Search engine optimization remains one of the most important marketing tools for businesses looking to survive and thrive in the Internet Age. As statistics from Imforza show, 93% of all online experiences still begin with a search engine. In other words, effectively implementing search engine optimization strategies and extending your reach to the two-billion plus people now online is crucial — if you want to tap into the $1.5 trillion analysts estimate web users will spend online in 2014.

Of course, SEO remains a mystery to many businesses. Without any background in new media or marketing, most wind up spinning their wheels, wasting money and time as customers continue shopping at competitors’ websites. If this sounds like you, you should know that finding search engine optimization services can help you overcome these difficulties and find success, but that’s only if you know what to look for in a professional SEO company.

How to Find the Right Professional SEO Company

  1. Some Promises Are Too Good to Be True
    As suggests, one of the preferred tactics of many a disreputable professional SEO company is to make promises they can’t possibly keep. When you hear that they can get you that coveted top-ranked spot in Google SERP (search engine results pages), it’s easy to want to use that firm, right? The problem is that no firm, regardless of their experience or skill, can ever guarantee that result. Good SEO takes a while to implement and promises no fast fixes. If you’re considering a service that offers these empty promises, stop wasting your time.

  2. Bigger isn’t Necessarily Better
    There is a misconception in the world of SEO that a bigger company is inherently better than a smaller marketing firm. However, as the pros at Forbes write, the professional SEO company that’s right for you may be an enterprise, or it might be a five-employee small business. What services do they offer? Does their business culture match your own? Will you have a dedicated account manager who can explain the process to you, answer your questions, and keep you updated on the results of your SEO campaign? These are the things you should actually be concerned with.
  3. A Lack of Ethics Equals a Lack of Results
    Gone are the days when link-farming, keyword stuffing, and mass production of content were acceptable practices. These days, everyone from Google to Yahoo! labels those practices as “black-hat.” If your SEO company uses these unethical tactics to promote your business online, you will likely be penalized or banned altogether from SERPs, according to Search Engine Journal. Make sure you find out ahead of time what sort of marketing practices the company you’re considering uses, to avoid this issue.

  4. Know What You Want
    All of these tips won’t matter if you don’t know what you want out of a professional SEO company. Do you want to move your website to the first page of Google rankings? Do you want to increase your traffic by 200% over the next month? Whatever your goals, know what you need from an SEO service ahead of time. The pros can help you reach your goals, but they can’t read minds.

Finding a professional SEO company can be the key to achieving success in the Internet Age. Use these tips, find a company that fits your needs, and watch as your traffic and, hopefully, your profits begin to grow.