12 Mistakes to avoid in Hiring a SEO by customerstream

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 A Simple Explanation of How the Search
 Engines Work to Determine Your Website
 Rankings
 All websites are given a unique number when they are found by the search
 engines. When you website is found (indexed), it is then scanned by spider-bots
 (automated programs) on a periodic basis along with millions of other websites. If the
 spider-bot finds that other websites are pointing back to your website – this is called a
 one-way link - then your website are awarded a certain amount of points. Points are
 accumulating points in a number of ways, but this type of links to your website is most
 important.
 In short, your quest for higher rankings in the search engines should be focussed on
 acquiring points from a variety of different sources on a consistent basis using chosen
 keywords.

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 Mistake 1
 Choosing a Company That Charges a Set Price For
 Their Main SEO Services
 If you are looking to get some SEO help on board to increase your web traffic then
 expect them to do some investigation around your needs, you r competitors and the
 market you are in before they can tell you how much the work will cost.


 If you are offered a fixed price for the job, you should run a mile – in the opposite
 direction!    Because, NO decent SEO service can properly price a job without
 investigating your market and your desired keywords. Let us have a look at the
 reasons behind this…


 Imagine that you want to win a running race. How would you know you had a good
 chance to win if you didn’t know anything about the distance of the run or the class of
 runners you are up against? Running 10 yard against old men with walking sticks, is
 very different from running a marathon against Olympic champions.
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In the SEO world, keywords determine the kind of race you' re up against and your
competitors are those already on page one of the search engines


 The sensible and professional way to go about calculating costs is to do it after
 having carried out some keyword and competition analysis. Of course, some races
 are very easy to win whilst others are incredibly hard. Finding how tough or easy it
 is going to be is, is only possible after keyword and competitor analysis.


 The key is: don’t enter a race that you have no or little chance of winning!
 Because good SEO is about getting results by beating the existing competition,
 and this can’t be done properly without analyzing your rivals and planning a
 strategy that will take advantage of their weak points. Every market is different and
 every competitor is different too, and no one can tell you what needs to be done
 without doing some research first.


 Another key point here is that keyword research is also necessary to make sure
 that you are carrying out a campaign which will not only bring you visitors to your
 site but that will also bring you commercial traffic, that is people who actually
 might want your product or services. There are easy ways to get simulated
 visitors/traffic to your site so don’t be SCAMMED.


 A quick word about Search Engine Marketing
 (SEM)

 Marketing using SEO should not be done in isolation. If I can offer
 another metaphor, picture a truck driver racing to deliver his service or product to
 the market as fast and efficiently as possible. In
 order to do that, he has to beat other truck
 drivers with similar goals. For starters, you need to
 be able to drive, but how good depends on how
 good, the other drivers are. A driver needs to be able to drive the truck and the
 longer the distance the more he needs to keep an eye on the speedometer,
 petrol gauge and other things, which are connected to the workings of the engine.
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 The point I am making, is that the engine is SEO marketing, and the driver is the
 owner of the company. It just doesn’t          make     sense,    if   the     driver     totally
 ignores the running of the engine. In the same way, it would not make sense if a
 business owner outsourced SEO marketing, without taking an interest in what
 they were doing.




 Mistake 2
 Accepting That a SEO Company Cannot Promise To
 Achieve Anything!
 If you are hiring someone to carry out SEO work on your website, you presumably
 expect them to tell you what results you can expect from the time and money being
 put into the work. However, this is not always the case and you should be aware of the
 false reasons, which are often given for this failure to
 commit to targets, as well as the disappointing results,
 which usually stem
 from this.


 The SEO world can be murky, full of computer
 geeks and nerds. But, would you be satisfied if
 you put your car into a garage to be fixed and the
 mechanic said      to you, “Leave it with me, I
 can’t promise I will fix anything but I will give
 you my best shot…oh by the way don’t forget to
 pay my monthly invoices”? I don’t think so, and
 yet this same approach is used by many in the
 world of SEO and internet marketing.


 This “let’s see what happens” approach is strangely prevalent in SEO and you
 should definitely avoid anyone who fails to give you a firm commitment of what they

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 can do for you. So, let me be clear here... no one should promise you that they can
 make your website No.1 in Google, but every SEO specialist should be able a
 firm commitment that they can get you to the 1st PAGE of Google. The former cannot
 be reasonably guaranteed, but the later should be the minimal because it requires that
 you are one of the top 1o on Google’s first page.

