Top Tips to Choose the Best SEO Agency

After you have put in assiduous efforts and time in doing SEO on your own, you might have discovered that no matter how much you try, your website will not rank well in the search engines. Even if it manages to get a higher page ranking, all your effort and time goes in optimizing the website and much of your tasks lag behind. In such a scenario, think intelligent and hire a good SEO agency for your website. With so many SEO agencies in the market today, it is indeed difficult to choose the most reliable among these, especially when the industry is filled with scams. Hence, there are certain tips that help in choosing the best and most reliable SEO agency for your website. Read on to learn more.

Check the company website – The best way to learn about a SEO company is via its own website. Not only it can help in getting to know what all services they offer, working procedures, web standards followed, whether accredited by some authorized agency or not, but also helps in knowing how much they are expert in website optimizing. If they cannot optimize their own website to a higher page rank, they are not worth hiring

Beware of a company that promises top ranking in search engines – If the company really does promise you 1st page ranking in search engine, there must be some discrepancies in their competency. No one can guarantee you a top ranking in search engines, not even more less competitive keywords

Services and experience – Before hiring a SEO company, make sure that they offer a wide range of services that are essential for effective search engine optimization. If a company offers keyword research, link building, content development, web designing, web development, and other important SEO services all under one package, with years of professional experience, it will be the best choice.

Seek work examples and references – Satisfied customers are the best person to know about the expertise and success ratio of the company. Ask the company for examples of different websites that they have optimized with references from clients

Work procedures – It is important to know what work procedures tactics the company follow. Do they adopt any black hat SEO trick for getting a higher page rank? Do they choose automated submissions? If they do, stay away from them, or else you can get banned from the search engines. Finally, do not get lured by false promises. Make an intelligent decision in choosing the best Company for your website.

Choosing a Web Design Company – Aspects to Consider

Recognize the significance of content

For whatever reasons, you may decide to make some alterations to your existing website or to have a totally new site. The idea that next comes in your mind is the functioning and looks of your site. While the importance of these factors can’t be denied, the significance of content, the most vital factor, often gets overlooked.

In case your provider emphasizes more on design than content, you are dealing with the wrong agency.

Your provider must have a proper and adequate understanding of your business. It should know the kind of customers likely to patronize your products or services. An agency that doesn’t question its clients on these lines is not the best choice for you.

The agency must understand the relevance of content. They may generate the content on their own, or ask a copywriter to do it for them. The content forms the structure of your site, so the agency should be able to foresee how the visitors to your site will relate to the content. They should particularly understand how you are going to handle the content in the future. These are the measures necessary for ensuring that your site keeps delivering the correct message, without sacrificing its quality.

What you should do?

The users of your website should find the content informative, and thus helpful. The content comprises of a written copy, and also includes photos and videos. The web agency should give precedence to art. If needed, the agency should have access to a marketing team. If the agency is not generating content on its own, it should contact copywriters.

Define your goal and have realistic expectations

Understand and define your goals. Explain your expectations to your agency. Let the agency know what results you expect within the next 6 months or one year to justify the expense you are incurring.

You could define your goals on these lines:

  • Generating additional leads
  • Enhancing online sales
  • Maintaining contact with your customers
  • Enhancing awareness of your product/brand

What can you do?

Inquire the kind of services and tools that the agency can provide to obtain traffic to your website, and how will the volume of traffic be measured. The agency must comprehend the process of selling, enabling them to suggest ways which can make the sale more efficient.

Recognize your plan

A superior web agency should be competent in giving you a comprehensible brief web strategy. A superior plan has the ability to influence your business, make it relevant and trustworthy. The outcome of your plan should be measurable. Unless you get real data, you can’t revise or modify the strategies that help transforming the prospective visitors into customers.

What can you do?

Let your agency explain you their approach in detail. Make sure that their plan can help you reach your goal. It is imperative for the expected results to be delivered without exceeding the budget.

Good Web Design – Why There’s So Little

Most small website owners rely almost entirely on themselves or their web developer to create a good website design without them actually knowing what good web design is. Based on my 8 years experience in website design and optimization for visitors and search engines, I can say with a good deal of assurance, many web developers don’t know what good web design is either.

My views are based on the detailed evaluation of hundreds of websites which in many cases look good on the surface to the untrained eye, but when evaluated more closely, are either average to poorly designed websites, bad websites, or just simply suck.

After all, anyone can call themselves a website designer after just creating one website, either their own or for a friend or relative. Most website designers are self-taught and have no qualifications of any kind that relate to the job. I’m not saying there is anything wrong with being self-taught, but a lot depends on where and from whom you learn and what length of apprenticeship you serve in web design.

Bestwebgallery.com a showcase website typical of many showcase sites for good website designs has defined what quality design is to them (according to the statement on their site):

Quality web design = Visual + Technical + Creativity.

The problem with a definition like this is it focuses on the creative and visual aspects of design which is really only of interest to other website designers aspiring to create something that pushes the boundaries even further in the same direction. It also completely ignores whether the website is fit for the purpose for which it should have been designed. Most websites don’t need to be stunningly beautiful to serve a purpose and they don’t need to be “technical” either.

Many web developers think they have to be “creative” and set out to design a website never seen before, or one that behaves in an entirely new and original way. This often leads to an overly graphical and sometimes technically complex website design with an unconventional layout and navigation, that actually creates more problems than it solves.

All these “quality web design” features may impress another designer, but it generally wins no prizes or favours from the public website visitors who generally don’t come to a website to admire the design. Many web developers seem intent on re-inventing the wheel instead of observing the established design conventions that visitors to a website are familiar with. They also seem to have forgotten the basic K.I.S.S. rule of design which is Keep It Simple Stupid.

So, having said quality or good website design is not about Visual, Technical or Creativity just what should it be?

Good Web Design = Satisfying Visitors

There are two distinct groups of visitors to a website that a good website design needs to satisfy and they are people and search engines. Some website designers will argue that designing a website for the search engines is not necessary, or a waste of time. Although I prefer to design websites with search engines in mind, I don’t have a problem if other web designers don’t, providing they have an alternative plan.

If a web designer doesn’t design for the search engines, then they need to have an alternative plan to get traffic to the website and they should explain this plan to the site owner. There is no point in designing the greatest website ever, if there are no means for attracting visitors to the site.

A good web design also needs to satisfy the people who visit the site. If a web designer creates a website that attracts visitors through search engine optimization ( SEO ) or other methods, this will be wasted if the site fails to satisfy enough of those visitors when they arrive.

By satisfying visitors, I mean providing visitors with the information, products or services they came to the website looking for and doing it in way that is satisfying to the visitor. If the website is meant to sell products and/or services the design should also be designed to convert enough visitors into sales or leads to satisfy the site owner.

If it doesn’t do all this then it’s NOT good website design!

When deciding what is, or is not good web design, I use two checklists. One checklist is for evaluating a web page and the other checklist is for evaluating the whole website. The web page evaluation checklist examines over 150 aspects of good page design and the website checklist examines over 120 aspects of good website design.

In an effort to find some good quality website designs in 2011, that meet my standards for good web design, I launched a good web design award with a $500 prize for the winning entry.