Should I hire a SEO consultant? – Search Engine Marketing in Maryland, DC, and Virginia

A common question that I get from many clients is should they invest in a SEO consultant?  In most cases, I encourage folks to save their money and focus on the standard SEO best practices.  But, if a client does not have the time, or a staff, then by all means hire someone to help out.  However, do NOT believe the hype.  There are very few magic bullets or tricks that will get you a legitimate high ranking that will not eventually get crushed by Google if the find you “cheating”.  Focus on White Hat SEO, focus on content, focus on your customers, and if you follow those rules, you will typically be rewarded by the search gods.

Don’t fall for paid link programs, make sure you understand what your SEO firm is doing, and check up on them.  Many practices that SEO firms will advocate will eventually cause problems due to Google eventually catching your cheating.  If you are a SEO SPAMer, it is no big deal, just change your domain, and start again.  However, if you are a reputable company, you are putting your Internet Reputation on the line.  If the SEO pitch is too good to be true, don’t believe it.  If you want to see how even big companies can get crushed, read about how JC Penny seriously harmed their Internet Reputation by not closely watching what their SEO consultant was doing.

Did you know that over 20% of all search queries are now being generated by mobile devices?  And, in many of these cases, the search results are heavily influenced by the customer’s location.  No matter what business you are in, it is even more important that your business is visible, and preferably at the top.  And in areas like the Maryland, DC, Virginia region, optimizing your site to reflect where customers could be searching from is important.   You can’t just provide your business address and hope customers can guess what areas you may service.  Make it clear where your service areas are.

And, while talking about your address, a couple of tips are in order.  First, make your address and phone number easy to read, and to copy and paste.  Do not embed your address in a graphic.  Yes, I have seen this, and if I had known the designer that did it I would have fired them.   Interestingly, the address for this company was Thomas Johnson Drive in Frederick, Maryland.  I tried to copy and paste, but no luck.  Guess how I typed it into Google?  That is right, Thomas JEFFERSON!  Mobile search fail…

If you are still interested in finding some help with your SEO projects, drop us an email.  We would be happy to help you find the proper resource.

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