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Best way to seek a SEO person?


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#1 Nicholas

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Posted 20 August 2006 - 09:39 PM

Hello All,

I would like to find a SEO person in the Denver, CO area. Anyone have suggestions as to how I should go about that? I know that finding a SEO person is very difficult, especially someone that will do a good job. Any suggestions would be great.

#2 bragadocchio

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Posted 21 August 2006 - 12:19 AM

You could start with a post over at craig's list:

http://denver.craigslist.org/

Are you looking to hire an in-house SEO, or an SEO firm to work with you?

I would probalby suggest different strategies based upon what you are looking for.

#3 Nicholas

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Posted 21 August 2006 - 07:16 PM

Well we were planning on hiring an outsource company because they already have the infastructure in place to get things rolling quickly. Eventually when our size increases we will be happy to open the doors to having our own SEO person.

Due to your suggestion for sourcing it out to different companies, i'll suggest what I am aiming for.

1. Review and optimize our site about 40 pages.

2. Ensure each sub site has unique content.

3. Manage our PPC campaigns

4. Work with me to strcuture our affiliate links so they are SE friendly and obtain about 100 strategic links to each sub site and our master site.

5. A cost per sub site, so when we add new ones we have a pre-established cost.

#4 manager

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Posted 22 August 2006 - 03:01 AM

Nicholas,
I can see why it would be difficult to find an “effective SEO person”, from my personal experience many of them make the same "wild claims and guarantees". My advice is to judge them on what they have “done or achieved”, not on what they claim to be able to do.

I regularly get emails for “SEO experts” telling me what they can do for me. It’s very disappointing when one visits their website, only to find they are semi illiterate hustlers, who haven’t got a clue.

TreV

#5 Nicholas

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Posted 22 August 2006 - 11:57 AM

My partner got me in touch with someone today that is from lancermedia . com, just curious if anyone has heard of them?

I checked their site and graphically it's not nice but it has all the content and stuff it would need to do well, and the guy had some idea what he was talking about. Price was about 2-3K /month.

#6 SEOEgghead

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Posted 23 August 2006 - 04:30 PM

Heck, for that much money, hire me!

Anyway, I'm actually surprised at bragadocchio's response. He assumes people are honest. I find lots of smart people do that :unsure: There are *so* many charlatans out there. I'd forgo the regional bias and hire anyone who has a decent reputation.

If you want to figure out if someone is a good SEO, use a bit of reverse psychology. Say you heard about hiding pages and content from search engines and thousands of doorway pages. Then see what he says.

An honest SEO will tell you that it won't work, that results aren't guaranteed instantly, and will not be as anxious to take your money. They don't charge for "results." An honest SEO will charge you for building links on a monthly basis with reporting, on page copy optimization, etc.

And he'll likely charge you a lot, but it will billing for explicit services, not guarantees and mysterious monthly services.

#7 Jozian

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Posted 23 August 2006 - 05:11 PM

Nick-

I will take the centrist view here - some are good and some are bad - intentionally or otherwise.

I think the real value of and SEO implementation comes from the intial strategy and ongoing intelligent tweaking. Most of the people I get emails from offering SEO simply want to run you through a predesigned template of items and services. Those items are important, but not the answer.

I just tried to hire SageRock do do SEO for my mortgage client, and they turned us down because they had a conflicting client. But they wanted about 2K per month to do full SEO - and they are rated as top ten as marketing Sherpa...

We couldnt get them so, we are focusing on PPC first and going back to an SEO search later. By then, I may be able to do most of it myself.

Also, you already know pretty much what you want, so the work seems more tactical and less strategic. If this is true, i would say the price is too high.

Thats my 2 cents.

-Jeff

#8 bragadocchio

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Posted 23 August 2006 - 06:56 PM

Anyway, I'm actually surprised at bragadocchio's response. He assumes people are honest. I find lots of smart people do that :) There are *so* many charlatans out there. I'd forgo the regional bias and hire anyone who has a decent reputation.


I agree with you on forgoing the regional bias. There are many very good SEOs from around the country, and around the world.

There are charlatans, but I think that it's possible to identify and weed those out. Nicholas has been around the forums long enough to know some of the questions to ask, or to ask for suggestions on what types of things that he should ask when trying to hire someone to perform SEO.

#9 storyspinner

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Posted 23 August 2006 - 08:03 PM

Hi Nick!

Have you contacted your local Chamber of Commerce? That's one resource that might help you out in finding a local company. From there you could look at their sites and their clients' sites to see the type of work that they do.

