Apr 2011

Rachit Dayal is our Principal Consultant who has been working on SEO projects since 2004 and is one of Singapore’s leading voices for Enterprise SEO, including having constant search engine optimization as part of the marketing mix for large projects like corporate sites, directories, portals etc. This article is part of his SEO in 2011 series.


Why is it important to work with a knowledgeable SEO consultant?

SEO can be quite straightforward yet quite tricky at the same time. The difference between a highly ranked page that draws tones of traffic and a page that no one knows exists is the quality of SEO work put on that particular page.

For your sites to get high rankings consistently, you will need to enlist the services of a knowledgeable SEO consultant who knows all the tricks of the trade and how to effectively apply them to produce great results. In today’s competitive online business world, a top page ranking won’t necessarily be a top page ranking tomorrow. This is because everyday technologies are being discovered and others being revolutionized, making techniques of yesterday inefficient and obsolete.

SEO is no exception. How SEO is done today is quite different from how it was done at the inception of the internet and it will definitely be done differently in the future. To always have a competitive edge in the online business world, you will need to have by your side a knowledgeable SEO consultant who not only knows the tricks of yesterday but is keen on keeping a vast directory with new trends that could be more effective today.

Knowledgeable SEO consultants will merge old and new SEO techniques to produce an enriched SEO effect that will see your page rankings stay at the top. They use these tricks efficiently to ensure they don’t diminish your website’s appearance but rather give your clients a more fulfilling experience on your site. So pick out a reputable SEO Singapore consulting firm to handle your SEO needs and ensure consistent results on your sites.

Bad SEO vendors use unethical, black hat strategies

SEO strategies come in various forms and use different techniques to achieve the same goal which is increasing flow of traffic to a client’s site. However, not all SEO vendors use ethical means to achieve this and instead use what are referred to as black hat strategies which are unethical and could lead to your site being banned by search engines.

Black hat strategies involve any techniques that may be used to trick the search engine crawlers into ranking a page higher than it actually deserves to be. These strategies can take one of the following forms;

Keyword Stuffing – this is where a site is overly populated with keywords not only in the visible text but also in code tags such as Meta tags and alt tags. This results in a page with high keyword density but with little value to the site visitor in terms of information quality.

Hidden text – this is where a page is populated with keywords written in colors to match the background of the site along the borders and edges to influence search engines.

Doorway pages – these are pages that lead site visitors to sites other than those they expected to land at when they clicked the link.

Irrelevant links – since links are used to give a PageRank to a particular site, bad vendors could populate your site with a large number of irrelevant links that lead to sites with no relation to the subject matter of your site.

Black hat strategies are dangerous and their use could lead to banning of your site from search engine directories which could consequently mean losses for your online business. You should therefore always work with your vendor and find out what strategies they employ to optimize your site.

Good SEO consultants create a richer experience for your website visitors

In contrast to bad SEO vendors who use black hat strategies to optimize your page, good SEO consultants use only ethical means to ensure the optimization of your site. Good consultants are usually knowledgeable and have taken time to study search engines to come up with techniques that are ethical and acceptable by the search engines for SEO use.

Good SEO consultants aim at producing tailor made solutions for each client’s needs unlike unethical vendors who have template solutions for every SEO need. They conduct in-depth research into a site, keywords and market to ensure that the SEO techniques they apply are effective for that particular business. In addition, these consultants take time to find out a client’s goals for their business and website. Their approach is that of a partnership with the client and they are flexible in their workings both behind the scenes and in open partnership.

Good SEO consultants are invested in the success of their client’s company and value communication and education as they carry out their duties. They always ensure that professionalism and ethics prevail and they uphold good business sense and marketing principles at all times. The end result is a site that is not only optimized for the search engines but also highly optimized to fulfill the needs of the client’s site visitors. Sites optimized by professional SEO consultants offer quality to visitors and make their experience on a site unforgettable. This leads to repeat visits and recommendations to a site which consequently improves its PageRank.

How to ask for past experience and case studies from potential vendors

Asking for past experience from a potential SEO vendor is important since it will act as evidence on the quality of the SEO work done by the SEO consulting company. This will reduce the chances of one falling prey to bad vendors using black hat SEO strategies which could lead to a site being banned.

Before enlisting the services of an SEO vendor, you should carry out some sort of due diligence by requesting for a “Declaration of Skills and Services”. This will allow one to have an idea of what they should expect from the vendor. In addition, one can use this declaration as a benchmark to see whether the vendor is capable of offering a particular service as per their skill set.

Most vendors offer this declaration together with case studies of works they have previously undertaken. The vendor would therefore provide you with links to sites they have optimized or give you details of previous satisfied client’s so that you can confirm the level of their service. In addition, you could check their sites for reviews from previous satisfied clients.

If you are convinced that the vendor will offer quality service, you can enter into contract with them for their SEO services.

Rachit Dayal

Is the Managing Partner at Happy Marketer, and handles clients with needs in Web Analytics, Search Engine Optimization, Google AdWords, Website Design and Conversion Consulting.

As Singapore’s first Qualified AdWords Professional and one of the first Analytics Qualified Professionals in the region, Rachit has been on the forefront of search marketing in Singapore since 2004.

But as this industry comes into maturity, he believes now is when the fun is starting – when clients dare to dream of exciting campaigns, and we can finally show tangible positive ROI from all marketing campaigns.