This is a topic I feel strongly about and is indeed a service differentiator for my Kansas City SEO firm. Website Design and Development represents an infinite market. The Internet can contain an unlimited number of websites. So if your firm wants to hire a Kansas City web design firm, and you do not care if or where your website ranks on the search engines, you should select a web development company based on the subjective design capabilities of their designers. In fact, in this case, hiring a firm with industry experience may actually help you get you a new, cutting edge design. For many types of professional services, industry specific experience with an industry specific portfolio is a big advantage. For example if you are looking for Kansas City personal injury lawyers or accounting firms, you want professionals with experience specific to your business. This is NOT so with SEO, in fact it’s a big red flag.

Search Engine Optimization, on the other hand, is a Zero Sum Game. For most businesses, there is a core group of keyword search terms that are high volume with high conversion potential. While there can be an infinite number of websites for your market, there is only one “number one” rank for each of these terms. Your SEO and your web savvy competitors know that the top spots are valuable, and most compete every day to maintain or achieve the top rankings. For example, if you are a new home builder in Kansas City, it’s clear that search engine optimization is critical to your business. The National Association of Realtors recently reported that nearly 89% of home buyers use the Internet as an information source in the home buying process. In Kansas City, however, there are several specialized web development and Internet marketing firms that sell these marketing services to the Kansas City home building and new construction market. If you are a home builder in Kansas City, and you are paying from search engine optimization services by a consulting firm that is selling to same services to your competitors, how do you reconcile your search engine ranking positions versus their other clients? Do the clients that pay more, rank higher get more service, therefore rank higher?

This is not to single out the Kansas City home building industry. The same thing happens in Kansas City real estate and many other trade specific groups throughout the metro area and throughout the country. As a consumer of Kansas City SEO consulting services, you need to do your due diligence before hiring an SEO. Check their own rankings. Ask for a list of references and make the calls. Make sure they are open to providing some type of limited exclusivity . Unethical firms may actually leverage your online success to get a bigger pay check from a competing firm. After we achieve top rankings for our clients, more often than not, we get calls from competitors asking if we can provide SEO services for them. Several times we’ve had employees of client firms that witness the revenue generating impact of top SE rankings, then call us to help them launch a competing business. Ethical SEO’s in Kansas City will not do this, and they should give you some form of assurance via a limited exclusivity agreement.