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Questions To Ask Your Search Engine Marketing Firm

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Choosing the right Search Engine Marketing Company for your web site is very hard. We see a lot of sites offering different kinds of services, and knowing the differences between them is not an easy job. Compucall has created a set of questions which you should ask the search marketing company before making your decision. These questions will also help you understand a little bit about search marketing, and the way to select the right search marketing company for you. Good luck with your project!

The Compucall Team

1. Do you offer a variety of SEM solutions?

SEM solutions differ from each client. The SEM company will need to gather information about target markets and niches as well as your business goals to determine the type of optimization solutions for you.

Ask yourself:

* Does their offer take into consideration the special characteristics of your business category?

* Do they offer SEO, PFI, PPC and XML Feeds? A mixture or only one solution? Is only one, why?

2. Do you have references from previous customers?

Make sure that the SEO marketing company has references from previous customers. Ask if you can contact the references, and do call them to verify the recommendation. Use this paper to ask the right questions.

3. How long has the SEM company been around and does it have hands-on results?

Find out a bit of background to the company such as how long the company has existed, how many employees, etc. The SEO world is very fast paced and is expanding and changing all the time (almost on a daily basis), therefore, a more experienced SEO would be preferable (minimum of 2 years).

Ask the SEO marketing company to show you results from their customers, and ask them who their clients are.

4. How many employees work for the company?

Try to go with a company with a stable staff. Will you get a personal account manager? Or is this company a one man show working from the porch of his parents’ apartment?

5. Do you have staff to help me with copywriting?

Check that the SEM company can assist you in copywriting, including defining your keywords and writing titles and descriptions.

6. Do employees in the company have technical background/website experience?

An SEM company that has employees with technical background/website experience may have an advantage within the SEM world, as there a re a lot of technical issues to be resolved in any project.

7. Which search engines do you use?

A reputable SEM marketing company will work mainly with the top search engines. They will also work with you to define your target audience and submit to the necessary search engines. If they offer you submission to thousands of search engines, be wary as this is unethical, and no experienced SEM company should do this.

8. Do you use “cloaking” methods?

Google considers cloaking as spam. Does not use any ‘spam related’ techniques. Even if for a short while your site will get good positions and traffic, you will be under a constant risk of being permanently banned.

9. What kind of techniques and technologies do you use?

Make sure that the company does not use any illegal or unethical techniques to drive traffic to your site. Choose a firm which will use the website and information you provide them. Ask them to show you the process/technologies that would be involved in your campaign.

10. Does your company have experience with PPC (Pay-Per-Click campaigns)?

If so, which companies do you use and can you tell me a little more about them.

The current top PPC companies are Google Adwords and Overture. There are many PPC companies which send traffic to many sites, but the above two are the top in the field as of August 2003.

11. What is link popularity and what kind of strategies would you use to improve our link popularity?

Many of the search engines, such as Google, take into consideration when positioning sites how many links, and how many quality links, there are to the site. A good SEM company will explain this to you, and probably suggest getting links to your site using different methods. Make sure that the SEM Company doesn’t practice in unethical practices, such as link farms.

12. The SEO company guarantees 1st place positions. Should I believe them?

No! There is no guarantee in the search engine world for any positions. A reliable SEM company will try and assist you to get to top placed positions but cannot guarantee them.

13. How much does SEO cost?

The cost of search engine optimization can vary dramatically from company to company. Be prepared as search engine optimization can be an expensive business, so if you find a cheap SEO company, you probably won’t get the highest quality results. Each client has different needs, and therefore the costs are different. If you are going after highly competitive words, the costs may be higher due to their popularity. Also, if you have a website with many pages, and you would like each page to be optimized, the cost may be more. Many SEO companies offer packages, with additional services available for additional fees. Find out exactly what is included in the package.

14. Does the contract include all fees?

Make sure that the contract includes all fees, such as submission fees to search engines and directories, and do not be afraid to ask questions.

15. How long will it take to see some kind of results?

Search engine marketing takes time to achieve results so it is difficult to see immediate results. Search engines do not index immediately so expect to wait at least 6 months to see good results. Complete ROI on SEM should take somewhere Around 1 year.

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Ilana Grunberg is a SEM consultant for Compucall Search Marketing Ltd. Ilana has experience in the SEO world, and participates in forums, chats and has written articles for the search engine marketing world.

Questions To Ask Your Search Engine Marketing Firm


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  • http://www.uk-logo.com Stephen Chown

    I totally agree finding the right firm is very difficult indeed, my thoughts are only go on recommendation

  • http://www.phoenixmr.com Richard Cook

    The most important questions I ask them are

    1. What is your main keywords and where do you rank in Google

    2. Could you provide me with a list of testimonials, with contact details

  • http://www.giftexposure.co.uk Dave

    Recommendation and their own sites position, for me

  • http://www.business-sale.com Chris

    How much do you charge

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