The rulebook for search engine rankings is always changing–that’s partly why SEO is so hard. However, there are web marketing and design best practices that will always help you the right people find your content easily.

So, what should you look for when considering a search optimization service or program?

First, here’s what you don’t want:

  1. Something that’s too good to be true—chances are it probably is.
  2. A campaign that does not give attention to your site’s code and content.
  3. A campaign that ignores sites that don’t give search engine value (like social media).

Now, things to look for:

  1. Quality, not quantity! Strategies that encourage the right people to find your site. Sure you can be #1 on the results for “Hammy Travel Caboose”, but if you sell software, what value did you get?
  2. Focused. Multiple campaigns that are small and directed—they focus on developing strong content, distributing it to the right people in the right places and a limited number of key phrases in the campaign.
  3. Long-term. Strategies that can build and maintain good results over time.
  4. Encompassing. Good SEO comes from using a lot of tools, social media, pay-per-click, e-mail marketing, softwares and a lot more.

The bottom line: Start with a good website and good content. Make yourself findable where your potential clients are looking. Repeat. The rest will take care of itself.