Coastal Web Marketing
Coastal Web Services is a Maryland search engine optimization company serving small businesses throughout Maryland, DC, Virginia, Delaware and Pennsylvania. We also currently work with companies in North Carolina and Alabama.
If you’re looking for a Maryland SEO company that can help you navigate your way to online success with search engine optimization, you’ve come to the right place. We walk you through each of the many steps of SEO, and explain what we plan to do, why we’re doing it and show you the analytics behind our SEO strategy. The process starts with a free SEO analysis and if you hire us, continues with monthly reports.
As more and more small businesses launch websites to stay competitive, Maryland search engine optimization becomes a more and more competitive field. But not every firm advertising itself as an SEO company has the expertise and integrity you need. Our team does.
We realize you have a lot of SEO companies to choose from. Just like when you make any big purchase or big investment in your company, it pays to do your research, make a cost comparison, check reviews and interview several candidates.
We have some suggested questions to ask a prospective Maryland search engine optimization company:
Can you explain what you’re doing and how you’re doing it? What exactly will you do to improve my SEO? Each SEO company you interview should have clear, concise and understandable answers. If they dodge the question, it’s probably because they use black hat SEO techniques that will lead Google to penalize your site. If they guarantee you’ll be tops in the search engine results pages (SERPs) by next week, back away slowly. Search engine optimization is both an art and a science, and real results may not be evident for several months. Big gains take time. Beware also of any other promises that sound too good to be true.
Can you show me past results? A reputable SEO company that’s been doing this a while should have some case studies to show you. They should be able to offer tangible proof that their SEO strategies work. This should include:
- Increased organic search traffic – not traceable to PPC or Facebook ads
- Increased sales conversions based on key search phrases
- Information on how they achieved increased organic traffic and increased conversions
What makes for good SEO? While every SEO company knows Google takes more than 200 different factors into account when ranking a page from a website, those factors generally fall into three main categories.
- Technical This is some of the behind the scenes stuff, including whether your site is properly coded and optimized. Do you have good url page names, title tags, image alt tags, header tags, etc.?
- Content Does your site have quality, informative content that incorporates your key phrases? Do you have enough text, or just a paragraph or two? Does it contain the search phrases that someone was looking for? Too many websites are thin on content, or have duplicate content, or content riddled with errors. Google likes rich, informative content. It needs to be lengthy enough that it can hold a reader’s attention and be keyword-focused. Ask the SEO if they have a content writer on staff who can optimize your content. This is not a job for most company owners.
- Backlinks Backlinks are links from other websites back to a specific page on your website. At the very least, you should have backlinks from various online directories such as Yellow Pages and industry directories. If you are an authorized dealer or member of an industry group, you should have a backlink for each of them. Google treats sites with a lot of backlinks as relevant to a lot of people. That’s why they penalize your site if you use artificial means to get a lot of backlinks.
Industry experts say 80-90% of your SEO efforts should be focused on content and backlinks. The technical side is important, and you should get an SEO analysis done as part of this whole process. But ideally, each SEO company you interview will have an all of the above approach to your SEO strategy. That means not only will they fix or implement everything on the technical side, but they will focus a lot of effort on improving and optimizing your content and building your backlinks.
How long has your company been in business? Knowing how long the company has been doing SEO gives you a feel for if they really know what they’re doing. If it’s just a couple years, watch out. Ten years or more means they’ve been doing SEO long enough to have weathered some of the many changes from Google, and they know what works over time, and what techniques to stay away from. A longer time in the industry also means they’ll be able to handle problems that come up better, because they’ve probably come across the same issue in the past.
How do you price your SEO services? Make sure you know how they will charge for their services, so you don’t get a surprise invoice. SEO companies generally sue two different pricing models:
- Estimate Model With this model, you get a general estimate of how much you will pay. You may pay more if this is a pay-for-performance model, where the more organic traffic you get, the more you pay. This model can be risky, because if the SEO agency runs into problems that take more time, you get charged for it.
- Fixed Price Model With this model, you get a set price, and you’re told exactly what you’re getting. Generally, the set price comes from the SEO firm estimating how many hours it will take to do specific work, and then giving you a price based on the hours they put in and the profit they need to make. An SEO agency may have several fixed price packages, where they work a set number of hours on your SEO efforts each month.
How easy are you to reach / How responsive are you? This seems like a no brainer, but you have to ask. If you call and get a voicemail, how long will it take for them to call back? If you email, how long will it take them to email you back? Do you have a point of contact for all issues, or do you have to contact different people for different things? Bottom line, you want someone who is going to get back to you quickly if you have a concern or question.
Investing in search engine optimization is investing in the future of your company. By asking these questions of a prospective SEO company, you should be able to get an idea of who can do the best job for you and help you get a good return on your investment.
We hope you’ll consider working with Coastal Web Services. We offer a free SEO analysis, fixed pricing and a project manager who will be your point of contact. Call us today at 410-420-9390 or use our contact form to schedule a meeting. We look forward to meeting you!