 An excuse, which is often for making no commitment is that “nobody has a hot line
 into Google or other the search engines” so nobody can promise anything. Insider
 secrets of may be true, but an experienced and competent SEO company can analyze
 the figures, come up with some assumptions and deliver an effective strategy. An
 effective strategy is looking at the strengths and weaknesses in the current top 10 sites
 and knowing how to take advantage of weaknesses.


 SEO is not a mysterious black art, any reasonably competent SEO should be able to tell
 you, whether you have a reasonable chance of beating your competitors. No
 commitment often leads to no results, and an unlimited supply of excuses.




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 Mistake 3
 Choosing Keywords like Your Company Name
 The success of your entire SEO campaign lies with you making a good decision
 around your choice of keywords. There are some keywords, w h i c h are eas y to ge t
 to p r an k i n gs fo r, and there are others that are pretty much impossible. Still there
 many other keywords that are winnable but are not worth the effort for the lack of
 worthwhile traffic they would generate
 for your business.


 You should avoid letting your SEO expert
 choose keywords without consultation with you.
 You are the person who knows your business
 and      the   mindset   and   words    that your
 customers use. The decisions around keywords
 need to be taken jointly, using the experience
 and expertise of each of you in your different
 areas.


 Of course, you don’t just want traffic. Useless, non-commercial traffic is as bad as no
 traffic at all at the end of the day. You need to choose keywords, which don’t just
 bring you visitors, they also need to bring you potential customers. Getting to the top of
 the ratings in keywords, which bring you no useful traffic, is a completely pointless
 exercise and a waste of your valuable money.


 People want to know “What’s in it for me?” They want solutions to problems and
 they don’t really care about what you call yourself. Think of your customers as
 problem seekers or buyers and then think as they do. Whatever type of business you
 own you, seek to use the       words that your potential customers would use and what
 kind of problems they will be looking to solve.

 Let’s look at an example. If your company is called “Fred Roberts & Junior”, you can

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 probably get to the top of the rankings for this keyword “Fred Roberts & Junior”. But
 What the use that is that you want people who don’t know you to find you. So, you
 must think ofthePROBLEM not SOLUTION. The problem maybe a “broken
 window” and the solution is your company “Fred Roberts & Junior” that fixes
 broken windows. So, it makes sense to call your website “brokenwindows.com”
 instead of FredRobertsJunior.com and for you to choose keywords like “broken
 windows”, “window repair”, “glass replacement” etc.


 The exception to the above is if your company name reflects your business then
 that is another matter. If you are called “Print Labels PLC” and„ print labels‟ is
 what you do then there is no problem.




 Mistake4
 Choosing Keywords That Will Bring You Traffic
 But Not Buying Traffic.

 When you are trying to come up with your targeted keywords for SEO work, try
 to picture the keyword phrase as being the key that
 opens your potential     customers‟ wallets. If
 you choose a right keyword, then it will work
 on lots of wallets, while a poor keyword will
 only open a limited number of wallets, or
 possibly none at all. You need to be clear the
 purpose of your website and understand the
 difference between „research‟ and „commercial‟
 traffic.


 Once you understand that your goal should be
 to get commercial traffic (visitors to your

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 website who are looking to buy), seeking
 appropriate keywords or phrases should be a
 lot easier. Try to think of the words, phrases that
 people use with real problems, and real needs
 use. Think, “If I had a problem, what would I
 type into Google and why?”


 Focusing on non-commercial keywords is like putting up a giant television in the
 window of, for example, a jewellery shop during the World Cup. You may attract
 many people who come to have a look and they may hang around a bit, but if they
 came to watch the football game then they are unlikely to splash out on an
 expensive pair of diamond earrings afterwards. However, if you were to put the
 same television in the window of a pub or a sports shop then you have more
 chance of attracting the kind of customer who could be of commercial value to you.


 The people you want to attract are those who have an interest in what you are selling
 and who have a high possibility of turning that interest into some form of buying
 action. Anyone else is unlikely to be of any interest to you whatsoever. Seeing
 hundreds of visitors come to your site each day is fine, but if none of them spends
 any money then you would be just as happy if they were going somewhere else
 instead.


 There are many different keywords tools, but I recommend that you start with the
 FREE ones like:


 https://adwords.google.com


 http://labs.wordtracker.com


 The last link is good at giving you an idea what questions people are typing in. The
 results are likely to give you some keywords that you should seriously consider.




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 Mistake 5
 Failing To Establish Where You Currently Stand In
 the Search Engine Rankings
 Before, you can determine whether any service does you any good, you got to work
 out where you currently are in the rankings. A good SEO company should provide
 with a free report that clearly state your current rankings with not only Google but
 other search engines as well.


