While it may be the hot term for companies these days, there’s a reason everyone is putting importance on search engine optimization or SEO. It doesn’t matter how beautiful your website is if no one sees it. And choosing the right SEO company can mean the difference between a significant increase in organic traffic to your site and a severe decrease in Google rankings for your company. But there are several things you should consider before you secure a new contract with an SEO firm, here they are.
1. It Isn’t Magic
It can be hard to bring users to your website, especially if your business is new or new to the web. So it can seem appealing to opt for those who claim to have special knowledge and wisdom in Google’s algorithms. But the truth is that those algorithms change regularly and there is no magic formula. And you will often find that the SEO specialists who claim to have mysterious knowledge put into practice what is referred to as Black Hat SEO. These practices include cloaking, keyword stuffing, and buying links and they violate search engine rules. And once Google’s bots identify those shortcuts on your site they will demote your site in their rankings, which will lead to a decrease in traffic. So while those practices might bring immediate results, they can end up doing more harm than good in the long run.
2. Have Specific Goals
Decide what you want to achieve through SEO and look for someone who is able to provide those services specifically. Are you looking to increase sales of a specific product through keyword optimization? Do you hope to increase ad revenue by enticing users to stay on your site for longer periods of time? Would you like to build a following on social media? It’s important to find an SEO company that caters to what you’re looking for instead of just promising an increase in organic traffic to your site. High rankings on Google don’t mean anything if the keywords you come up with are not relevant to your business. Finding a company that specializes in what you’re looking for will help you get the results you’re after.
3. Word of Mouth Over Google Search
Do not simply do a general web search for the best SEO companies. Any specialist worth hiring will be too busy working on optimization for their clients instead of working on their own website. So you’re likely to only find companies that are actively seeking new clients. And the best companies are going to have a lot of long-term satisfied clients who have referred others to them. So it is best to find someone the old fashioned way – through word of mouth. Ask people within your professional circle or within your industry, while avoiding direct competitors, for recommendations.
4. Find Metrics That Work for You
A well-established company with long-term clientele is going to have different needs than those of a fresh company trying to sell a new product. Before getting started with a new SEO company, make sure that not only you but your consultant are together while tracking progress within metrics called Key Performance Indicators or KPI. There are several important KPI to consider and it is essential to determine which are most imperative for your needs.
Keyword rankings – Where do you fall in rankings and have those rankings increased since hiring someone to help with search engine optimization?
Organic sessions – How many people end up visiting your site through an organic search?
Conversion rate – Of the visitors to your site, how many end up buying your products or engaging with your content in some way?
Page load time – How long does it take for your site to load? No one wants to sit and wait for a website to load, even if it’s only for a few seconds.
Google crawling mistakes – If the bots cannot read and properly index your site into Google’s database, you may not show up through a search.
5. Communication is Key
You don’t want to be the one analyzing all the data for your site, which is why you’ve sought out the help of a professional. So you need a company that is able to communicate effectively in order to meet your specific needs. Increasing traffic to your website or building a following won’t happen overnight. These things take time and patience. But through a healthy working relationship and open communication, the right professional can help you meet your goals.
If you’re in the Tampa area and looking for a company to aid in your web marketing and SEO needs, check out Local SEO Tampa. They’ve been providing SEO services for small businesses in the Tampa area since 2007. And they will pull out all the stops in order to help thrust your business to higher rankings and increased revenue.