Search engine optimization or SEO is a digital marketing tool that is crucial for the growth of your enterprise. It does this by boosting traffic to your website through organic or unpaid search results. While large corporations can set aside a substantial amount for bringing a dedicated marketing team in-house, not all businesses can afford to allocate a huge chunk of their financial resources to recruiting and hiring experts in this field. Fortunately, some agencies provide high-quality SEO services at an affordable price.
To find the right company for your needs, here are some things you should consider:
1. Determine Your SEO Goals
Before you jump right in and search for an SEO agency to work with, you must first identify the goals that you want to achieve through this digital marketing process. Of course, it’s evident that you want to make more sales, but being specific about your reasons for focusing on online advertising can help you filter through the firms according to your needs.
Examples of concrete, actionable SEO goals include:
Getting traffic from specific groups who are interested in products or services similar to yours Raising your revenue by enticing more customers to check out your e-commerce site Increasing conversion rate, which is the percentage of visitors who acted upon your call to action, such as becoming a lead by signing up for your newsletter or downloading your free software Boosting awareness and sentiment for your brand by ranking up favorable reviews on Google
A crucial aspect of your website’s visibility on search engine results pages (SERPs) is niche SEO. For instance, if you have a home inspection service company, make sure to implement effective SEO for home inspectors. The same is true with a plumbing company, dental or medical clinic, retail, or any other type of business.
Niche SEO comes hand in hand with local SEO. For example, if your business services or offers products for all homeowners or customers in Texas, then, including the place as a keyword in your web content is a must. Targeting your audiences through geo location or mapping is a good SEO practice to increase brand awareness.
When you master niche and local SEO, your business website can dominate search engines. It’ll attract new customers for your business and establish your brand’s solid customer base because of excellent thought leadership.
Choosing SEO services that can support niche and local SEO is highly recommended. You’ll find a one-stop SEO company that can help you in attaining your SEO and overall marketing goals. So, before you decide on what SEO agency to choose, take time to determine if they offer these SEO services to get the most of your investment.
2. Know Their Strengths
SEO is a broad field that includes technical, on-page, and off-page processes. While there are those who claim that they are proficient in all areas, it’s highly likely that they have two or three areas that they’re experts on while only being adequate in others. Now that you know your goals, you can look for companies who can cover for your site’s weaknesses and improve them. So, it’s important for them to use SEO checker tool in order to gain expected results.
Here’s an in-depth look at the different types of SEO services:
Technical SEO – This one focuses on the backend of your website or the parts that aren’t readily visible to viewers. It provides solutions to problems such as slow site speed, broken links, and crawl errors. These issues have a significant impact on your SEO campaign if the company you hire doesn’t thoroughly check the technical aspects of your site.
On-Page SEO – While technical SEO works on the background or foundation of your website, on-page SEO concentrates on optimizing your content for search engines. You have to understand the concept of On Page SEO to grow your organic traffic. With this service, the agency will conduct keyword research to find the best words or phrases to use throughout your site and incorporating these keywords in the title, meta description, headers, and alt tags. Off-Page SEO – Off-page SEO is primarily about link building or the practice of having reputable websites post your link on their blogs. This process takes advantage of the established readership of these authority sites by introducing your brand to them in the hopes that they will click on your link and learn more about your products and services. Another advantage of link building is that it informs search engines that your domain is a credible source of information since getting a backlink from trusted domains is deemed as a sign of confidence for your page.
3. Identify Their Other Services
Your SEO campaign works together with other aspects of your business such as your site content, design, social media presence, and paid advertising strategies. Most agencies offer these services along with SEO. Ask for their portfolio of how they performed these services for their current clients and how it helped boost the sites’ search engine rankings.
Other services that are beneficial for your business are:
Social Media Management and Marketing – This service focuses on managing your social media channels to cultivate a steady online presence and posting your content to traffic-heavy platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Pinterest. Web Design and Development – As mentioned above, the backend of your website must be optimized for search engines.
