What to Do Before You Hire an SEO

Rank #1 on Google? Don’t Believe That Promise!

Should you hire an SEO expert to make you rank high on Google so that potential customers can find you online? What does an SEO specialist do for a website?

What to do before you hire an SEO consultant

Before you hire an SEO, you want to be sure of what you are getting into. There are a lot of digital marketers who make amazing promises in their sales presentations but then fail to deliver or deliver by unethical means. You want to hire an SEO guide who will help prove that your increased website traffic came from reputable, useful leads and not tricky clickbait. Not all clicks are created equal! We had a client whose previous digital marketing company promised her 100,000 clicks a month. Sounds great, right? After we dug into the analytics, we discovered that this local business was indeed getting about 80,000 clicks a month… from ads being run in Arkansas, Oklahoma, and Iowa. Not very useful for a local Evansville business!

What Does an SEO Consultant Do?

SEO consultants are sometimes called SEOs, which stands for Search Engine Optimizer. It’s easy to confuse the term SEO (person) with the more frequently used SEO (practice), which stands for Search Engine Optimization. Just know that an SEO does SEO. That should clear it right up!

When you hire an SEO Consultant, the first thing they should do is have a good, in-depth conversation with you about your business. They need to know what you offer as a service, who your target customers are, and how you want to present yourself online. If you are a construction company, you might want to do all renovations and no new builds. If you are a lawyer, you might want to only do product recalls and no divorce cases. This one of the reasons why you should never hire an SEO company from an unsolicited email. If they don’t know you and your business goals, they can’t accurately help you with effective SEO.

A good SEO company is going to help you identify and rank for the for right keywords, review the design of your site, and review the content (words, pictures, and code) of your site.

Ranking High in Search for Certain Keywords

A lot of people don’t like where they show up on Google Search. We hear a lot of customers say “When I do a search for ______ I don’t even show up on the first page!” Sometimes we have very good news for them: nobody is searching for that phrase anyway. Other times, the people who rank above you are obviously not going to get the clicks. We don’t rank first for Evansville SEO, but we are near the top. The other results around us reveal companies that don’t exist anymore or aren’t really in Evansville. Searchers who want to work with a local SEO company will likely contact us from those search results.

You have to have a strategy to do effective SEO. Otherwise, you are just wasting money from your donut and vacation fund. Click To Tweet

An honest analysis of what keywords your customers use and how much search volume for that term is what matters. You might not rank for “best granite countertop near me” but the search volume for that is only 3 people per month. Far better to target “kitchen remodeling contractors” because that is searched for 1,900 times per month. This is why getting to know you and your business is so important–because we want to target the services that make you the most money.

You have to have a strategy to do effective SEO. Otherwise, you are just wasting money from your vacation fund.

Control What Shows Up In Search Results

Another aspect of SEO is having some control over what shows up in search results. Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs) show your page title, an excerpt of text from the page, and the link. If the excerpt is crafted right, it is more likely to get customers to click. If the excerpt is a random chunk of code, searchers are going to move along to your competition.

Twitter cards, Open Graph images, and Rich Snippets are all ways to display content from your website that will help your overall SEO performance. Those don’t happen on accident. Websites that have good, clean code and give Google and Bing the data they want will show up above their competitors.

Your Website Deserves Good SEO

Paying $6,000 to build a great website and then not doing any tracking or SEO is like hiring a salesperson and not caring how many leads they bring in. It’s foolishness! SEO should be a strong consideration right from the start of the web design. In the long run, your entire marketing budget will benefit because people will find you through organic search. No need to depend on Pay Per Click advertising.

Good SEO makes word-of-mouth advertising work better, too. One of our customers might mention to a friend that Lieberman developed their website, but that friend might not recall our name. A search for “Evansville web developer” will bring them back to us. Every single part of your other marketing efforts will benefit when your website has great SEO.

Great SEO also makes you look like a market authority. When someone sees your company up high in the search results, they assume you are better. You might not be able to tell people “Go to Google and type in Seth” like Seth Godin does, but you can get close.

Every single part of your other marketing efforts will benefit when your website has great SEO. Click To Tweet

75% of people never scroll past page one of the search results. You want to be confident that customers can find you when they are thinking about buying from you.

How to Get Started

Like any other important relationship, interview your SEO consultant before you bring them on. Pay attention to their promise to plan ratio. If they talk more about the promised results than what their plan of action is, beware!

Determine if you are ready for increased web traffic by reviewing your website. Sit down and talk to your soon-to-be SEO. Make sure they are a good fit and know what kinds of approaches they take. Take a look at this post from Google about How to Hire an SEO and if you’re ready to watch your website traffic and business increase, call us.

This video appeared originally on the Google Search Console post “Do you need an SEO?”