Are you debating as to whether to approach an SEO firm for help? There is plenty of literature available on the Web that both celebrates and condemns search engine optimization (SEO) and the companies that provide the service. The truth is, like any other business, there are good, bad, and all businesses in between. Years ago, Vidal Sassoon originated the marketing message, “If you don’t look good, we don’t look good,” in reference to his hair styling products. The message makes sense; to reiterate another marketing quip, ‘the proof is in the pudding.’

If you do decide to hire an SEO firm to aid with online rankings, after some time, it will be easy for you to tell if they are doing a good job. In essence, your online rankings will improve. How do they accomplish this feat for you? There are many tactics, yet four, major components largely contribute:

Keyword Research
How will your intended customers or target markets find your products and services online? They will conduct an online search. The answer seems simple enough, yet what exact words and phrases will they use? Will they search for general terms, geographically-linked words, phrases, exact names of products, etc? An SEO firm will conduct research and convey insight regarding keyword research. This invaluable service has immediate and ongoing results; once you know what words and phrases inspire your target market’s search, you can concentrate on them in a perennial fashion.

Copywriting and On-page Optimization
“Content is king” is a mantra often related by many online marketing, SEO, and search engine specialists. It echoes a simple sentiment: search engines love sites that host information; that is the sole purpose of the Web in the first place. Copywriting and on-page optimization concentrates on relaying information to both users and the search engines. Search engines crawl your site’s pages in order to assess how well they address a user’s search. An SEO firm’s copywriting and page optimization showcases information using your keywords. This way, search engines know what kind and how much information your site offers in order to make the decision to offer your site in regard to a user’s search query. Those found on the golden ‘first page,’ are sites with a lot of keyword-focused content.

Inbound Links
Another way search engines decide to offer your site’s pages in regard to a user’s query is how others view your site. It works much like a popularity contest with inbound links serving as popularity votes. The more times other sites link to your site and its content, the better. This lets the search engines know that others have viewed your content, value it, and think that it would be helpful to other users on the Web. An SEO firm will leverage blogs, social networks, and other platforms to intrigue others to provide links to your site.

Continual Maintenance and Measurement
An SEO campaign usually takes time. It relies heavily on your industry and competition, but most campaigns last for six to twelve months or longer. You are taking the time to promote your site’s rankings; it is very likely your competition is doing the same. This means that the quest to make the golden ‘first page’ never ends. An SEO firm’s services are usually intense at first and then begin to curtail while continuing to deliver maintenance and ongoing measurement of your rankings.

If you are thinking about searching for an SEO firm, but are hesitant, just remember that your site’s rankings are reflexive of the service’s efficiency. If your rankings don’t look good, then their service doesn’t look good. A reputable SEO firm understands this principle and will provide you with results; getting you results is the ‘bread and butter’ of its existence.