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Chris Nielsen photo No matter what size your business or company is, there are two basic things you need to get the most out of search engine optimization:

1) Optimize your site. Do it yourself or hire a professional, but get your site optimized. This ntststgkuf process involves doing the Scored Keyword Research that tells you what people use to find sites like yours. This information is then used to create meta tags and page titles and should be used in the text content of the site.

2) Submit your site to as many places as you can. We currently hand submit your site's main URL to about 160 search engines and directories.

Whoever you work with, make sure you get this at the very least. All the linking, the H codes, and other stuff you hear about may help, but if you only follow the two steps above you should be very happy with the results.

Trying to understand all of the things you hear about search engine optimization (SEO) is a lot like living with a head filled with a swarm of buzzing bees. This is mostly because search engines do not tell us the details of how they work and we have to figure it out for ourselves. The problem is that one person sees one thing and someone else sees something different and either one could be wrong in what they think the cause is.

Just because you change one thing on a web site does not mean that the results you later saw was the direct result. It could have been many things and without proper documentation it's just bad science. We've been optimizing and increasing traffic to our client's web sites for over 7 years. We know the basic things that work and get results. You can tell if a company has this kind of experience because they offer four things:

1) Flat pricing for known conditions. If you have an average site, shouldn't you pay average pricing? There is a temptation for companies to "price to the budget" of a client. Our pricing structure is the same for all sites based on what that site is. While all sites are different, an experienced SEO should be able to give you a rough idea what the cost will be, and name the things that could effect the cost one way or another. Uneasy? Get a second or third bid!

2) Client references. Don't buy the "I can't disclose who my clients are..." line. Ask for references and really check them out. See what the company has done for other web sites. SEOs that are effective are darned proud of their track record and will be glad to tell you in general terms if specific numbers are not available.

3) Realistic expectations. "Top ranking for all search engines"? "A flood of traffic to your site"? "Guaranteed top positions"? Smile, slowly turn, and run! Save yourself...! Don't trust the sales person that tells you everything you want to hear. If it sounds too good to be true then it may not be. Or not true in the way you expect.

4) Warm fuzzies. You should have a good feeling about the company your hire. They should not leave you with any doubts or concerns. There are too many of us out here that value our clients and do what we can to let them know that. In our experience, all we have to do is answer questions to the best of our ability, respond to phone calls and emails as soon as we can, and show clients that we really do care about their business and how we can help them.

You may hear competitors talk badly about us. How professional is that? Some point fingers and make statements that sound like they know what they're talking about, but the reality is they don't like our approach. And they don't like our competitive prices.

Talk to out clients - they like us! The reason they do is because we give them what they want, and we treat them right:

- SEO and submission services that increases qualified traffic on established site by 2-4 times on average. We don't use rankings as a gauge of project success, only increased traffic to your site. Your web reports will tell the tale that not only is your traffic increasing, it's bringing visitors to your site for the things we agree should indicate they are looking for what you offer.

- Fair pricing. We think if a company has been providing a service for a length of time, that they should be able to publish basic pricing based on their experience. Sure, every site is different, but most sites are pretty much the same, or have elements that are the same. Look for sites that publish baseline pricing as being either more experienced, or are not interested in pricing to your budget.

- Quick, clear, intelligent, and respectful customer service
. Why would you want to deal with any company or consultant if they talk down to you? Or throw "facts" and figures at you with every expectation that you take what they say at face value?




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