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Evaluation Criteria

Evaluation Criteria for Search Engine Optimization

The independent authority on search vendors, topseos.com, evaluates and ranks the best in the internet marketing industry. Through in-depth vendor analysis, review of work completed, and client evaluation, we put together a list of the top search engine optimization companies in the industry. Our in-depth analysis delves into a vendor’s business practices and compares them against industry standards to ensure that the work is quality. Often times we connect directly to the clients of a vendor and ask about their overall experience as well as details about the processes, reporting, and success of the campaign.

There are five key areas identified by topseos as significant for a successful SEO campaign:

The first is needs analysis. At topseos, we evaluate the ability of a vendor to identify the unique needs of their clients. What processes are in place to gain an understanding of the client's business? How is that information used to identify the SEO needs of the client?

The second aspect evaluated by topseos is keyword analysis. What methods were used to create an effective keyword list and how were the keywords chosen? Does the company target competitive keywords, or just simply find keywords that the client will rank easily for?

Next we evaluate the on-page optimization work that is completed by the vendor. Does the vendor have a clear understanding of how search engines rank sites and assess a vendor's understanding of how search engines rank sites. How do they determine title tags and meta tags and what role does keyword density play in their optimization strategy?

The vendor's knowledge of off-page optimization is another important factor in our evaluation process. We review the vendor's off-site work to rank the page higher in results through things such as link building, advertising campaigns, and online press release distribution.

Last, a highly important part of the relationship between an SEO firm and their clients are the reporting methods. Do the reports provide clear and concise content that is valuable to the reader? Does the firm offer suggestions on where to go next?

A few questions that we may ask clients of an organic optimization firm to gauge their level of expertise are:

General Queries:

  • What type of needs analysis was conducted before work initiated?
  • What type of a ROI were you anticipating, what was achieved and in what time frame?
  • What would be 3 things you would change about your experience?
  • What was your total investment?
  • Rate your overall experience (1-10; 10 being the highest).

Project Specific Queries :

  • What are the most competitive keywords you have been able to rank on the major search engines and how long did it take you to achieve those rankings?
  • Did the agency modify the way they achieved higher rankings for you based on the Universal Search model introduced by Google? How?
  • How comprehensive, specific, and useful are the reports that are offered to the client? What metrics do they cover?
  • Do the reports inform you what the next set of steps ought to be to achieve higher rankings and when you can expect to achieve the next set of goals by?
  • How many of your top industry keywords rank in the top 10? Which ones?

Rankings

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