Search engine optimization is very important in today’s online business world but it doesn’t have to cost an arm and a leg, or a kidney! Expensive SEO doesn’t necessarily mean that it is good SEO. Likewise, cheap costing SEO services does not mean that it is a waster of your money. SEO services and service providers come in many different shapes and sizes. It is first important to find a consultant or vendor that has the same goals in mind. You never want to shop for this service simply on price because there are many approaches out there and it is important that the approach lines up with your business goals and that makes sense. I always recommend before you start spending your budget on SEO services, take some time to understand what search engine optimization is and how it is done. A good place to start is to read Google’s webmaster guidelines and the Google SEO starter guide that contains good information as well.
Just because a high end web design firm offers search engine marketing services doesn’t mean that those are worthy services from that particular firm. There are many design firms out there right now slapping up an SEO page on their website to make up for lost revenues for the recent economic crisis and it is important to distinguish between those types of services and true search engine marketing firms that has been doing this for years and truly understand the playing field. There are many firms out there now offering great value on services at a very reasonable cost for all types of businesses to be able to take advantage of. Narrow down a few firms you would like to see yourself hiring and before you make any calls research their position online. Search for their names and see what they have been up to. Read some of their articles and what types of organizations they have been getting involved with and you can quickly get a grasp for what type of organization they are. Don’t let a price tag fool you. This industry doesn’t have the most consistent pricing factors. It all comes down to how many man hours that price will cover. Make sure you are getting your money’s worth for the price you pay.
You will also have an opportunity to see if there is any sort of negative press surrounding this business through your research efforts. If there have ever been any unhappy customers or clients the search results will quickly identify them. If you search for a firm’s name and not too much appears in search results I would be hesitant on hiring them to do any work for you. A search engine marketing firm should have some information on their business in the search results regardless, remember SEO is about building your brand, reputation and online sales through the major search engines over time. So a potential SEO service provider must do a great job of marketing themselves online as they do for their clients…they should practice what they preach!