How to Find the RIGHT SEO Company | The Misfit Magic 6

According to a 2015 survey by Constant Contact, finding new customers is a top concern for 66% of small business owners. This only stands to reason, customers are after all, the lifeblood of any business.  And with Ecommerce growing at a rate of 23% year-over-year, it is unsurprising that companies are increasingly turning to SEO in order to stand out from the crowd.

The Importance of Hiring the Right SEO Company

However SEO companies, like accountants, are both an investment and a risk. Engage the services of the right company, and you can look forward to reaping the fruits of that investment. However, hire the wrong company and your business could face potential disaster.

The first step, even before you contact them, is to create a shortlist of SEO companies. When you have done this, you can see if they have online portfolios and testimonials available. You can learn a lot about a company from their previous work. However, just what are you looking for in these sites?

This is where the ‘Misfit Interactive Magic 6’ list can help.

1. Site/Page Speed

When you click on an URL, how fast does the site download? This may seem trivial, but it’s a fact that that slow download speeds cost you traffic. The days of waiting for dial-up are long gone, and we’ve only gotten more impatient as time has gone on. In fact, not only do Google algorithms use site speed when ranking pages, but slow site speeds have been shown to negatively affect conversions. A study carried out by Google last year showed that 53% of mobile site visits are abandoned if pages take longer than 3 seconds to load.

2. How Do Mobile Versions Look?

Speaking of mobile site visits, how do those sites look on your cell phone? The matter of mobileSEO company - mobile optimization is an important one. Because not only is Mobile optimization one of the (approximately) 200 factors that affect the ranking of a website, but M-commerce is set to be the next big thing in online shopping. In short, SEO companies that do not pay attention to this area are doing their customers a massive disservice.

3. Quality of Content

Content is increasingly becoming everything in SEO. Well, not quite everything, but content does make up a large part of the SEO picture. This makes it extremely important to assess the quality of the content on any sites you review. In the olden days of SEO, content was all about keywords, keyword strategy, and the art of inserting keywords into content. However, with the arrival of semantic search, search engines are getting much better at identifying and rewarding content that is actually good.  

So how are those sites to read? Are they actually well written and provide a good user experience? Or do they remind you of something you might read from a fake quote generator?

4. Site Consistency

You’re almost done now, I promise! Now, take another look at those sites, do they look consistent?

You can learn a lot about the strengths of any SEO company by looking at the overall consistency of their sites. For example, a site with excellent design but poor content, slow download speeds, and no mobile optimization suggests that the company in question is more competent in design than in other areas. When you hire an SEO company (or web design company in general), you really want them to be competent across the board. It may not seem like a big thing at first, but do you really want to have to pay someone else later to fix the things the first company couldn’t do?

5. User Experience

SEO company - phantomThe biggest thing to keep in mind though, is that Google’s guiding principle has always been to reward sites that provide user value.  To assess this, think about yourself as a visitor to those sites and how the overall site experience was. Were they well laid out, fast, and intuitive to navigate? Was the design clean and pleasing? Did the content provide actual information in an easy to understand way? These are things that we all subconsciously take into account whenever we encounter any website. This is also ultimately what Google’s ‘Phantom’ algorithm also assesses when crawling sites.

6. SEO Claims

Lastly, does the SEO company make any claims on their own site or social media of efficacy that just sounds a little too good to be true?

Because as irritating as it is, SEO is no short game. It takes time to create sites that offer a great user experience. And despite what some of the more black-hatted variety of SEOs may say, there are no shortcuts. Moreover, any shortcuts you use, may end with your site being penalized and your ranking lost!

It’s also problematic to view rankings as the benchmark for success, because what we’re really looking for is conversions/sales. You can find an excellent timeline for how long it takes for SEO to begin to work here, but in general, it takes around 6 months to start to see those results coming in.  Any company that tries to promise you a ridiculous amount of new sales within a month is just lying to you to get your money.

Final Word

While I’m here talking about SEO and hiring SEO companies, it would be remiss of me to not mention my own company, Misfit Interactive. We’re based in the Gettysburg and Chambersburg areas of PA, but are anywhere the Internet is. We are committed to working with our customers to create long-term SEO and design solutions for their businesses. Solutions to both give you the best results for your needs now, but that also withstand future changes in SEO.  This often involves a lot of thinking outside the box to find better solutions – heck, that’s part of being a Misfit! We think we also have a great portfolio and kicking testimonials, seriously, go check them out!