 Visit my website http://internetmarketingguruservice.com/services and I will
 send you a detailed report for free)


 Your SERPS (search engine ranking position status), will reflect the status of your
 'on-page’ as w ell as y ou r 'off-page' optimization effo rts so far . But off-page
 optimization is far more important than
 on-page. Subsequently you can check both
 by using the free tool - Yahoo site Explorer
 http://siteexplorer.search.yahoo.com/ to
 get an es timate of the number of links
 pointing to your site. The more links the
 better and the goal of any SEO
 company would be to increase the
 quantity and quality of the links
 pointing back to your site.




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 Mistake 6
 Not understanding the difference between “Exact”,
 “Phrase” and “Broad”
 Keyword Match
 Many people look for solutions
 online, of course, we all know that
 typing in one word is usually not
 enough to get any sensible result,
 so targeting a phrase of between 2
 and 4 words is the better choice to
 make. If you target a keyword phrase
 of just one word then it is likely to
 be     too     competitive           or     too
 ambiguous.      Looking         at        longer
 phrases      than   four   is        generally
 ineffective, so try
 to find a phrase with just 2 to 4 words which customers with buying
 intent are likely to use. However, there are three different ways you can
 type in the same keyword or phrase like:


      1. children‟s rollers skates


      2. “children‟s rollers skates”


      3. [children‟s rollers skates]


 1. Just typing a keyword is broad match,
 2. Enclosing the keyword in quotes is phrase
 match
 3, Enclosing a keyword in square brackets is
 exact match.
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 Broad match is the most difficult one to achieve, followed by phrase
 then e xact. Achieving top search engine rankings on a broad match
 keyword has the added value that you will be also be top for other
 related keywords. A good SEO company should aim for broad match for
 all you keywords.



Mistake 7
 Using A SEO Company
 That Buys Links As A
 Main Part Of Its Strategy

 Accumulating     links     is       a     vital
 component     to your      search       engine
 ranking, and     some SEO companies
 obtain links by buying them. All links
 are not created the same, some links
 from a high PR       website    are worth
 hundreds more than links from low PR
 sites.


 If your SEO expert has made your search engine ranking rise very rapidly
 without content he/she is very likely to have achieved it by spamming methods
 like link farms or buying junk profiles.


 A link farm is where a group of web sites that have been set up for the sole
 reason of creating links between so that many links are created. This type of
 technique is often risky, and generally requires you to continue with their
 service because as soon as you stop, your rankings will drop. In addition, you
 stand the risk that a link farm could be detected and all those who

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 participate will be delisted from the search engines.


 Profiles, are where an account is created on a website for the sole
 purpose of obtaining a link. Profile links are often deleted by moderators who
 are looking for this type of abuse of their website. So if you use someone, who
 uses junk profiles to obtain back links, you have to buy lots of them and often
 continuously to maintain your rankings.


 Mistake 8
 Keyword            stuffing          or        Keyword
 Density
 An outdated way of trying to con the search engines is to stuff your web site
 with a whole lot of repeated keywords. This worked a long time ago, but
 definitely does not work now. In fact, keywords stuffing could get your
 website   de-indexed    by     the   search    engines
 because search engine technology has come on
 a long way since the days when this used to
 work. Any SE O company that tries to improve
 your rankings with this faded old trick should be
 sent packing.


 I recommend that your create content
   that           is interesting, informative and
 entertaining as possible. Just focus on the one
 keyword for each page on your website. If you
 include the keyword       in    the first and last
 paragraphs and then avoid keyword stuffing then
 will be perfectly acceptable to search engines and
 your human visitors.


 If you take pride and pleasure in your content

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 then this will show and people will be genuinely
 interested in seeing your new updates. If you
 don‟t have the time or inclination to do this
 then hire a skilled writer to maintain your site; it
 can be done in a few hours each week and the
 investment needed will be worth its weight in
 gold.


 Look for an SEO who uses or encourages the addition of regular, useful
 content to the site, as this is what both people and search engines rate
 highly, not jumbled repetitions of phrase which mean nothing when read.



Mistake 9
 Getting Results Too
 Quickly Whilst Not
 Maintaining the
 Momentum
 This may seem like a strange concept,
 but in the world of SEO, getting good
 results too quickly with a new website
 can     often be the sign of creating a
 problem for the future, that is, if you don‟t
 maintain your popularity then you will fall
 just as easy.


