tips to shop & hire web designers & seos

shopping website design and seo services

find the right web development firm for your size & goals

Let's get right to the point: For every "yes" you check off below, deduct 9 to 20 positions from your desired search engine ranking position. Choosing an Seo company or service that isn't a good fit could result in your website never getting past #57. That's pretty serious. Hire accordingly. Be informed When pricing web services and shopping providers, please keep the following in mind: If you are not paying a professional fee for web development, you are unlikely to receive a professional website.


san diego SEO & PPC Pricing

Guarantees? Only Past Performance Can be Assured

1. Does prospective SEO make guarantees, as in ranking promises?

NO Seo can make any future ranking guarantees.

The only ranking guarantees an Seo can legitimately claim are of his or her PAST results. No Seo can predict the future nor tell a search engine to change its algorithm. Don't hire a Tarot Reader or a Gypsy. Hire an Seo who can admit that although it's a science and skill, much can change overnight.

hand coded with high quality detail

automated submissions?

2. Does the prospective SEO use automated submission tools?

Automated submission tools are likely to have your site penalized or banned altogether.

Very spammy and useless for seo value. Considered a nuisance by search engines and other repositories due to repetitive persist settings.

Free Lunch?

3. Does prospective seo offer "free" services such as hosting, domain names, and monthly maintenance services?

TANSTAAFL: Acronym for "there ain't no such thing as a free lunch". You're paying for it somehow, what's the problem? Why not be forthright?

Does the service not have enough value to stand on its own? if not, why? Gimmicks are a turn off, not to mention intellectually insulting.


4. Does the seo website offer "packages" and/or online payment and sign-up forms for "bundles" such as "silver", "gold", and "platinum" packages?

if so, Wow! They know nothing about you, your business, goals, or website ... but they will take your money now, and see if they can help you later? Maybe you have discovered a Super-Seo. Even if you just have a "coming soon" page with no content, that Platinum package will send it to the moon on Google, right?

Are you comfortable with someone commencing work on your website without asking pertinent questions, analyzing the project, learning your goals and history, assessing the scope of work necessary to meet your expectations (if possible), researching the competitive landscape, and providing an estimate tailored to you and your website's budget, timeline, and Keyword Effectiveness Index (KEI)? Yikes.


5. would you like to apply for a Walmart Visa card?..and save 10% off today's purchase?

5. Do all the "package" prices end in "99"? Such as "$599", "$899" "$1199"? Yes? And you can add-on a gallery for $99? And a logo for $59?

Yes? Okay. You've discovered Website-Walmart. And your designer might moonlight as the greeter (but only when it's slow). If you have Walmart level expectations, and you're aware of the compromise, then no "see the writing on the wall" warning. However, If you're expecting a website that can compete in a competitive keyword industry, it won't be yellow tagged.

One or two featured offers that are priced "$xxxx99" shouldn't throw up a red flag and ascertain that you're dealing with "Big Lots", but keep in mind the last item you bought at Kmart probably "CameApart", didn't it? Don't nickel and dime your website budget if you really want to show off your company ... if it's cheap and leaves too much to be desired, your sales staff will hate it and always present it with excuses and apologies. Not exactly a positive way to initiate or respond to a sales call.


6. Will you be dealing with a sales person or "project coordinator" who has no clout or decision making authority when it comes to details, requests, revisions, and issues that fall within a "gray" area of their "terms"?

If so, you may need a touch tone phone (a fully charged battery), a strong dose of extra patience to endure unnecessary gaps in communication, ideally several credit cards (with room for $$$), and accept being told "no ... that's against our policy", and "okay, I asked my boss and we can fulfill what it is I think you're asking, for another $599 ... $599.99 to be exact"... "would you like to pay with your Visa again, or did we tap it out with the last "add-on"? okay... let's hit your American Express again...that's okay, you don't need to give me the number...I still have it from the last charge. Is there anything else I can help you with? No? Is it okay if we send you a short survey regarding the customer service you've received today?....hello...sir?...sir?"

Unfortunately GoDaddy has quite a few "Website Tonight" affiliates. This checklist would be incomplete without at least a few cautionary words about your website project making its way to India, directly, or not quite so clearly...


7. Are you dealing with a company outside of the U.S.? Or is it possible you think they're in the U.S. cause they've got a North American address, but their website content is peppered with a peculiar misuse of plurals and pronouns ... replete with missing (disposable?) words? As if it was just too much trouble to get the damn thing to pass the spell-check AND a grammar-check?

