When you want to get found online, investing in SEO for your business is a no-brainer. It’s the key to building a strong reputation and getting found online, a combination that will make you practically irresistible to the right people. There’s just one problem: how do you know who to trust with your money?
After all, there are many things that make up an effective SEO strategy – from SEO considerations when designing a new website, beginning with a basic planning and development process, rather than a spam-ridden rise to the top of page one search results.
Are you thinking about teaming up with an SEO company to get your website on the map? Or maybe you’ve heard your competition talking about their search strategies and you feel like you’re falling behind?
It’s never too late to start building an SEO-friendly reputation online – so read on to find out more about what that means and how we can help you create one of your own.
Set your own expectations
It’s a common problem amongst business owners who have never really invested in SEO before – they want to see fast results for their money. The truth is that SEO is very much a long game, and if you’re going to win, you’ll have to be willing to forego the quick fixes and put long-term strategies in place instead.
Here are three steps to nailing down your own expectations of an SEO provider:
Decide what you need from an SEO company
There are several different ways to measure results from an SEO perspective, including page rankings, impressions, organic backlinks, and click-throughs, to name a few. Your needs will depend on where your business is currently at with SEO, what you want your website visitors to do, where your competitors are at with the same goals and keywords, and how much money you have to spend – and a website SEO audit is a great way to work it all out.
Understand common SEO timeframes
In the world of SEO, things generally move fairly slowly because it’s all about organic growth. This means that instead of approaching business with a sales-first (and sales-now) mindset, you have to recalibrate and take on a viewpoint that prioritises building a solid, value-based reputation. That kind of construction takes time, so don’t be upset three weeks in when your website isn’t on page one for all of your priority search terms.
Get to know SEO pricing models
When it comes to pricing for SEO, there’s no one-size-fits-all approach, and prices can be wildly different depending on your goals and timeframes. Your SEO provider will likely have their own pricing model and will charge you based on the service you require, whether that is a one-time SEO strategy, regular link-building advice, or a monthly SEO content creation retainer.
If you have the budget for it, consider getting an SEO provider on retainer for your business. This is the best way to get targeted advice and actionable SEO strategies in place.
SEO can feel like a puzzle until all the pieces come together (Source: https://www.pexels.com/photo/marketing-luck-technology-letter-7119258/)
Educate yourself on the process…
You shouldn’t have to be an SEO expert to experience the benefits of an effective SEO strategy, but when it comes time to have a results-driven conversation with your SEO provider, you’ll need to know what questions to ask. That’s why, before you hire an SEO company to take care of your web presence, you should take the time to understand what it takes to create and execute an effective SEO plan.
…and ask the right questions
Once you understand the basic principles of SEO, you’ll be able to speak to your provider without any confusion – but you should still expect some questions to arise during the process. Before you get too far into the working relationship, ask your SEO provider to give you a broad overview of how your SEO campaign will work. If they are able to explain it in terms you understand and get the meaning across, consider it a positive sign for your future working relationship.
Look at search data and case studies
There’s no shortage of data in SEO, which is a great thing for current and potential customers, because it takes some of the confusion out of shopping around for the best outcome. With a basic internet search, you may find all the information you need on a provider and the results they get for their clients.
The extent of available data also makes for rich, extensive SEO case studies that deliver a great deal of information and insight into a provider’s results. This data has made it easier than ever to ascertain whether a provider can deliver on the promises they make in relation to metrics like backlinks, and just like a testimonial, these posts make it much easier to trust in your provider of choice.
If you’re clever about it (and you’ve got a team of SEO experts working for you), you can even take a successful strategy another brand has used to build an SEO presence, adapt it to your business and use it again.
Meet with the company face-to-face
In the digital age, more and more business owners are looking for that personal connection with trustworthy service providers – and fortunately, there’s no need to look far for a local SEO service provider who knows their stuff. One of the major benefits to working with an Australian provider is that you’ll always be able to communicate relatively easily and get answers to any urgent questions.
X questions you should ask your SEO provider
- Do you have a guarantee?
If they do offer a guarantee, it’s probably a sign that you shouldn’t work with them, because SEO results are unpredictable by nature. However, that’s not to say that you can’t go in with some expectations around results – and the next question will take care of that.
- How will you improve my rankings?
This simple question will tell you a lot about a company’s process, both generally and specifically as it relates to your website. They will need to consider your business challenges and responsibilities and tailor their advice accordingly, giving you a strong gauge of the depth and breadth of their field knowledge.
- How do you approach keyword research and link-building?
Every business should have an SEO strategy that focuses on choosing the right keywords and building high-quality links, but there are many simply getting by without. If your potential SEO provider isn’t thinking about user intent in relation to keywords and the importance of building links from high-quality websites, they probably aren’t the right support for you.
- What does success mean to you?
Success can mean different things in SEO, but that’s not important in the context of this question. What is important is the understanding that the best success metrics to target and measure are the ones you choose for your business – and that the right SEO provider for you will tailor their approach and everything they do accordingly.
- How long will it take to see results, and how do you report on progress?
SEO is a long-term process, and as the first question suggested, it’s not always possible (or ethical) to provide a guarantee on timeframes. However, that doesn’t mean you have to go into the process feeling unclear about what to expect. An experienced SEO provider should be able to provide a reasonably accurate ballpark figure (which generally starts around six months) and back it up with a plan to get you there.