So you’ve been trying to nail your own search marketing strategy for a few months now, and have finally admitted that you are going nowhere fast. Eventually you agree with yourself that the best option to take is to bring in an SEO expert who can help you to shoot up the search rankings to a place where you can begin to grow your business.
Unless you know someone with an SEO company that you plan to use, the chances are that you will find yourself shopping around in what is an increasingly crowded market.
What are the key factors you will need to consider?
· Your own budget for SEO against what each company is providing at what price
· Does your budget allow you to look for full-service SEO – can you increase your budget?
· Are you continuing to produce content yourself, or can you afford for the SEO to do so?
· Are you taking a strategy and “wish list” to the SEO, or are you taking a blank canvas approach?
Those are just four crucial considerations you need to make, and obviously each quote and service agreement you receive will help you to make the final decision. At the same time, there are a number of things that you should inform each potential SEO partner of, so that they can give you as honest and realistic a quote as possible.
When you partner up with someone to improve your business, they need to know as much as you do about the company. If an SEO company doesn’t know everything about your business, what it does, company history, what you do or sell, who your target demographics are, then they aren’t going to be able to help you as best they can.
Do You Market Offline?
Not many people realise the impact offline marketing can have in the world of search. If you are ranking high for a particular keyword or your brand name already, is that because it is prominently featured in your newspaper advert or on the billboard you hired?
Well-known brands tend to feel the most positive impact in this way, however if you have been marketing a small business offline, this could be a good measure of its success.
What are you currently doing online? Do you have a blog on your site that you update once a week, are you using PPC, or have you done so in the past with limited success?
Remember that pretty much everything you do online will influence your search results – by knowing what you do, and more importantly what you don’t do, an SEO company can give you a realistic view of what is needed.
Have You Tried SEO?
It might be that you used a black-hat SEO company unwittingly that destroyed your search reputation, or that you just aren’t happy with your current set of search results. You may have tried to do some link-building by yourself, or this could be the first time you have ever looked at SEO as a serious business marketing strategy.
Whatever the reasons, tell each SEO company you request a quote from your current state of play, so that they can gauge how much work needs to be done.
Be aware that these are basic questions that any good SEO company will likely ask you, while the best ones may well go into even more detail with regards the background of your company and current marketing efforts.
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