Will the SEO service provider share its optimization techniques with you? Ask them for an overview of how they achieve results. If the firm won't give you an explanation, chances are the company is trying to hide unethical techniques.
Is Pay-Per-Click (PPC) part of the SEO firm's strategy? Optimization results should not rely on PPC. Performance results for organic optimization and PPC should be evaluated separately.
Can the SEO firm guarantee your site will not be penalized and/or removed from the search engines and directory indexes? By using unethical techniques, many SEO firms may produce short term results, but in the long run will end up getting a client's website penalized or even banned from being indexed by the major search engines.
Does the SEO firm optimize more than your homepage - if so, how many pages? A good SEO firm will maximize the number of active pages on your website. It's more work for the SEO firm, but it will produce the greatest results for YOU.
Does the SEO firm provide an unrealistic guarantee? Any SEO company that guarantees a specific position (like number one or two) on Google or Yahoo are being dishonest. It is impossible to guarantee specific positions on search engines.
Are automated submission tools used or are all submissions processed manually? Automated tools can often lead to penalization and result in your site being excluded from the search engines.
If the plan includes link building, is the firm using a link farm? Or is it contracting sites individually and concentrating on link reputation more than link popularity? Soon websites linked to and from link farms will be penalized and banned from the major search engines.
Does the firm's technique involve showing one page to the visitor and a different page to the search engines? If the answer is yes, then you are probably dealing with a search engine optimization provider that uses "cloaking" techniques. Many search engines specifically warn against this practice in the organizations' terms of service. Google is particularly harsh on sites that use cloaking, and is known to remove them entirely when it finds them. This falls under "Black Hat SEO Practices"
Nancy Golliday | Custom Point2 Agent Websites | WordPress Websites / Blogs | Social Media Branding | SEO