Hi there, Like every other startup founder, my time is very limited, and while I'd love to learn all the intricacies of SEO and work on it daily, my schedule just doesn't allow for it. On the other hand, i understand the value of ranking highly in Google and I definitely don't want to overlook it. That said, I've been working with a developer in India through Upwork on some minor changes to the website (adding an Instagram feed section, new fonts, etc), and I like the work he's done (he also has great reviews). He told me he has someone who works with him who is experienced in SEO, and that it would cost $800/month for the work. Below is how he described the process: "It basically works in the following way : 1. It is an ongoing work. 2. We'll work regularly on our site on different things. 3. Developers and SEO guys, both are included in this work. 4. Work will go for regular 8 hours a day. 5. Output shows in around 4 minimum months as Google Indexing ..etc, takes time." I asked him what methods the person would use, and he said he wasn't sure, but he would ask him and get back to me (not too surprising, I suppose, as he's not the SEO expert). My plan is to speak with someone on clarity regarding some basic SEO methods I can learn so that i can at least be informed enough to track his progress, and keep an eye on what's being done through weekly reports. So my question is: Does this sound legit? And what are some additional questions I can ask to determine this? I'm self-funded and have a very small budget, so I'm really trying to ensure that i don't waste my hard-earned money on snake oil. Thanks in advance! Tanya
Hi Tanya, SEO has become much less of a game than it used to be, and pretty much anyone can do it these days. Provide your customers with unique, well-written copy and you have done most of the job. Using a site like moz.com you can easily do the keyword and competition analysis yourself, so I'm really not sure what someone would be working 8 hours a day on. Building backlinks is the trickiest part of the process, and that is usually best done by you as well - posting in forums, guest posts in blogs, getting your link on trade web sites, etc.
If you do decide to go with an SEO firm, you should speak to two or three references who can provide real feedback on exactly what this firm has done for them. You should also get a breakdown of exactly what they will be doing for you as well. Does it include copywriting? Keyword research? Link building? Adwords/FB advertising management?
The danger of hiring an unknown firm, particularly from overseas is that they will use 'black hat' techniques which will provide quick results, but will get you banned in Google. Based on what you have said above about this firm, I would be very cautious.