SEO stands for “search engine optimization” and choosing your SEO company wisely can help boost your business.
SEO is not a simple, one size fits all process and can mean different things to different businesses and website owners. While each situation is unique, knowing a little more about SEO basics can help you become a better informed consumer and purchaser of services.
Asking the right questions can help you distinguish between the good company that will boost your business or the poor company that could at best do nothing or at worst use discredited methods that get your website penalised by Google.
Here is Google’s own definition of SEO:
Search engine optimization is often about making small modifications to parts of your website. When viewed individually, these changes might seem like incremental improvements, but when combined with other optimizations, they could have a noticeable impact on your site’s user experience and performance in organic search results. You’re likely already familiar with many of the topics in this guide, because they’re essential ingredients for any webpage, but you may not be making the most out of them.
They go on to say that while SEO is a process that is usually done by paid consultants, your optimization decisions should be based what’s best for the visitors of your site. They’re the main consumers of your content and are using search engines to find you. Your SEO company will know this and work with you to develop an effective plan for boosting your website. There are potentially 100s of main ranking factors that need to be optimized and improved as part of the SEO process. That means that good planning and a systematic approach is the only way of succeeding in SEO.
Really good SEO is a process and it requires a detailed and a well thought out plan. You cannot expect to execute quality SEO without listing out what you’re going to do, documenting yourself along the way, and executing step by step.
Key areas your SEO company should include in the SEO plan
Here are some important of the most important areas your SEO company should include as part of your SEO plan.
- Setting realistic objectives and Key Performance Indicators – if a company guarantees a specific ranking position, no 1 on Google, run for the hills. Google themselves state that “No one can guarantee a #1 ranking on Google. “ The only way to submit a site to Google directly is through their Add URL page or by submitting a Sitemap and you can do this yourself at no cost whatsoever.
- Research your market, keywords and competitors.
- Split SEO into on-site and off-site – while SEO is a bespoke process, some principles are generic such as website speed, technical page structure (on-site), quality backlinks (off-site), social media (off-site)
- Consider other promotional methods such as PPC advertising, PR campaigns, email marketing etc.
- Review (KPIs) and adjust your plans as appropriate.
Tips for hiring your SEO company
When you come to hire your SEO company or consultant you will base it on a mixture of good working relationships, their SEO knowledge and understanding of your business.
Here are some tips for reviewing and hiring your SEO company:
- Make sure any SEO consultant you hire has years of real-world SEO experience.
- Make sure their own website easily shows up in search.
- Ask for examples of their work.
- Ask lots of questions.
- Know what they are going to do and don’t accept non-answers on their direction.
- Expect to pay the market rates for a high-quality consultant.
Choosing your SEO company is no different from any positive business relationship. Aside from ensuring the company has the right skills and knowledge, you should have good communication and regular feedback on progress. Educating yourself about some of the basics of SEO will help you find the right company and help them deliver the best results for your business.