Yes and no on both counts. If you cannot manage your website’s search engine optimization yourself, here are some things to look for and to look out for in any company you hire:
First, I would be very cautious about companies coming to you, especially those who telemarket or send unsolicited emails. If they are good at what they do they shouldn’t have to engage in push marketing (people would find them on the internet, right?). The exceptions would be a familiarity with your industry, geographic proximity or some other compelling reason to engage in business with them.
The next often-omitted step is checking references. If the business was referred to you, this might already be taken care of. Find out what they were able to do for other businesses and see what their expectations are for your website and what they can do to improve your search engine rankings. This is important, as there are different levels of competition for different terms. For example, imagine trying to be on page one for a Google search on “iPad” vs. “Procurement Technical Assistance Center in Wyoming” and you can imagine which term would be easier to have better rankings for.
Find out how they seek your input and keep up to date with your search terms. The search terms should not be industry jargon. They should be the words your customers use, especially when searching for you, your product or service and these search terms should appear in your webpages. Normally these terms change over time, so what will they do to keep up? Will they monitor and report your rankings on important terms?
Finally, if you have the slightest concern that the company might use unscrupulous techniques, stay away. The techniques I am mentioning are things such as using phony web pages that backlink to you, stuffing your pages with text the same color as the background (Google (or any other search engine)can read it in the code whereas your visitors will not see it) and other tricks. When (not if) Google catches people using these techniques it will blacklist the entire site. Being blacklisted means instead of just being on the fifth page of results, your site will never be found.
If you have questions about Search Engine Optimization (SEO), how your site is doing or would like some help optimizing your site, please contact us at www.wyen.biz.