Being from a small town upbringing I'm a big proponent of using local folks - sometimes the best people aren't the biggest or the priciest. A lot of time you can really find a "diamond in the rough" so to speak through your own local connections.

Not saying that the listings from Marketing Sherpa are worthy of taking a look at, but sometimes it just really helps when you are working with local folks because they feel a bit more loyalty towards you, since you are local too and using their services.

Just a thought! :)

Edited by storyspinner, 24 August 2006 - 05:57 AM.


#10 Jozian

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Posted 23 August 2006 - 10:56 PM

Nick-

If you search in SEOconsultants on Colorado, three companies come up.

This directory seems to be pretty good, but I'm not the real expert here.

Of course this will miss most of the small shops that could give you a great value - though maybe at a higher risk.

Good place to get a few names to call if you really want local.

-Jeff

#11 Pianist718

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Posted 24 August 2006 - 10:36 AM

I don't know if I am allowed to post a link here, but there is a good post about choosing an SEO company/consultants here http://www.bizmord.c...log/archives/75

Moderator ... if you feel that the link is inapropriate, maybe you can copy and paste the post here.

Hope this helps.

#12 Nicholas

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Posted 24 August 2006 - 04:06 PM

Wow thank you for all your replies. This is so much more complicated then it seems. I agree with a comment made which is that i'm looking for someone to execute an already designed plan.

In reality I know my SEO abilities are good enough to make my site place well however there is one factor here which is making it impossible which is time. I don't have the time I would need to devote to the SEO that I really would need to. Especially when it comes to getting one-way links etc.

I could probably spend weeks looking around for an SEO company and never even find someone that I feel has the right price or abilities.

All the guys I talk to about this seem to know it all and are quick to tell me what I need. I told this one guy how about you just stop and listen to what I need and the guy stopped dead in his tracks and said i'm all ears but needless to say he was quite shocked. I guess he doesn't here that often.

So since i'm going to take the approach of really just hiring a company as an assistant, i'm going to be looking for someone that can assist us with content building and strategic linking.

I built the site structure and it is going to work well for SE's, so with all this in mind, is a SEO company what I need or should I hire some "Students" to help me accomplish what I need?

I'm just a little confussed in which direction I need to go to get to where I want to be.

Thanks in advance for your help!

Edited by Nicholas, 24 August 2006 - 04:07 PM.


#13 BlizzGirl

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Posted 25 August 2006 - 09:37 AM

Hi Nicholas,

This has been a great thread and I wanted to throw my 2 cents in - I work for a SEO company on the other side of the mountains from Denver and we see a lot of skeptical people come through the door.

I think if it were my money and I wanted to invest in SEO I'd look for 3 things:

*longevity & reviews or recommendations - a good SEO will give you these, hopefully from your same industry
*A contract (mutually agreed upon with milestones and boundaries)
*Confidence but NO guarantees - a guarantee in SEO isnt worth the ink it's written with

We serve a niche clientele, this can be to your advantage for one very basic reason - a lot of the legwork is done - you're not paying us to look for directories and linkbuilding opportunities - we have these in place because we're constantly researching those for all of our clients - your SEO dollars go more to implementation than to research.

Moral of the long story - maybe try to look for a SEO that serves your business "niche"

okay - maybe that was 3 cents worth

Good Luck
~Carrie

Edited by BlizzGirl, 25 August 2006 - 09:38 AM.


#14 A.N.Onym

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Posted 27 August 2006 - 08:52 PM

I doubt you need to hire a SEO company just to assist you with your work. A professional or an assistant (or two) should be good enough, but as time is limited and you may not spend it on telling your student what to do, you'd rather hire a professional.

Also, I'd recommend creating quality content yourself, as someone outside your company may not know the industry as well as you do. Link building is an endeavour serious enough to hire a specialist.

I'd recommend getting someone with proven results, either through a referall or a freelance website (which has reviews for freelancers).

#15 Nicholas

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Posted 01 December 2006 - 06:11 PM

Hello All!

I think it's time to bring this thread back to life. I spent the last 3 months dealing with some who my partner hired who I wasn't exactly impressed with since the beginning but anyway i'm back at square one. I want to hire someone that can do my daily PPC, write content and build my links. This guy was charging $2K /month for this job and he did nothing more then manage our PPC. Not only that but he spent double what I was spending and got only 20% increase.

How do I go about finding someone that I can trust and work with to get this done. In future I would like to have my own team and it's very possible that one day that might happen but for now with all the other things going on in my life it's just not going to be possible.

Any suggestions you have please let me know.

