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They are cropping up everywhere. Who? Companies, and individuals, that offer search engine optimization. Why? SEO is big business. Search, or more specifically – getting found in a search, is becoming increasingly important to a businesses’ bottom line.

Ponder this: Web searchers are actively looking for your products and/or services. And… if your company is not found by these potential customers  – guaranteed that your competition will be. How many opportunities can you afford to miss out on – especially during the current economic downturn?

Enter – Search Engine Optimizers (also commonly known as SEOs). Their job is to improve search engine rankings for their clients. Done correctly, a business can profit greatly. Done incorrectly, a business can risk damage to their website as well as their brand.

Caution IconIf you are looking for solid long-term results, practicing safe (or ethical) SEO is a must.

So what should you look for?

1. A search engine optimization agency rather than an industry-related business offering SEO services. Specialization is essential to understanding the complexities of the search industry. It is also important as SEO providers must invest considerable time to keep on top of ongoing changes. Using outdated approaches will leave you behind in the rankings.

2. An ethical SEO firm vs. a Black Hat company. Unless you have a throw away domain and don’t care about your online reputation, use a company that adheres to search engine guidelines. Black hatters (and unethical SEO companies) use techniques designed to trick the search engines. These unsafe strategies can result in getting penalized or even worse – getting banned (yes, this can and does happen). This will NO doubt result in zero visibility in search for your company.

Avoid common SEO mistakes for your website and putting your company at risk with the search engines. Take the high road – and play it safe.