Big company or small, marketing isn’t what it used to be. In fact, it isn’t what it was last week. Marketing and sales are so tied to technology that they are evolving almost faster than you can manage.
So businesses move quickly to find the consultant or manager to assume the demands of SEO, SEM, social media, and more of the contemporary tools available. Businesses simply don’t have the time or experience to optimize the business’s branding and identity.
What to look for?
Small businesses, perhaps through cost concerns, make the mistake of leaving these issues to an employee with some internet experience or some third party tech-savvy freelancer.
What they need is a full service consultancy, experienced in the intricate and specific tools and capabilities. You want experts who are ahead of the curve in technology and content. You want the firm with a demonstrated history of building and optimizing traffic to a company’s website.
What you want is a higher ranking for your website that sells candy. You want your Sweet Services online store to appear early when people use their browsers. The higher it appears, the more likely your site is to sell. Boosting your ranking takes skill and real time management.
Adam Heitzman wrote in Inc.com that no one and no SEO firm can guarantee you #1 rankings. You can’t take the SEO firm’s word for it, but you can demand they show proof of what they have done for other customers.
There is cost to you involved, so you should look for the best you can afford. To confirm their standing, you can network with other businesses in your field and others in the SEO community.
You must present realistic expectations, and that takes clear thinking on your part. You must know what can be achieved in reasonable terms and time. You and the provider must be on the same page.
Building your SEO and SEM will be a learning experience. So, you need the assurance of a smart and responsive customer support system. While you complete the learning curve, you need a supportive relationship.
Unfortunately, some SEO experts thrive on the dark side. You want white hat ethics and quality. Your shopping must research their reputation as business people as well as tech experts.
Writing for CIO.com, James A. Martin says, “SEO experts must interact with many different areas of a business including IT, marketing, customer service, analytics, and sales.” You want the SEO firm that understands and appreciates your core values and unique sales proposition.
When shopping for SEO support, you can research online reviews and testimonials on their performance in the region. As Ajay Pagdahl, writing for YouthNoise, a Charlotte SEO company, says, “according to a study by Dimensional Research, 90% of those surveyed said that positive online reviews influenced their buying decisions. What’s more is that 74% reported that they would drive an additional 20-60 miles to shop somewhere with good reviews.”
Chase the names on your short list
You must communicate your understanding of optimization. You can negotiate the expectations and demand their demonstration of capabilities. And, you might start that discussion with talk about keywords.
Both business and provider must agree on keywords that capture the nature of your business purpose. The keywords are a strategy to expose your business to the universe of internet users. They are the locators, so to speak, that bring browsers to your content where they will find it easy to click through.
Mike Carroll is a freelance contributor to Towering SEO and OutreachMama who helps businesses find their audience online through research, content copy, and white papers. He frequently writes about management, marketing, and sales with customized outreach for digital marketing channels and outreach plans depending on the industry and competition.