Guest blog post by Ben Robertson of Menadena
You’ve probably heard the old refrain before — in marketing location is everything (location, location, location!).
These days, at least for most people, our websites are our storefronts, so we might think that location doesn’t count – but this isn’t quite true. Location is absolutely everything when we think about it in terms of search engine optimization (SEO) ranking on the World Wide Web.
We can think of SEO as data just like geographical information: a collection of details that allow customers to understand more about what the business is about and how we can access it. Thus, a highly optimized website can bring in more traffic and have a higher ROI, just like a business in a great location will.
The great thing about SEO standing is that it can always be improved – but where do you start? Here are a few tips to help you move forward into better SEO standing.
Determine how SEO fits your marketing budget
The first thing that you need to do before hiring an SEO specialist is a clear understanding of your monthly budget. You can expect to spend anywhere from $300 a month to $2,500 depending on what tools you use, who you hire and how extensive your overall strategy is.
We recommend developing a strategic marketing plan that incorporates both your SEO budget and your overall business goals. You can set your parameters based on what you expect to see as a result of your efforts – for instance, number of customers, quality of traffic, traffic patterns, possible leads, and ROI.
Create a strategy for optimization
It’s important that you develop at least some level of understanding about how your business stands in terms of keywords and competition. Ensure that you are brand-focused so that you can communicate the information to the experts, and make sure your brand is consistent across all channels.
You’ll also want to make sure your site is mobile-friendly and you have a solid standing across social sites.
Tracking: quality & quantity
What’s your following on social sites? How are your product reviews possibly affecting your search rankings? How engaged are you with your customers on a day-to-day basis? How well respected are you in the industry? Do your blogs get a lot of traffic?
You want to have a solid idea of the above and also check your Google Analytics for the metrics: sales, leads, signups, organic traffic, customer retention — all of these are examples of things that can have an impact on your SEO standing and therefore should be incorporated into your SEO-focused marketing strategy.
Finding the Right Company
If you’re looking for professional help doing your SEO, it’s important that you have at least a basic understanding of how to work it into your marketing, and also to weed out any seedy companies.
Having a solid sense of what SEO is about will help you in the long run to have more accurate conversations and ensure that you don’t hire the wrong company or person for the job. Google has an excellent page with information and resources to get you started: Do you need an SEO?
If you’re looking for outside help, here are a few things to consider:
- Be wary of vague information
- Don’t respond to spam type messages promising unbelievable guarantees
- Don’t’ believe “guarantees” – the goal of achieving #1 ranking has way too many variables
- SEO is not a trick, it’s a way to add value to your customers and your market
A solid digital marketing company or SEO expert will be completely upfront about giving you as much information as possible. For instance, they’ll explain how they’ve completed previous projects and what the results were; they’ll happily share examples of previous work; they’ll demonstrate a solid knowledge of the industry that follows Google’s guidelines, and they’ll clearly discuss details about timeline and workflow.
The best time to hire an expert SEO strategist is when you do a redesign or are planning a launch. Choose a company that offers a complete audit or review of your site.
Want to learn more about optimizing your website? We can offer you a Total Online Presence Audit and other tools to help.