So if any of that sounds good to you, why not give us a call at 717.382.8556 or email us at info@misfitinteractive.com, and let us show you why it’s good to be a Misfit.

If you don’t have an SSL certificate for your website, your traffic will start to suffer

We sent out a notice to our clients recently letting them know that Google will now start prioritizing websites that have an SSL Certificate installed to protect certain types of data that might be submitted through your website. This is especially important if you sell products and accept credit card information, and even if you have users login to access a “members only” section of your site. Continue reading

Enter the Penguin: Penguin 4.0 and your Business

The Penguin Rolls Out

Once upon a time, when the internet was not as old as it is now and companies roamed the wastelands on a quest for those crucial backlinks that would give them higher rankings in the SERPs, an algorithm was born.

Created by the lawgivers of Google, this was an algorithm like no other. (Well not quite, but it does sound good, doesn’t it?) This avian lawman was to wander the vast wastelands of the web upon the backs of countless spiders, searching out spammy backlinks and those who would gather them in order to gain ranking. Continue reading

Flash and Music are Dead

Google Chrome recently announced that starting in September, they are going to block flash from their browser. This is follow suite (albeit late) after Apple first announced it will no longer support flash years ago, and Android followed meaning the majority of your mobile browsers would not be able to view any website in flash at all. Adobe announced this past December that they will finally start killing off the Flash brand entirely, which means Flash is Officially Dead. Companies are scrambling to get web design quotes to convert their websites so they don’t lose their rankings. Continue reading

Social Media Do’s and Don’ts – Advice from Social Marketing Companies

Social Marketing CompaniesI’m preparing for a small presentation this afternoon with some local farmers about using Social Media to improve their marketing strategy, and I wanted to share some of these tidbits with our readers so you can make the most out of your social management with advice from legit social marketing companies.

Quite simply, Social Media is necessary for all businesses. Continue reading

What’s the Difference Between a Wordpress Theme and Wordpress?

At Misfit, we specialize in Wordpress development and customization.  We love Wordpress, we relish and bathe in it.  Because we also budget to provide small businesses with affordable web solutions, we also look for ways to assist small businesses in achieving their goals.  Occasionally it’s difficult to explain to clients what their options are in terms of a website that is built the best possible way for their budget and brand. Continue reading

Stop! Don’t Hire That In-House Social Media Marketer Yet!

Whew, thanks for pausing a moment.

Before you take that big step by hiring a new employee and all the paperwork and cost that comes with it, we want to offer some alternatives ideas that are just as important and may actually save you money (and who doesn’t want to save money?).

Don’t get us wrong, there’s nothing inherently wrong with hiring an in-house social media person.  It may even feel more comfortable having a dedicated person readily available to monitor your social media on a whim.  We get it.  However, not every company needs to invest that much money into their social strategy.  If your business is in the niche of marketing, it makes more sense to have an in-house marketer.  If you’re in a labor industry, such as construction, it absolutely does not make sense to have someone dedicated solely to your social media strategy in-house.

So what are your options? Continue reading

Are You Using Social Media to its Full Potential?

Let’s assume that your business is on social media. (With 65% of U.S. adults using some form of social, you are crazy if it isn’t!) Let’s also assume you have a Facebook page, and maybe a Twitter or a LinkedIn account for your company, depending on your industry.

But are you doing enough to make a difference for your business?

Back in 2010, it might have been enough just to have your business on Facebook. Now, you can’t even show your posts to everyone who liked your page! Yes, the people who voluntarily opted in to receive your updates see them maybe 1-2 times out of 10. What this means, is that you could be wasting your efforts, sending your messages into a void.

So what should you do about it? How do you step up your social media game? Continue reading

Blocking Russian and Referral Spam from Google Analytics

Spammers suck.

Persistent spammers suck worse and force us to stay on our toes when it comes to keeping our clients protected and their analytics accurate with data to help guide their marketing initiatives.  However, the spammers are not going anywhere, and neither is our fight to keep them at bay while providing the best secure hosting as well as passionate search engine optimization.

During the last several weeks I have battled with varying types of spam, mostly from Russia, and have been amused by the lengths some of these spammers will go in order to garner traffic.  I have been successful in our quest, and wanted to share the information I have learned so that others can successfully remove spammers and ensure the data they are collecting is not skewed by spam traffic. Continue reading