SEO, which stands for search engine optimization, is an important, and increasingly tricky, part of web design and marketing in today’s online business world. A business almost can’t exist in today’s market without some sort of presence on the web. If clients and customers don’t see, or can’t find, a company’s web site, that’s just as bad as not having a web site at all. This is where SEO comes into play. Search engine optimization techniques are designed to give a web site maximum visibility in search engines when a potential customer searches for relevant terms. The difference between good and bad SEO can make or break a company. Good SEO can bring in new clients and customers by the thousands. Bad SEO, at best, will bring very few new clients, and at worst, can get a company’s web site dropped completely from search results.

When searching for help with the optimization of your company’s site, it’s very important to research potential candidates carefully and check on their results with previous clients to avoid future problems. Making a wrong decision will not just lead to wasted money and time, it might actually cause damage to your company’s reputation and ability to advertise on the Internet. It’s important to verify what you are being told by SEO professionals or firms. It will only take you a few minutes to conduct some searches on sites like Google or Yahoo to check their claims. Ask them who they’ve worked with and then try searching for terms or products that you think are important and relevant. If you don’t see those past clients in the first page or two of results, chances are that this SEO “expert” is not able to achieve the results they claim. Of course, if possible, you should also try to verify that this person actually did the work they are claiming in the case of good results. References are important.

Remember, your business and your Internet presence is your responsibility. Don’t risk it all by taking someone else’s word for it when it comes to SEO. A wrong decision here can do incredible harm to your business, incredibly fast.