While increasing numbers of SMBs recognize the importance of SEO, it is a very broad term, which means many different things and of which many of us have little knowledge. I cannot tell you how many times I’ve heard someone say “I need to hire someone to do SEO,” but they are clueless as to what that actually means. The result is that some SEO service providers will take advantage of that lack of knowledge.
The first thing to realize is that SEO is a confluence of different skill sets, all of which you may not receive from one provider, even though they provide SEO services. In addition, SEO is not a one-shot development effort, but a constant, ongoing process for your business. Thus, you cannot hire someone to “do SEO” for two weeks and think that you are done.
SEO in large part has to do with having highly relevant, highly interesting content. That is what the search engines are seeking, and if you provide it they will reward you by placing you well in their organic results.
So you need to make sure you are covered across all the basic SEO components, which include:
SEO experts will employ a number of techniques to optimize your site for search engines—such as configuring your robots.txt file to direct crawlers in the most optimal way, and performing practices such as canonicalization, the art of making duplicate content appear as one item to a search engine crawler, using technique such as 301 redirects.
To properly "do SEO" you need to have all these bases covered. It can be different people or firms doing the work since it involves different skill sets. Your web development shop may be able to handle the HTML component but not be able to create compelling content. A good SEO firm should have all of the right skill sets in house. Without knowing everything that comprises SEO, you risk paying a lot of money without receiving the results you seek.
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