SEO is considered the most important aspect of getting a higher page rank even today after Google’s page rank upgrade has been introduced. Most web site owners/administrators either hire SEO experts or do it themselves. SEO has become so common that it seems that everyone from a content writer to a graphic designer knows how to work on SEO and how it can affect the overall ranking of your web site on Google or secondary search engines. The first and foremost thing that you should look at while hiring an SEO expert is how well they have ranked their own website. There are many web site owners out there who would agree that they have fallen into the trap of big SEO promises at least once. Every SEO firm promises your website a good ranking on Google but how many of them can truly keep the promise is a different story. There are many websites whose targeted phrases are not even ranked forget about the ranking of the entire website or a web page. So the thumb rule is check their website ranking before you choose to fall for their promise of SEO. There are some SEO firms who are new or don’t have their website yet. For such firms, you can always check their past records and if you get any good references from other website owners/their previous clients then that will hold its weight. One of the other things you need to do especially in the light of the matter that SEO firms seems to be coming up everywhere is research. Do background research of the individual, the firm and their previous clients and SEO deliveries. The Promise If your web site is new, is in a high competition market or industry and if the SEO firm tells you that they can get your website top Google rankings within 60 days, then you should not sign up with the firm. This is simply because either they have no idea whatsoever of SEO or they are saying it to lure you. To avoid wastage of money and time and to avoid the frustration later on, you should avoid such a firm completely. A straight-forward or top of the line SEO firm will always provide you with realistic expectations that can span over many months and even years depending on your market, the competition and scope. If you have a new web site that is competing in a market with moderate competition then a good ranking in 6 months is sound promise but the same time frame will not be possible in a high competition market. SEO services It is necessary that you ask your SEO firm what all will be included in the SEO package before you sign the deal. It is not necessary for you to receive a complete breakdown of each SEO activity but a broad understanding is essential. A SEO firm should ideally inform you about the areas of your website that will be changed to enable SEO and how they will carry on with the process of link building. Most of the top level or good SEO firms will live their promises and provide ample proof of what they are saying and what they are planning to do. Some of the top level SEO firms even provide a guarantee although not all of them do it. Not providing a written guarantee doesn’t mean that a particular SEO firm is not good. The reputation of a SEO firm in the market is in itself a huge guarantee. So if you are signing up with a top level firm with a reputation to back it then you can be rest assured that they will back up what ever they promise to deliver in the SEO package and within the mentioned time frame. There are time when you might end up being on the wrong track since it is not always easy to determine if your SEO company is as good as it claims to be. There are some SEO firms who have had a great record but off late their performances have gone down. So if you are not aware of their recent client feedbacks and if you go by their past client feedbacks then you might end up being on the losing side of the deal. SEO is an important aspect but to deal with it better, you need to first get an understanding of what it really is and how it can actually help your web site. When you are informed enough, you will be able to take the right decision.