Unfortunately, there are SEO companies out there that are tricking their clients, and new customers alike. Because search engine optimisation(SEO) is such a technical and complex process, certain SEO companies are cashing in on this, sometimes being very deliberate about it, and sometimes just simply because they are lazy, or dont actually understand they should be doing more. The trick - they tell you that your website will rank number 1 for a given keyword that has a huge amount of traffic in Google and other major search engines. Of course it’s fair and understandable that the prospective client gets excited at this point, as they think wow…my site at number one for a keyword with 100’s of 1000’s of monthly searches. What’s worse, is that you sign with them and become number 1 for that keyword, BUT…you dont see any increase in traffic. Why? BEcause that keyword has little or zero relevance to your actual business. The ranking on it’s own, in isolation is an achievement, however it needs to be considered in the right context. Does the rank on it’s own make the SEO provider an expert? Hardly. They haven’t yet bothered to understand your business, and what keywords count. When talking with prospective SEO companies, or an SEO expert then make sure they show you meaningful examples of their work, this will include not just ranking results, but statistics on what these ranks did for their clients, such as traffic increases, sales leads, and sales generated by the new rankings. Be sure to get a couple of examples, otherwise you will more than likely be getting one example, that is probably from the SEO persons friend. Can you get a case study, or two or three? Have they been published in industry magazines, Blogs, or white papers? Are they willing to allow you to speak with a few of their clients? In different industries? When speaking with a prospective SEO company about selling you SEO services, PPC, or any type of Internet marketing, get a good feel for their process. Do they engage you at a business level, do their processes support what they are saying? Do they work with you and explain what keywords are relevant to your business and why, and what ones wont be, and why that is so? Don’t be afraid to scrutinise their credentials. It’s an important decision, and if you select the right SEO provider it will be a significant boost to your sales, and in a similar fashion should you select the wrong one then it will be a disaster, and total waste of money. Here are some points to review when considering approving an SEO company to work on your website: 1- The number of results doesn’t always tell you how comparatively difficult the keyword is to rank for. There are tools out there to help you figure this out. 2- If the keyword phrase is 4 or more words long, it’s reasonable to assume it wont be too hard to rank well for. 3- If just one keyword ranking is their claim to fame, they aren’t an expert if they’re saying they are, or that their tool is worth paying for, based on this, be wary. Without years of experience, and many many clients - in the hundreds, an SEO expert cant really call themselves an SEO expert. Good results can be earned in the short term through dodgy practices, however these will be caught by the search engines, and your website banished into a black hole. Dont risk this. Good SEO results take time, be patient and press for reports that are meaningful. The real trick is getting a search engine ranking to turn into money for you. That ranking doesn’t automatically mean a new client will click the link to visit your site. this is where a proper SEO expert comes into play, and will work through this process with you in detail.