Search engine optimization, popularly known as SEO, is a technique that optimizes a website in order to make it very search-engine-friendly. SEO can be performed at the programming as well as at the content end – the programming aspect of SEO tunes the website to the requirements of the latest search engines algorithms, while the content aspect of SEO involves strategically embedding sought-after keywords in the website content. There are other methods as well – e.g., link building, article submission and directory submission.
If you want your website to register its presence in the competitive world of Internet, you've got to resort to SEO techniques. Otherwise, a website fails to get noticed amongst millions of them. But the bad news is that there are many unethical outfits out there who promise you great SEO, but all they do to get your website a high page rank on the results page is employ a variety of unethical techniques (the so called black-hat techniques) to fool the search engines. If caught by search engines, your website can be blacklisted and banned for adopting unethical SEO techniques. It is, therefore, absolutely important that a website owner works along with an ethical SEO consultant, and here's how you must choose one.
The Internet has made the world a smaller place and a website owner can work with SEO consultants based in any part of the world – there are many SEO consultants' websites all over the Internet, and tracking down one is not all that difficult a task. And here's how you must choose one:
- If the SEO consultant is a professional, then he must be accredited by many reputed organizations such as Google AdWords, Web CEO University, and SEO Pros. If the SEO consultant has more accreditations, well, the more the merrier. A certified SEO professional is ethical by default – ethics are inbuilt into their work code.
- He must have an impressive roster of clients who speak highly of him. And he must not be hesitant to give out a few references.
- If the SEO consultant is professional and ethical then it automatically follows he will have a successful track record. So, go ahead and check the websites he has performed SEO on, and check if they rank high on search engines results pages.
- The SEO consultant needs to be versatile and he must offer services such as website analysis, content writing, keyword research, link building, SEO and, of course, adequate reporting back to the client.
- The SEO consultant must have a clean track record, in the sense that he must never have been blacklisted for adopting unethical SEO techniques. Such techniques include spamming search engines, trading links with websites that are part of link farms, or cloaking, which means coating keywords with the same color as the website's background and stuffing a whole lot of them on all the pages. You can find out if the SEO consultant has resorted to dubious means by running a check on him on search engines and on message boards. Plus, you can always check with his references too.
That was a small guide on how to go about selecting an ethical SEO consultant. True, finding an ethical SEO consultant will take a little bit of time and effort, but it is well worth it. Because an unethical SEO consultant can kill a website, while an ethical consultant can help you build your fortune.