An SEO company can help you create a design that’s easy to navigate for your readers while ensuring that each technical aspect can be crawled and indexed by Google. A website indexing tool is so helpful to make perfect indexing of a specific web page or website that you have develop.
App Development – Apps rose to popularity because it delivers your content to your subscribers with just a click on their smartphones. It allows you to market to them directly and show them your gratitude for their support through exclusive discounts and promos in-app. If this is a factor that you think is imperative for your business, find an SEO firm that can create a beautifully-designed app for your brand. Pay Per Click Advertising – Boosting traffic to your site can take time if you rely on organic search results alone. If you want to hasten the process, most SEO agencies can help you with pay per click advertising, also known as sponsored ads, where you pay to have your website placed at the top of search results or banners in another site for a specified period.
4. Ask How They Track SEO Data
Business is a numbers game. The factors of your SEO campaign can be quantifiable, and the agency you’ll be working with must have processes in place that can track key metrics such as traffic, bounce rate, conversion rate, exit pages, and click through rate. By knowing and understanding what works and what doesn’t, you can improve the elements of your site for better results in the future.
These are the key metrics that an SEO agency should track:
Traffic – Since SEO is all about bringing people to your website, it makes sense that you should know exactly how many search engine users have visited your site. An expert SEO company should track this number by landing page or the first page they arrive at in your domain from Google, and by location so you can personalize your content for local or foreign customers. Bounce Rate – This figure refers to the percentage of people who left your site without exploring further than one page. A high bounce rate means that you need to improve your landing pages to make it more enticing and encourage visitors to read more of your content.
Conversion Rate – Conversion rate can quantify any action that you want your readers to take. This means that you can have several conversion rates for different variables such as when customers buy your product, download your e-book, sign up for a newsletter, or get a free quotation. Ideally, it should be tracked by landing page, location, browser, and device. A good SEO strategy can help to boost conversion rate in longer run. Exit Pages – This element refers to the last page that people visit before closing the tab of your site. It’s crucial to track this metric since this could be the reason why your conversion rates are low. Click Through Rate – Otherwise known as CTR, this number shows the average percentage of users who click on any of your links in the search engine results pages or SERPs. This can help you gauge if your title is catchy enough or whether you should improve your meta description.
5. Request for a Walkthrough on Their Practices
You may have heard about SEO practices being categorized into black and white. White hat SEO is the right kind which follows Google’s rules and regulations on content and keyword placement. Meanwhile, black hat SEO uses aggressive techniques that focus on abusing the nature of search engines while compromising comprehensibility for human audiences. Its most infamous practice is keyword stuffing, where a page is so overloaded with keywords that it’s incomprehensible to human readers.
Aside from keyword stuffing, here are some black hat SEO practices you should watch out for:
Spam Comments – These pertain to promotional comments on a blog post that don’t make sense and aren’t related to the article’s subject matter. Spam comments can be performed automatically, which harms your SEO campaign since it won’t yield high-quality followers. Duplicate Content – Duplicate content is copying chunks of texts from different sources. This lazy way of content creation hurts your brand since its essentially intellectual theft. Besides, search engines prioritize new and unique posts so the SEO Company you hire should create articles that are intended for your brand and target audience alone. Use of plagiarism software can help to web developers to remove any kind of duplicate content from the written article.
Spun Articles – This technique exerts a bit more effort than duplicate content since article spinners replace certain words in the post to make it seem like a new and unique perspective on the topic. However, it still contains the same thought and flow as the original content. Cloaking – Cloaking is a term for a website showing different content to search engines and users. In some cases, it shows HTML text to Google and Bing while loading a page of images or Flash to visitors. This occurs through the IP address, which helps identify if the request came from a machine or humans.
By outsourcing your digital marketing processes, you can focus on other important aspects of your business such as its operation and production. You also get to enjoy the expertise of these specialists without expending a hefty sum in recruiting and hiring them. Most SEO agencies coordinate with you on the budget that you can allocate for online advertising and work within those boundaries. Always take your time in screening potential companies so that you can find the best one and achieve excellent results for your business.