Yes? You've found yourself one of the the WORLD-WIDE-WEB agencies. Look a little closer. Is there something a little odd about their presentation? We recommend you read through the site thoroughly. ESL (English as a Second Language) can't be to blame for everything, can it...?

You might be surprised to find out those "too good to be true" terms, are ... well, going to come true on some other day. "Tomorrow? No...tomorrow, no. It's a holiday. The next day? No, I am ill. The day after that? wife is ill. The next day is another, no...not the day after...that's a HOLY DAY!" " after that...Holy-holi-day (combined), after that is the weekend!"


8. Does the web agency's website require that you "choose" a style, color, and layout from the "selection" before proceeding further?

This is self explanatory (even to a Neanderthal)

If you're going to construct your own website from a template, what do you need them for? To charge you when you're done? You're on your own until you're satisfied with the outcome, at that point they'll let you pay for it (as they cautiously emerge from hiding...or, ahem...unavailable status).


9. Is the prospective web company absolutely stuck on ranking alone? To the point they will butcher up the aesthetics in an effort to force an increase in search position? Or stuff the site with keywords that read awkwardly to the site visitor?

If so, your site could become a "waste of space", a site that shows up in the SERPS (Search Engine Results Pages), but never sells or converts, therefore it's a dud.

I've actually had websites that were hard to find produce more sales than sites that ranked in the top 3 or 4 for their prime keyword phrases. Sometimes a low-profile site will rank on just enough long tail keyword phrases to position it perfectly in front of its ideal target market and triple the profits of the client's revenue prior to having the site...only to have another seo company take over and destroy the balance, look, feel, layout, and appeal. The site had more exposure, yet the client nearly went bankrupt. He had to part with an employee in order to afford my seo and web services fees on the rebound.

rates for hourly web services and web consulting


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10. Does the company directly stress quantity over quality?

Whoa. I'm sometimes pressed to find 200 qualified backlinks over the course of several years.'s common knowledge that adding a plethora of links waves a red flag to Google.

Not only the red alert, but if the seo company ever possibly lived up to the 20,000 link claim, it would result in your site something altogether new: a different domain and identity. Junk links are just that. Junk. And they're a nuisance, regarded accordingly.

google's guidelines for hiring seo services

As stated in the opening paragraph of "shopping and hiring web designers and seo's, each yes answer to the checklist questions above significantly adds to the precariousness of working with a provider engaged in the practices described. The listed items above represent only a mere fraction of the characteristics that cumulatively comprise a favorable or non-favorable hiring decision.

For comprehensive information straight from the source of search, please see Google's suggestions and guidelines regarding working with SEO providers.

recognizing quality and value


value to client:

Don't give in to gimmicks. Although the best things in life may be free, the best things in business are NOT

success measures:

How does your prospective search engine optimization company approach your website's performance? Are they interested in just ranking, or in conversion of site visitors to sales, as well? Ranking in and of itself means nothing but wasted space if your site does not compel a call to action!

respectable fees:

Does your prospective seo charge a professional fee? If your provider isn't charging you a respectable fee for their services, it's likely they're going to produce less than a professional outcome

strategic planning:

Does your prospective web designer include indepth keyword research and application as a phase in your web development or optimization campaign

site factory or studio?

Is your prospective web designer or SEO a small firm? Or are they a large firm that churns out generic websites and mediocre, ineffective marketing campaigns? Smaller web services companies often provide better attention to detail and quality

designer direct?

Are you buying seo or web design services from the actual designer or SEO? Or dealing with a company's salesperson? Buying from salespeople, or middlemen who don't actually DO the work is asking for problems and unfulfilled promises...speak directly to the professional who will personally deliver


Will the prospective web design company or seo provide content for your website, articles, press releases, and blogging? Or will you be required to supply the content and the web services company will simply optimize it or distribute the content?

thorougness & detail:

Is the prospective SEO approaching your optimization by deconstructing and re-engineering every facet of your onpage and offpage seo factors, when applicable? Be sure the search engine optimization company isn't selling you a cookie cutter or obsolete seo program.

bottom line on who you hire

The bottom line is, as with other professional services such as attorneys, doctors, and accountants, you will get what you pay for. Beware of paying too little. Persons and organizations that pay too little tend to get ripped off.

There are only ten organic positions on the first page of Google query results, and guess what? Everybody wants them! Companies that are willing to invest in their web services will almost always be featured more prominently.

San Diego Web Studio Design, SEO and Search Engine Marketing (SEM) services approach your website project holistically, starting with competitive analysis & indepth keyword research combined with your target market end user selling points. We don't just increase your exposure, we work diligently increase your conversion and return on investment.