As a small business owner, you want to let people know that your company exists and is ready to serve them. The quickest and easiest way to accomplish this is online. However, if your website has not been optimized for the search engines, getting the word out is an uphill battle.
Search engine optimization, or SEO, can allow your business website to reach the right audience. When people search online for a product or service you offer, they’ll be able to find your optimized website.
This makes SEO an integral part of any marketing strategy. While every business owner should know the basics of SEO, it also takes a lot of time to get it right. As a business owner, your time is best spent on running your business. Hiring an SEO expert only makes sense to handle your online campaigns.
The SEO experts at Digital Authority Partners have passed along a few tips for what to look for when hiring an SEO agency. It’s an investment you cannot overlook if you want your website to attract paying customers.
Look for a Technical SEO Agency With Proven Results
Anyone can call themselves an “SEO expert”, and many unqualified people lurking on the internet do. Before you spend any money, you need to know that the person or agency can be entrusted with the work.
Keep in mind, your goal is not to simply increase traffic to your website, it’s also to increase the quality of the traffic. You want a highly-targeted demographic who wants exactly what you have to offer to come to your site. You’ll need to look for an expert who can make that happen.
When you interview SEO experts, you need to look at their results, and that is not increased web traffic. You need to see that the businesses they’ve worked with increased their bottom lines. You’ll need to ask for references from their previous clients.
You’ll also need to work with someone who is familiar with your industry and has done similar SEO work. But, they should also have a diverse portfolio of work. You want to work with someone with a broad skill set, creativity, and strategic knowledge.
Use a Free Consultation to Your Advantage
A good tactical SEO agency will schedule a free consultation to understand your goals and your company. But, that can work both ways. It’s also your opportunity to get a feel for how they work and what they can do.
First of all, the call should not feel like a sales pitch. Second, they shouldn’t throw out a long list of SEO tactics they use. A good SEO expert will develop a unique strategy for each business they work with. Be wary of any SEO expert that guarantees you’ll rank at the top of the search engines. Not even the best SEO agency can guarantee that. A reputable agency will underpromise and overdeliver on results.
They’ll need to have a good grasp of how your business operates, as well as your marketing goals. An SEO consultant’s job is to find the best set of strategies and tactics for your company. While there are universal SEO tactics, creativity also needs to come into play. The ultimate goal of SEO is not to just increase traffic; it’s to grow a business’s public profile and income.
Make sure that the SEO expert you hire asks about your goals; that indicates that they want to know more about your business and the marketing strategies you’re currently using. Take the opportunity during your consultation call to learn more about the SEO agencies on your list. Take the time to find an agency that strives to understand and know your company.
Pay Attention to Your Budget
Ask each expert during your consultation call for their fees and payment terms; this could be hourly, by project, or on retainer. After your conference calls, now you’ll need to choose an expert that not only fits with your company, but also fits your budget. You need to be realistic about what an SEO expert can do within your budget. Choose an SEO expert who can work within your budget. Once you see positive results, you can then begin to increase your budget.
Put Your Expectations on Paper
Before you sign on with an SEO agency or an expert, make sure they’ll be working towards the goals you want. You need to have realistic expectations and a realistic timeline of when to see results.
Whoever you hire may need to spend a few weeks outlining an SEO plan tailored to your business. Any SEO plan needs to also integrate with other digital marketing methods, such as paid ads. The long-term strategy needs to be scalable and be sustainable.
Before you commit to an SEO consultant, be sure to ask them:
· How will they gauge the success of the SEO campaign?
· Will you receive weekly or monthly progress reports?
· Will you receive emails or phone calls?
Working Together to Improve Your Company’s Digital Success
As a business owner, you don’t need to be an SEO expert, but you do need to know how to find one. You also need to know enough about the basics to gauge an expert’s actual level of expertise. The goal is not more traffic, but more paying customers.
Investing in SEO is necessary for any business that wants to take advantage of what the internet has to offer. Hiring the best SEO expert for your company can ultimately save you time, money, and get positive results.
An experienced SEO expert won’t simply focus on keywords and rankings. They’ll also look at how their expertise can improve your general marketing efforts.
The main objective of SEO is putting your business website before an audience that wants what you have to offer. Secondary objectives include improving your company’s online image and utilizing other online marketing opportunities. Consider all of this when working with your SEO consultant to develop an overall SEO strategy. SEO is ultimately a collaboration to improve a company’s online marketing strategies and bottom line.