#16 Alex_

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Posted 02 December 2006 - 11:20 AM

Well Nick. My recommendation is to find a hard working small company with a lot of reputation. Research a little before you commit, because as it has been said before, there are many out there that want only your money.

My biggest recommendation though is don't just do SEO and PPC. Start by creating a business strategy online. Look at your competitors and their products, their prices, their channels (affiliate marketing, website, email marketing, etc) and finally decide what you want to do with your online promotion (SEO, CPC, CPM, Media Buys, PR, Viral, Cross Marketing, email campaigns, etc).

If you first have a plan you will increase your chances to be successful. Again think about your online business as building a house. SEO and PPC are only building techniques that would bring problems later on if not planned ahead.

So summarizing: 1. Make an Internet Marketing Plan. 2. Create a competitive strategy. 3. Put the resources where they pay off faster (usually advertising) 4. Always use Analytics.

#17 Kal

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Posted 02 December 2006 - 06:37 PM

You'll need to do your own due diligence based on all the recommendations above, but here is a list of sites where you can find listings of search engine optimization and search engine marketing firms.

#18 Nicholas

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Posted 02 December 2006 - 09:27 PM

Kal & Alex thanks for your help. In reality I guess there is no real easy way to know what they can do. Is using a site like scriptlance or elance something I should look into? I'm just very nervious in spending lots of money to have the same results. I don't mind to pay if i'll see the results but after this last joker i'm taking a step back and making sure we get the right results. I don't mind going out and getting 3 different people to do the 3 different task. In the end the job if done right should work. What do you guys think about that philosophy?

#19 EGOL

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Posted 02 December 2006 - 11:01 PM

I use scriptlance when I need some programming done or some easy image jobs.

SEO is very different. It is competetive. If you were going to a gunfight would you want someone fighting for you who is a little better than average? Good chance you will be dead, huh?

The difference between #1 and #6 is an awful lot of money through your shopping cart - given equal offers from you and your competitors. So, the guy who can get you #1 might cost twice as much but the ROI is double.

If I need help on something like this I go straight to someone who I feel fairly certain can win. And, hopefully then can show me some top level performance in some difficult SERPs that they have accomplished as evidence of their abilities.

#20 JEHochman

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Posted 02 December 2006 - 11:02 PM

Nick,

About 80% of my referrals come from clients, then perhaps 15% from SEOConsultants.com, and 5% from SEMPO. If I were you, those are the places I'd look.

I'd also consider working with a consultant who had experience in your market space. Perhaps you know a strategic partner, vendor, customer or complementary business who has effective web marketing. Ask if they can recommend a consultant. Otherwise, hit the directories and interview a few consultants who present themselves well. Consider giving the best one a small assignment, such as a web site review, to see how they do.

Don't obsess about local. You won't find a competent SEO in every town or county. Often, the best consultant will be remote. A good web consultant knows how to work virtually. You don't need to see them face to face.

I would never, ever post my services on eLance or Scriptlance. Those are places to get commodity services like programming by the hour. Good consultants are busy, so you need to work hard to find them, preferably via a proper introduction.

#21 EGOL

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Posted 02 December 2006 - 11:39 PM

Don't obsess about local.



Right. I've never paid anyone for SEO services that lives within 1000 miles of my home... most are at least three times that distance away.

#22 Nicholas

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Posted 03 December 2006 - 06:12 PM

Hello!

Well I must say that I appreciate very much your help and comments. I think the local issue is more with my partner but we are used to working together at a distance. I like in Costa Rica, he lives in Denver so hopefully it won't be as big of an issue as he makes it out to be. I will head over to the recommended sites and see what I can find.

I ask questions here because of your knowledge and understanding. I don't really have any contacts in the field that we are working in that would know any SEO people much less recommend one, so i'm doing this pretty much on my own.

With any luck things will work out just fine.

#23 A.N.Onym

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Posted 03 December 2006 - 10:36 PM

If you don't want to pay the same amount to a consultant, have one to do a small project to estimate the quality of the work. Pay for it regardless. See if you want to continue working with him. Repeat, if not.

This seems to be one of the ways to sift through the potential partners (and a SEO should be considered a partner, not just a work horse).

Then again, referrals is perhaps the best way to find a SEO. You can check some freelance websites that offer reviews options and hire someone with lots of completed projects and reputation. They'll be more expensive than the rest, but it may well worth it.

Btw, I'll also second the vote for a strategical SEO. Basic on-page SEO is easy. What you need is someone knowing the most efficient ways to market your website with SEO benefits to develop a solid long-term strategy.

Edited by A.N.Onym, 03 December 2006 - 10:38 PM.


