SEO Items to Understand Before Outsourcing SEO

Written by Nick Stamoulis

Since many businesses don’t have the budget to hire an in house SEO professional, outsourcing the work to an SEO firm is the next best option. However, in order to select the right SEO partner the business/website owner or the person or team that is responsible for hiring the SEO firm must have a certain level of knowledge about the SEO industry. They don’t have to be experts; if they were there wouldn’t be a need to hire an SEO firm! However, having some basic SEO knowledge will protect the business from hiring an SEO provider that doesn’t follow the rules and could put the business website in jeopardy.

Here are 3 important things to understand before selecting an SEO provider:

The difference between white hat and black hat SEO

If the terms “white hat SEO” and “black hat SEO” mean absolutely nothing to you, it’s time to do some research. There are plenty of authoritative resources on the web that outline the differences. The basic gist is that white hat SEO practitioners abide by all of the Webmaster Guidelines that have been set forth by the search engines. They follow the rules. Black hat SEO practitioners, on the other hand, tend to bend the rules as much as they can. They do this because they think that they might be able to get away with it. In a way, it’s like cheating. The search engines don’t approve the tactics that they use, but they can go unnoticed for some time and result in SEO “success” at a much quicker pace than a strictly white hat SEO campaign. However, cheating usually catches up with someone. When it does, a website will be left in a place worse off than where it started.

The types of links that are acceptable

If you only have a very basic level of knowledge about SEO, you understand that links play a role in how a website is perceived by the search engines. However, it’s much more complex than that. Not all links are good links. This is especially true after the multiple Google Penguin algorithm updates. Link building still plays a role in SEO, but the focus has shifted from quantity of links to quality of links. Paid link schemes and link exchanges are no longer relevant SEO tactics, which is why it’s important to find out what types of links a prospective SEO firm is going to build for your site.

The nature of SEO

SEO is unlike other marketing tactics in that is needs to be viewed as a long-term commitment. Hiring an SEO firm for 3 months isn’t going to yield the long term results that a website needs. SEO works gradually and SEO work needs to be done every single month in order to maintain and build upon the success that you have achieved. If this isn’t understood from the start, SEO clients end up having unrealistic expectations and often jump ship before they even gave the campaign time to generate results.

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