The Internet is a huge place and the opportunities for generating traffic and revenue to your business are equally as large. Still, before you can sell services or goods, you have to get people to visit your website. The primary way to attract new customers is through search engine results from Google, Bing, and others. So how do you make sure that your business is one of the top results when a potential customer is searching for you? The answer lies in effective management of SEO, or Search Engine Optimization.
It does you absolutely no good to invest in a website if you don’t get any visitors or if no one can find you. Mastering SEO can be time-consuming, especially if you’re just getting started. In many cases, you may find it a more effective use of your time to hire a company to manage your SEO strategies. Hiring an SEO consultant can be a tricky thing. So how do you ensure that you’re not just going to waste your money?
Start with these three questions
What is your plan for improving my search engine rankings?
When it comes to SEO, you want someone who is willing to share with you their plans for making your business rank higher in search engines. A good plan doesn’t just include a strategy either; it also includes a timeline for an initial assessment as well as review. The plan should always include your new consultant going over your website with a technical eye to find things that could be hurting your ranking without you even knowing it.
Look for a consultant that will also discuss both on-page and off-page strategies. On-page optimization involves tinkering with your website to make the URL and linking structure search friendly. There will also be a review and improvement of your websites code, optimizing the headings, tags, and titles. Off-page strategies are how an SEO consultant will create awareness of your company elsewhere. This uses social networking as well as creating quality backlinks from reputable sites.
Above all, if any SEO consultant tries to tell you that they can guarantee a number-one ranking on any search engine, that should raise a major red flag. There is no way to guarantee such a thing on Bing or Google.
How will I know how successful your efforts are?
There are several tools that SEO experts have at their fingertips to show how successful their efforts at increasing your page traffic are. Things you’re looking for are Google Analytics for basic metrics of how much traffic your site is getting and where. Other tools that SEO analysts use include Ahrefs, Majestic, and Advanced Web Ranking (AWR).
You also want to be sure that your prospective SEO consultant is going to communicate your rankings to you on a schedule that you prefer. Also, consider how you like to communicate. Do you prefer Skype, or texts, or in depth emails? What about wanting someone who will talk to you in person or over the phone? Finding a company who is willing to work with you on this is important for your comfort level.
What fees do you charge and how are they structured?
It’s your money that’s flowing out the door. You need to be aware of what you’re getting for what you’re paying. Will you be billed on a per-project basis, hourly, or as a retainer-based fee? While a project based system may seem attractive, make sure you know how much your company will be working on your SEO project. For smaller businesses whose SEO strategy might not be that taxing, an hourly rate may be the best way to go.
Your SEO needs are going to be different from anyone else’s, including a competitor in the same business. Make sure you talk to an SEO consultant who understands that and is willing to treat you and your business like that. While these are by no means all the questions you should be asking, they will help you get a start in finding the best SEO manager for your needs.
Remember, we at Darxe are always available to answer any questions you may have about SEO and your business. We’d love to sit down and talk with you about how we can help your great business become even better.