#24 Nicholas

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Posted 05 December 2006 - 05:34 PM

Thanks again! I am talking now to someone who I personally know is very good and his pricing is reasonsable. Hopefully I won't have any sob stories for you this time around. I do understand perfectly though about having them do small projects to see how they are. But again really it could be someone that does a few things and makes it look nice but at the end of the day they could do nothing for us when we give them the project.

#25 A.N.Onym

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Posted 05 December 2006 - 08:33 PM

Well, then you need to pick the small projects so as to estimate the knowledge and experience as close as you can. It is not a 100% reliable way to do this, for a reason you have mentioned, but it seems to be the way, where you can really see what the person can and can not do.

#26 miskandar_es

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Posted 08 December 2006 - 03:44 AM

Hi Nick,

If you have more time, you can wait until the end of the year to find the best SEO in the world. Please visit some of them by typing a phrase "carcasherdotcom seocontest" in Google search box.

Hope this helps. Thanks.

#27 Kal

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Posted 08 December 2006 - 04:11 AM

You've got to be kidding. Any SEO who has got the time or inclination to participate in a macho pi$$ing competition is NOT a professional choice, IMO.
[edited to escape naughty word filter]

Edited by Kal, 08 December 2006 - 04:11 AM.


#28 travis

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Posted 08 December 2006 - 04:29 AM

Best way to seek a SEO person?


Just choose the one with the lowest parole period.

#29 miskandar_es

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Posted 08 December 2006 - 04:42 AM

Hi Kal,

Thanks for your response :).
But let me know what's your definition about professional...?

#30 Kal

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Posted 08 December 2006 - 05:20 AM

Definitions are dangerous things. They're also relative so I'm not going to offer one set in stone. But this is a good benchmark IMO.

#31 miskandar_es

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Posted 08 December 2006 - 07:01 AM

Wow... great... I've just already visited the link.... and I bookmarked directly...
Thanks Kal.

Now it is time to have a peaceful week end.

Have a nice and blessed week end for all of you :)

#32 Nicholas

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Posted 08 December 2006 - 04:34 PM

Thanks agian for all your suggestions. I will take them all into consideration but I have already begun speaking with someone VERY far away in Norway but they appear to be a great firm. Pre contract we have already discussed lots of things that I felt were concerns that he mentioned. The price is right and it will be a short trial. I'll give him a chance and if he does well i'll have to let you know.

#33 miskandar_es

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Posted 12 December 2006 - 06:44 AM

Hi Nick,

Congrats for someone you find to be your best SEO.
If you need alternative or second SEO, please feel free to contact me ... :) (sorry, just kidding)

#34 randfish

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Posted 12 December 2006 - 11:53 AM

Sounds like this discussion is coming to an end, but just to throw in some extra food for thought:

- IMO, $2-3K for a monthly budget is good and should provide you with some terrific results. Go for the SEOs who don't yet have a high reputation, as demand dictates that their prices will be very high, but instead choose an "up and comer"

- I'd be wary of anything purporting to issue guidelines for "ethics" in SEO. Certainly you don't want to be spamming the engines, but many ethics clauses limit the effectiveness of what you can accomplish and in a capitalist world, obeying "laws" that don't exist can hurt you in comparison to the competition (one great example is link buying, which can work great if done right)

- The SEOConsultants list is something I've been skeptical of for a while. They pitched me a while back and it sounds like it's just a paid inclusion directory - I really don't understand how they supposedly filter out bad quality firms.

#35 JEHochman

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Posted 12 December 2006 - 01:27 PM

SEOconsultants is just that, a paid inclusion directory. It's the best $50 I ever spent. They do have a peer review process, imperfect, but better than nothing.

If you are shopping for an SEO, that directory can provide solid leads, though you still need to check carefully.

#36 randfish

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Posted 12 December 2006 - 02:25 PM

Jonathan - I think we met in the bar at SES Chicago; great to see you here!

Thanks for clearing that up about SEOConsultants. I have had a lot of phone calls from unhappy customers of folks listed there (a few bad apples can spoil the whole bunch), and wanted to probe more in depth in the near future.

#37 storyspinner

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Posted 12 December 2006 - 02:45 PM

Jonathan - interesting about the SEOConsultants.com - like Rand, I've been skeptical about them too. Will have to revisit them!

but wait... didn't someone tell me you were one of those black hat guys :) *joking of course!*

#38 Big Bill

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Posted 14 December 2006 - 04:34 PM

It's interesting/depressing that this question is even asked. All that time it took for me to go top ten in the UK for terms like seo uk and seo consultant; no wonder I get so little traffic if people don't even think to look :(

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