Ask these questions and you’ll find the true value of SEO.
With all the noise out there, it’s difficult to delineate between helpful information about SEO from “experts,” who all seem to have the same opinion, and people postulating over how search engine algorithms change. So, let’s define what SEO actually is and what questions you should ask.
A Modern Day Definition of SEO
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is the ongoing practice of improving your website so that search engines recognize it as being valuable and more people are able to find you.
There are over 33,000 SEO companies in the United States. It’s important to understand which questions you should be asking and the responses to look for. It’s important to remember that you’re looking for an expert in another field, so a step-by-step process isn’t necessarily what you need to know. You need to be looking at various responses to the holistic process of SEO.
Questions To Ask
How long will it take for my website to rank on Google?
This question has a few variables to consider. First, if your website has numerous bad backlinks or is brand-new, it can take longer. If neither of those problems are an issue, it will depend on if you want to rank locally, regionally or nationally. As well, you’ll need to consider how much competition you’ll have. For example, it takes less time to rank in Lampasas, Texas than Los Angeles, California. The question you should ask is what factors will likely impact your timeline the most?
How should you measure online marketing success?
Success can mean something different from industry to industry, and it’s more than just the bottom-line. Apartment complexes could measure success in occupancy; salons could measure success in the number of appointments booked per week. When looking for SEO marketing, you should know what you would consider to be success. Do you just want more visitors per week? Are you looking for more appointments? What does your specific company need?
Does any part of your process deviate from Google’s best practices?
A SEO company should always follow a process that is in the best interest of the user and always within Google’s Quality Guidelines. Violating Google’s best practices could result in manual action taken against your site. These violations would have to be remedied before you could submit your site for reconsideration.
How should you adapt your SEO strategy for your industry?
Each industry requires a different strategy for SEO. For example, a used car lot needs to have a lot of unique content in order to rank well, while someone in financial services should have less unique content because of the specific regulations they must follow. A good SEO agency will allow and plan for specific variables dependent on industry needs and requirements.
How should you conduct keyword research?
Keyword research, like strategy, should be geared toward your specific industry. There should be a process to the research and statistics to show why those words were chosen.
Should I be concerned about my CMS?
A CMS is a content management software that allows you, or someone else, to manage your website. Which Content Management System (CMS) should I use and should I have a process in place for when I need to make changes?
It is important to know that your CMS needs to be SEO compatible. A website needs to be updated with effective content in order to stay relevant to search engines.
What should you bring to the table?
There are specific elements and access points an SEO vendor will need in order to optimize your website. For example, access to specific analytics and other elements must be granted in order to begin the optimization process. Like a doctor, a good SEO vendor needs to know everything that ails your website, then the process to make your website better can begin!
In the end, it’s important to be able to review how the process of SEO works. Was the solution customized to your needs? Were goals measurable and met? Is the process continuously monitored and adaptable?
With these questions as your guide, you’re sure to make a wise choice and a wise investment in SEO.