Joel Gross

How to choose a Los Angeles SEO firm?

There are hundreds if not thousands of companies advertising in the LA region for search engine optimization. All of them make big claims, and bigger promises, but few truly understand the complexity of the major search engines and their algorithms. Even fewer are really worthy of your marketing investment.

Because we are one of the few good guys, we have a more difficult time selling our product then those who are risky and downright harmful to your products. SEO companies like ours, are called ‘white hat’ while SEO firms that practice deceitful tactics and dangerous strategies are called ‘black hat’.

Spy vs. Spy is a good image of the black vs. white idea.

Spy vs Spy is a MAD magazine comic.

Who are the black hat SEO companies? In a word cheap. When you’re on Craigslist or on the web and you see free services and free SEO, or very inexpensive SEO you must beware of what you are getting! Black hat SEO puts your company and your website square in the path of deindexing by Google and possibly at issue with some governmental organizations. How do black hat SEO companies work? Usually, they spamlinks to your site from irrelevant forums and domains, sometimes even ones you don’t want to be affiliated with. We’ve seen instances where jewelry stores are being advertised in pornography sites, and evening gowns being advertised in hacker’s sites. This might temporarily increase a ranking, but Google eventually finds out and your ranking, reputation, and traffic all go in the garbage as a result. Next, they frequently will guarantee number one rankings (which Google warns is a violation of their webmaster guidelines). How do they do it? By selecting low level, low reward competitive keyword terms. If you’re a dentist, they might get you number one for dental hygienists. That doesn’t get you new clients, but it gets the black hat SEO company paid.

Matt Cutts, Google's Spam Guru, on JC Penney SEO bust

If big multi-million dollar advertisers get hurt, how will you survive?

Thankfully, there are a few good guys, and we’re happy to be one of them. First off, we’ll start by letting you know that we are in complete and total compliance with Google’s Webmaster Guidelines. 100%. We’re also a certified paid advertising partner with Google. Since the Goog offers the strictest and most developed set of guidelines, we’re also standards compliant at Bing and Yahoo. And we guarantee that we will operate in your behalf, in our agreements with you, so you know we will stand by our word.

Secondly, we’re much more experienced and approach SEO as a dedicated skill set. Its logical to think and work this way- if Google spends millions of dollars making more complex and more specific algorithms, why would you think that $199 a month would manage to allow your site to easily climb to the top of them? The fact is, it wouldn’t. Real SEO requires ongoing, dedicated efforts of full time staff. We employ two full time SEO technicians for our clients. They do nothing but SEO, day in and day out, and as a result, we produce meaningful, long term results that help you reach millions of clients.

Thirdly, we are founded and headed by one of the brightest minds in SEO. Joel headed the SEO department for a major corporation, working with clients like Nike and Walmart to promote reputation and products to the top of the SERPs. Unlike all the other LA web designers out there, SEO isn’t something to be considered during the design and development phase. At Coalition, we believe that every site design has to have proper SEO architecture and conversion optimization techniques built in even before launch.

Lastly, know where your SEO provider is and who will be doing your work. We’re in Venice, CA and in the South Puget Sound in Washington state. Our staff is headquartered in LA. Unlike many other companies who employ contractors overseas (or are overseas themselves), you have an entity locally whom you know is governed by the same laws and licensing requirements of your businesses.

If you are interested in the highest quality search engine optimization skill and efforts, please contact us so that we can discover how to better assist you.

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