Received a call yesterday from a business who had been investing in SEO and seeing limited results. After looking over the site and off site SEO it was very clear their current SEO had done no on site work. The days of adding a few links to a poorly thought out (from the SEO prospective) site and seeing rankings, are long gone, yet many Search engine optimization firms continue to ignore this.
Although generally speaking, the most respected SEO firm’s in the country (SEOmoz, SEObook, Majestic SEO) will publish research that about 25% of your rankings come from on site, and the rest of rankings happen through off site, social, and citations and such, the 25% that is your web site structure is the foundation.
We work with several highly competent web design firms accross the country, most of which provide SEO to their local clients and are very good at it. One is being featured in the USA today evry 6 weeks. We also will work directly with our client’s web design firm if needed. We don’t do web design on any large level, but we understand the principles of good web design from both the marketing, and SEO stand point and can direct the web design firm in these matters.
We also do SEO for several Web design firms nationally. When their clients ask for SEO, its our services they receive under their company name.
I would recommend you do not work with an SEO who doesn’t offer web design, or work directly with a web design firm (including yours). These two elements are both essential in rankings success.
There also is an advantage to working with a SEO that also provides your web design. One point of contact, and more efficient communication. If they are good at both, its a win win. Is there a down side? Depends on the firm. All your eggs in one basket isn’t a bad thing if the basket is great.
It’s the same principle as buying any other service. Get references for both the web design and SEO.