Never has there been a more worn-out and often less understood term than Search Engine Optimization, or SEO. Plenty (I am not joking) of freelancers are in front of their PCs across the planet with the sign out that says “SEO Professional”. And you know what? Some of them are genuine. If you’re a business owner with a site on the Internet, unless this is your game, SEO experts are likely better than you at enhancing your site. But how do you find somebody who will make a difference for your business?
The Uber-Goal of SEO
First, let’s define Search Engine Optimization as all the on site things you can do for your website to increase its Page Rank (PR) on the big search engines, Google being the biggest with upwards of 65% of all worldwide searches. Your work should be designed at getting you to page 1, and ideally, in return results 1-5 which tend to show up above the fold, or before the user has to scroll down. It is cautiously estimated that less than 5% of online searchers ever get further than page 1 when finding a reference. That means if you’re not coming up on page 1 for your keywords, you are a tree falling in the woods with no one around to hear it. If your business being “located” on the Internet via search engines is important to your lead development plan, you simply can not afford to ignore top tier SEO approaches.
3 Characteristics of the Best SEO Experts
Here is what the aces bring to the table for premium SEO:
1. Good Copy: Readable, inviting, conversion-producing, with just the right mix of keywords on the web page that gets high rankings without getting the dreaded Google slap.
2. Local Search engine optimization: Make their web assets the biggest player in the local game, optimizing for local SEO and knowing that even for intangibles like SEO services and information technology, people seek those nearest to them. They take advantage of tools that supplement your website like the millions of unclaimed local websites that exist now for companies from Google Places.
3. Staying Current: Google comes up with new updates that change the way the game is played seemingly every other day; are you current? If not, then your best SEO plans may work against you and handicap your site PR.
If you have the talents to be labeled an expert, then you can easily optimize your own web pages provided you have the time. If not, it makes sense to vet Search Engine Optimization businesses to see who works for you.
4 Questions to Ask SEO Consultants
Charlatans reign supreme on the web when it comes to buzzwords about marketing your products on the Internet. Any kid with a laptop and dorm room power supply can profess the handle “SEO Authority”, and some may be. The same goes for Search Engine Marketing (SEM) expert and the latest “anybody can be one”, Social Media Marketing (SMM) consultant.
Here’s what to look for when seeking an SEO firm:
1. Visible Portfolio: Don’t be someone’s lab rat; make sure suppliers show you other sites they have worked on, AND test the sites against the keywords they were optimized on by searching on Google, Bing and Yahoo. Are the samples sites coming up on page 1? If not, keep searching.
2. Start Local: It’s much simpler to verify if a firm is authentic or not by looking for expertise in your own town. If you live in San Diego, search “San Diego SEO”. You get the picture.
3. Detailed Plan: Make sure the SEO firm provides a detailed plan of exactly what they will be doing to enhance your website for local SEO or any SEM not on page tactics they are using to drive traffic. The best SEO consultants will lay out the strategy in detail pertaining to keywords per page, methods, submissions, etc. without being asked, but request anyway. Stay away from anyone who essentially says, “Trust me.”
4. Check Endorsements: Testimonials need to be from authentic people that you can call if you feel the need to. If you see a quote from “Bob K, San Francisco”, RUN, don’t walk, to another selection.
So if you’re in business and you want an online existence, do it correctly. Don’t have one of the hundreds of millions of Internet sites online that get no traffic and wonder why the bottom line is down. Bone up on SEO techniques or use a pro using the steps I outlined here, and become Web relevant in your area and more.
Reposted from smallbizbee.com .