First and foremost, I write this article with a very biased opinion. Coalition Technologies is not a cheap web design firm, and is not a cheap SEO company. With good reason. While we provide high quality web design and affordable SEO services, they are never the cheapest, because we actually know what we’re doing.
Lately, there has been a crusade against SEO (search engine optimization) in the media with articles accusing its practitioners of being borderline criminals or outright cheats. But lets set the record straight. The SEO companies that they are talking about, are the ones advertising free consulting work or $199 a month services on Craigslist. They are sketchy individuals/companies most of the time (some of them overseas and outside of US jurisdiction) who have a very limited knowledge of what search marketing really means, and how to do it without damaging their client’s business.
A few good rules to start with for SEO and low cost website design firms- ALWAYS REMEMBER that you are responsible for what they do for your website. IF they use bad, ‘black hat’ SEO or beginner SEO, your company website is what will be punished by Google and Bing. This can mean loss of ranking (JC Penney recently lost an average ranking of 3 for its products and fell all the way to the 8th page of Google, because of cheap SEO work), or it can mean deindexing. Which is like Google wiping your business off the map of the internet. The SEO gets to walk away with your cash in hand, or they may require that you continue to pay them under a contract that was activated once they spammed you to a number one ranking. Of course, there was no clause in there for what happens if they got you into trouble.
And on your website, cheap design can be an even bigger liability. How much bigger? FCC and US government bigger. Since the internet is considered a public communication method, you as a website and domain owner are responsible for the content and security of your website. Hire that cheap website designer who uses templates that they bought in bulk from India, and you could be one of many business owners paying thousands of dollars in fines because they failed to protect their customer information. Getting your own information hacked off of your website would be the least of your worries. We’ve seen news stories of business owners who had to come up with $25,000 to pay the fines, and then lost their ability to bill clients through all of the major credit card companies because of those bad website designs.
So what is it that you should look for in your Los Angeles website design partner or your LA SEO?
- Custom website design work- from an experienced firm like ours, this means better technology and more security for your business.
- Regular reporting and consulting- A good web design firm knows how to build websites that are found in search results and helps you build your online reputation.
- Legal search engine optimization and marketing- At all times, the company should be guaranteeing that its work falls within Google’s Webmaster Guidelines for best practices. If its not in your contract, watch out!
- Transparency in SEO efforts- At the drop of a hat, your SEO should be able to tell you how it is improving your ranking, and document those efforts. If they say link building to your site, ask for URLs or website addresses to see those links. If they aren’t relevant to your business, you’re in trouble.
- Standards compliant web design- W3C sets out the guidelines for code and programming for websites. A validator should show that your site is error free.
If you want these things and more, contact us at Coalition Technologies. We’re a Venice, California based firm that is thorough, experienced, and completely above all standards, laws, and guidelines.