One of the most critical decisions your business will make will be which SEO firm to hire to manage. Great digital marketing is essential to sustain your business and make your brand more widely recognized. Having a great product is only halfway to building a successful business. You also have to have people want to buy it over time without leaving you for your competitors. Capturing sizable and specific audiences, enhancing sentiment for your brand, and driving up revenue are a few of the goals businesses are often trying to achieve with search engine optimization (SEO). Therefore, who you hire to manage your SEO marketing is one of the most critical decisions you will make.
Nothing Should Be Secret
Want to learn more about SEO marketing? Then you can listen to audiobooks or podcasts about the subject, or read any number of reputable blogs on it. In fact, the biggest search engine in the world, Google, offers a course on search engine algorithms and their relationship to organic search results so professionals, like the kind you can find at On The Map, can improve their SEO strategies. While SEO is complex, there is nothing mysterious or secret about it. Some SEO firms like to sell you on the fact that they have a “proprietary formula” for boosting rankings. They don’t.
Some SEO companies use “black hat” techniques and try to make their services sound more exclusive than they really are. The consequences of using black hat SEO techniques include having your website ranked lower, being demoted when Google updates its algorithms or, worse, being banned from Google. These techniques include:
- Buying up backlinks and authority links
- Plagiarizing content from other pages
- Hiding keywords in white text on white background, or “keyword stuffing”
Compatible Communication Styles
A great SEO company will ask you how often you want to communicate with them and what your preferred method is (Zoom, Facetime, etc). The point is to build a trusting partnership to reach common goals. To do that you need to have a dedicated project manager who will communicate with you regularly to untangle any jargon you want to be clarified.
Goal-Setting and Customizable Reporting
Figuring out what goals you have for SEO and determining whether or not you’ve successfully met those goals go hand in hand. Think beyond “I want more traffic to my website.” What is really under that goal? If you guessed “higher revenue,” then you’d be correct. Ask yourself: am I trying to increase my email signups? What do we hope to learn from Google reviews, and how will we implement its feedback?
If you’re not looking at data, then you are making decisions in the dark. How will you know the results of your SEO efforts? Key Performance Indicators (KPI) tell us where we are in terms of meeting your goals. You want to ask any company you’re interviewing what metrics they include in reports, why they use those metrics, and how they collect their data. Reports with competitive analysis reviews can tell you important details about the performance of your website such as whether or not each of your pages is still loading at optimal speeds, which keywords are performing better than others, and how to improve indexation of your website by Google web crawlers. Reports should also detail how many people found you through organic search, bounce rate, and how many of your visitors engaged with your brand (signed up for a newsletter, made a purchase, etc).
Don’t Trust “The Best”
One reason not to trust “best SEO services” search results is because that means that they have a lot of time to work on their own rankings. Other companies with tons of clients, usually from referrals, are too busy working on those campaigns to be fighting for the #1 spot.
They may have also used black hat SEO techniques, explained above, in order to achieve higher rankings. They have purchased their high rankings and want to sell them, earning them money while their clients suffer. If you’re selling a quality product, that’s also legal, then there’s no reason why white hat SEO can’t work for you. Give a call at On The Map to learn more.