Trying to find an SEO company can be daunting but before we dive into what to look for firstly what is Search Engine Optimisation? A simplified definition is a method of giving a search engine information so it can understand Who your customer is?
Where your customer could be? What message you are wanting the search engine to display to a customer when they find you on the Internet.
The main process to achieve SEO is adding keywords that are applicable to your target market in your websites text (See our SEO checklist). An example could be a person trying to find his local website designer.
The designer would produce content that could have the phrases like “local web designer builds custom business websites” and add it to his content. When a search engine filters the text in the designers website it will use that information when other people type those terms in the search engines user interface.
However as the years have gone on search engines have become much more sophisticated they now use images, video (Youtube, Vimeo are good examples of how video is used in search.) , and social media (like Twitter or Linkedin) to assist them in displaying their results.
This has meant that SEO has to ensure that they encourage website owners to display the messages to potential customers in a cohesive informational way across all these platforms giving the search engines a holistic view of what you want them to see.
Giving the search engines the content or the message you promote will get you free marketing and more leads. But how you may ask? This is completed in a way called natural or organic searches. When a customer looks for keywords via the search engine that defined in your content eg "Local web design" the search engines will display your information so the user can access your website at no cost to you.
This is a simplified version of what happens behind the scenes, search engines process millions of other business websites all trying to access their target market at the same time. Search engines rank and disseminate what order each website should be placed. To get this relevance the information or content that is on your website and how others view its authority will get a higher ranking. SeeWikipedia SEO article and Dictionary Reference Com for a deeper insight.
This a high-level perspective of SEO to budding web designer or web site owner, wanting to understand SEO and how it affects your decisions when creating or writing for a website. I hope this helps!