Deciding to hire an SEO firm is a big decision that can potentially improve your site and save time, but you should know what your needs are and what you’re looking for. Many SEO’s and other agencies and consultants provide useful services for website owners, including:

– Review of your site content or structure
– Content development
– Management of online business development campaigns
– Keyword research
– SEO training
– Expertise in specific markets or local internet marketing

Large companies as well as small or local companies can benefit from SEO, but they may not need as much as the larger firms, so it’s good to know what you need before you hire someone. It’s important to remember that search engine result pages include organic search results and often paid advertisement shown as “Sponsored Links”. Free resources such as Google Webmaster Tools, the official Google Webmaster Central blog, and the Google discussion forum can provide you with a great deal of information about how to optimize your site for organic searches. Many of these free sources, as well as information on paid searches, can be found on Google Webmaster Central. Before beginning your search for an SEO, it’s a great idea to become an educated consumer and get familiar with how search engines work. We recommend starting here: Google Webmaster Guidelines and Google 101: How Google crawls, indexes and serves the web.

If you’re thinking about hiring an SEO, the earlier the better. A great time to hire is when you’re considering a site redesign, or planning to launch a new site. That way, you and your SEO can ensure that your site is designed to be search engine-friendly from the bottom up.