Probably, the best way to optimize a site is by hiring a good SEO specialist. However, in the same way that there are good, bad, and fraudulent professionals of any kind, there are good, bad, and fraudulent search engine optimization experts. It is always difficult to choose a professional and good SEO specialist. However, following are signs that a search engine optimization expert/company is probably not legitimate:
1) The design of the website looks like it was done by someone in highschool. SEO and web design are two different things. A business that didn't bother to employ a good designer to make a website look professional likely won't bother to provide excellent SEO service as well.
2) The extravagant guarantees on results. For instance, an expert claims that for $5000/month your site will appear on the front page of Google for certain keywords. While search engine optimization strategies can help sites rank well, only the search engines can determine the relevance of a page. The relevance of a particular website is still in the hands search engines even though search engine optimization can greatly help sites to rank well. So if somebody promises a result, that person might use "black hat" strategies to boost your website and it's only in a short term, so that person can get $5000 from you and will suddenly disappear before your site disappears from Google's first page.
3) The excessive request for advance payment. Upfront payment request is normal and there's nothing wrong with it. On the other hand, to ask for thousands of dollars before doing any optimizing on your site is a sign of a fraudulent act. Once they have your $10,000 up-front, how motivated will they be to work on your project? Only if your website is already receiving a lot of hits, that's the time it's normal to pay high upfront fees. However, most small businesses are not in that position.
4) Many testimonials that seem to be exaggerated but without proof. Basically, testimonials are usually positive. On the other hand, if somebody says, "this particular search engine optimization service is changed my life" is an exaggeration. A true testimonial might look like this; "I used this SEO expert's service and after using it my return on my pay-per-click investment went up 400%!"
5) Services offering immediate upsells for their new products. Most merchants will backend e-books or search engine optimization tools onto consulting services. However, being inundated with e-mails trying to sell you new products before you've had a chance to try the original product isn't very professional. If a search engine optimization consultant is emphasizing products rather than services, chances are they aren't making much money on the consulting side of their business.
6) The service provider doesn't answer e-mails in timely fashion. If someone isn't answering e-mails prior to you becoming a client, how much attention will you get once you're a customer? If the service is bad on the sales side of the business, chances are it won't be good on the service side either.
You cannot assure that you'll be hiring a good SEO specialist. On the other hand, following the techniques discussed above will help you discern to hire an excellent search engine optimization consultant. Document: mcpmhk21