for your invested dollar. The last thing you want is to be budgeted out of success.
SEO, link building, website optimisation, article submission, directory submission, blog posting, the list goes on.
How many times have you sat at your PC and thought “OK I’m going to do some SEO for my site”6 hours later, you are still sitting there, your head hurts, your stomach is empty, and you have done nothing.
Search Engine Optimization is a frustrating time consuming job. You can spend weeks working on SEO for your site, and your rankings are still no where near where you want them to be.
The most frustrating thing about SEO is you cannot really see the results of your efforts. It may take several weeks, or even months, before you see any change in your search engine rankings. So how do you know that what you are doing today, is going to benefit your site 3 months down the line? Well unless you are an SEO expert you don’t.
So what is the answer? Well the answer is to outsource your SEO work to someone that specializes in SEO. Would you consider rebuilding the engine on your car? No, you would probably employ a car mechanic to do it for you. So do the same with your SEO.
How do you know which SEO companies are good at SEO, and which are just good at talking? Testimonials are one way. Don’t just read the testimonials on their site, as most, if not all of them, are made up. Ask for telephone numbers of their clients and speak to them directly. Or ask them to show you results that they have achieved for their clients. If they will not give you this information just move on to someone who will.
A good SEO company will tell you exactly what they are going to do for you. They will try to explain SEO in a format that you will understand, not try to baffle you with tech speak.
Take SEO Company Fresh Traffic for example, they are an SEO company based in Globaly with offices in the UK, USA & Canada. They believe that the key to their success is customer service. They give their customers free SEO resources to help them understand what SEO is all about.
Look for SEO companies like Fresh Traffic. Companies that are not afraid to explain SEO in lay mans terms. If you have a better understanding of what is involved, then you are in a better position to decide what you need. It is then down to the SEO company that you choose, to deliver the results that you are after.
Choosing an SEO company is very a difficult job, there is no doubt about that, but if you take a few of these pointers on board, then you should be better equipped to negotiate the minefield that is SEO.