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SEO Consulting or SEO Services?

Jun 13, 2008
Does your business need SEO Services or an SEO Consultant? The definitive answer, it depends. Do You Need an SEO Consultant or SEO Services?

Although you might think the two are the same, consulting is ideal for companies that have IT departments or savvy employees who just need to be steered in the right direction, whereby SEO services are typically conducted remotely.

An Example of When an SEO Consultant is Enough:

Let's assume Company A has an aged site with clearly established authority, SEO services may in fact be overkill when all they need is (1) a target and (2) a tactic to channel that website authority in the right place.

With an aged domain (a site 3 years or older that has gained the trust of search engines) it is more about identifying and refining the appropriate mixture of on-page revisions and removal of incongruence that impedes movement in the SERPs (search engine result pages).

Typical examples are not having a descriptive titles or meta tags for conformity, lack of internal links from the homepage to your 2nd, 3rd and other pivotal pages such as a product page, a contact form or blog that are equally as important in the grand scheme of making optimal use of your web property.

In instances such as this, the fact is, a touch of refinement and a clear plan of action (SEO Consulting) to identify the strengths of your domain and observe a fair assessment of the gap (where you are vs. where you intend to be) to fill in the blanks and achieve your objective.

If you have a tech savvy in-house IT department or the appropriate staff, implementing changes that are clearly delineated are an excellent alternative to enlisting the aid of an SEO company to implement services on your behalf.

Increasing relevance and relevance score is paramount in acquiring competitive phrases. When spiders are presented with a choice, such as a website with 100 pages on a topic vs. a web property with only 10 pages on a subject (both impeccably written), which do you think is going to have a higher relevance score?

SEO Services have evolved beyond the traditional sense of optimizing old pages to make a square peg fit in a new hole. Companies still intent with the less is more attitude are going to be challenged by the new Wiki model (massive content development strategy) which reinforces its own authority over time to provide rankings from the site structure and internal links alone.

As a consequence of the Wiki-type content based site model, the tendency for to others link to it and infuse what was just a resource. Such a page (with the proper balance of internal and external links) transforms into a ranking juggernaut with the ability to scale the search engine result pages for dozens of related keywords or phrases on each of the pages.

The conclusion, SEO services have had to evolve to incorporate fresh content and links to remain competitive and stay ahead of the search engine algorithms and their growing fondness for quality in their index.

Example of When SEO Services are a Better Choice:

In another scenario, let's assume that company B has a site they have been online for a few years and they designed the site before SEO was a concern. Now, with the site floundering on the verge of dismal, they come to the conclusion that it may in fact be time to resurrect their online property.

Naturally they seek out the most qualified SEO and expect them to magically fix the problem. This is a rather common scenario, but what are the things an SEO might address?

* How old your domain? - so they can determine the threshold for change.
* How strong is the sites internal link equity? - anything worth salvaging or is it better to start fresh?
* Does your site has measurable authority? - just being old is not enough, it had to make its mark in some way, shape or form with links, fulfilling a demand, niche, etc.

After the base is scrutinized, then things like:

* Assessing the site structure -are they using flat site architecture or information silos with supporting content to reinforce the theme.
* As there a robots.txt file - to prevent renegade bots from scraping content or a way to segment and isolate sensitive information from inclusion?
* Is there an htaccess file (to prevent duplicate content penalties) and set the defaults for server preferences?
* Evaluation of the IP address and hosting environment - Are you sharing your IP with sites that are linking to bad neighborhoods? (this can tank your site as well)
* If you have an e-commerce database, does it use optimal naming conventions to maximize inherent SEO value? ?cat792 vs. /mfg/product-name/descriptive-title/ is much better and requires a Mod-Rewrite to make it SEO friendly.

SEO services are ideal when you have reached a plateau and your web property requires a series of litmus tests to determine what to keep and what to tweak. In most instances it is much easier to start fresh and salvage the page rank and links through using a 301 redirect (site or pages permanently moved) to the new page or site name.

In conclusion, each scenario and situation are unique, so, ultimately it depends on your objective, the reach you anticipate and the competition and the tactics they are employing to acquire and maintain high ranking positions for your main keywords.
About the Author
Jeffrey L. Smith is an seasoned search engine optimization expert and founder of SEO Design Solutions SEO Company. Jeffrey has been involved in internet marketing since 1995 and brings fresh optimization methods and search engine optimization services to businesses seeking organic search engine placement.
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