 The reasons for the above are really
 down to the way in which the results have
 been achieved. If you have shot up the
 rankings in record time then it could be
 that you SEO expert has been using


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 spammy black hat tricks to get some
 impressive looking but require a high
 amount of maintenance. „Quick to raise,
 quick to fall” is the often the case if you
 stop using their service.
 On a competitive keyword, expect to have to wait at least 90 days for good,
 SEO work with solid foundations to have an effect on your rankings. If you
 are appearing on the first page of the search engine listings a lot quicker,
 then you have to ask why? This could be due to black hats spam
 techniques that can work in the short term but they often are built on a
 foundation of sand that is likely to come crashing down like a house of
 cards at some point.
 When you hire an SEO expert, you should be looking at receiving a realistic
 timescale for getting some visible signs of improvement. Having an
 unrealistic timescale which can never possibly be met, carrying out a poor
 quality rush job or, even worse, using tactics to provoke a short-term rise
 up the rankings is bad.


 Of course, you will also want to see some results quickly, to reassure you
 that things are moving in the right direction and that this SEO business
 does actually bring positive results. Ideally, you should be looking for are
 gradual signs of an upwards movement through the rankings, as the solid
 work being done begins to be reflected in the search engine rankings
 Lastly, one more warning about black hat tricks they can trigger red flags by the
 search engines and this can lead your site to be delisted or sandboxed. This is
 especially true if your website is under two years old.




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 Mistake 10
 Not Tracking Results
 Whomever you choose, get them to produce
 regular reports and check them against what
 you can see in the results engines yourself.


 Don‟t expect results immediately because
 any reasonable efforts will take a several
 weeks to show. Be patient, but insist on
 results or some kind of proof of efforts is
 being made on a consistent basis. Monthly
 r e p o r t i n g should be the norm.




 Mistake 11
 Failing To Supply Content for Syndication or
 Making SEO
 contributions
 Yourself
 Any SEO company would appreciate having rich and
 valuable content that they can distribute out into the
 Internet unless they are using spamming techniques. The
 best t y p e o f c o n t e n t i s   interesting, i n f o r m a t i v e ,
 a n d entertaining to r e a d .        Content c an        be au d i o ,
 p i c tu res , video, text, company announcements. In
 fact, anything that you own and hold copyright to, use
 for your own purpose.


 If you do not supply any content that a SEO company can
 distribute out, they will have to create content themselves
 and charge you more or resort to spam type
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 techniques. In short, it is in your interest to provide
 content because this can act as bait to bringing in visitors
 back to your website.


 It is also in your interest to participate in the online community yourself.
 Find the top blogs and forums in your market area and make regular
 contributions yourself. This will give you additional SEO points, as well as
 bringing potential new business, exchanging ideas and belonging to a thriving
 community.




 Mistake 12 Believing In Traffic Statistics
 Because This Can Be Easily Faked
 Believing the traffic statistics as strong indicator that you
 website is making progress is fraught with danger because
 any SEO company can manipulated traffic to your website.
 They can buy tens of thousands of hits or run programs that
 can easily fake visitors. Any traffic statistics requires
 detailed analysis, to ensure that it has not been manipulated
 with in anyway.


The last page is a suggested questionnaire with a couple trick

questions to sort some of the good from the bad.




 Wishing you all the best in your quest for higher
 ranking

 Gary A Young
 PS Don’t forget to visit my website!
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                     SEO Company Questionnaire
 Can you show me results you have achieved with other clients?

        Check the results yourself using the same keywords. Look at the search results
        and

 What automated tools do you use?

        You want a company that uses lots of tools and not just one, because one
        tool is likely to leave a digital footprint that are can detected.

 What regular reports can I have that tracks progress?

        Insist on a progress report on a monthly basis showing your rankings
        and work done.

 What keywords are best for me?

        They should have a good keyword tool that analyzes not only your website
        but your competitor’s website as well, to determine good keywords for you.

 Do you participate in link farms?

        They should understand what you mean and the answer should be no.

 How long will have to wait to get reasonable results?

        90 days should be the norm.

 Will you educate me on how I can contribute to your SEO efforts?

        Everyone could learn a bit SEO and a good company should be source of
        learning the basics.

 Do you participate in link-exchanges or reciprocal linking with other
 websites?

        The answer should be NO – link exchanges are old hat and don’t work
        anymore.

 What content would you like from me?

        Every SEO should welcome you supplying them content because it makes
        their job easier. If they are not interested in receiving content from you, then
        you can assume they are using Black Hat spammy techniques, which exposes
        your website to the risk of being delisted or sandboxed. This is especially true
        if your website is under two years old.


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