Search engine optimisation (or SEO) is one of the key aspects in driving traffic to your website. As a business, generally speaking, you have two options; learn and perform SEO in-house or choose to outsource to a suitable SEO company.
Here are some tips to help you make the right decision for your business.
Use your writing skills
Keeping your website content updated and relevant should be a priority. Inactive content (if your blog hasn’t been updated in months or years, for instance) can be an indication that your information might be outdated – or simply that the website is no longer in use. Writing news or blog posts on a regular basis is a good way to stay updated. Not only is this an advantageous SEO strategy but it also sends out the right signals to your audience.
Submit your website to the main local search directories
It can be relatively straight-forward to submit your site to Google Places, Bing Local and Yahoo Local. Sign up and choose categories that are relevant to your business. Upload a few photos and videos if you can. Once you’re listed, ask satisfied clients to leave positive reviews. By doing so, you are adding credibility to your business online and enhancing your reputation.
Do your keyword research
If a keyword or phrase is not listed on prominent places on your website then you aren’t providing Google with the information it requires to rank your website. Examples of “prominent places” on your website can be titles, headline tags, body content, image alt tags and internal links. Use Google Adwords Keyword Planner to find new and relevant keywords for your business.
Sign in with your Google account and enter the URL of competitors in the box at the top of the site called ‘website’. Choose ‘exact’ as your preferred match type and, If you get too many words in the output, try to remove keywords with the ‘exclude terms’ function. After running a few of these tests, you should have a good list of keywords to analyse. The most relevant can be made into new sub-pages on your own website.
Create new website sub-pages
Implement new sub-pages with the most relevant keywords you have found. Imagine ‘Gizmo Production’ is one of the chosen keywords. What you do is creating a new sub-page called ‘Gizmo-Production’ and include the term ‘Gizmo Production’ with other relevant keywords in the title, headline, web content and alt text. Write all this naturally in a way that makes sense.
Take note of your analytics
Start collecting traffic data via a free web analytics tool (Google Analytics, for example). After a few weeks you should begin to get an idea of the traffic patterns that relate to your content. Identify which keywords result in a high bounce rate. Perhaps your landing page isn’t converting well enough? Or the content isn’t relevant to the user’s search?
Equally, take note of the keywords where people stay a long time on your site and try to find more keywords related to that topic, to later be add to your site.
Great people to ask for backlinks are business partners and suppliers – people that you enjoy a healthy relationship with. Backlinks can be one of the most important factors to get your site ranking prominently in Google, Bing and Yahoo.
There are various other ways to build links to your website but it must be stressed that you should be careful of adopting a “links for links sake” or “links for SEO” policy. Anything that Google deems to be spam-orientated – such as automated article and web directory websites – ought to be avoided to evade the possibility of being penalised.
Do some comprehensive research
A thorough search on the internet coupled with the advice of friends and business associates will help you find reputable and progressive SEO companies or marketing agencies. Shortlist a few of them to ask for a quotation – but make sure to check the background of each company.
Who are their clients?
Check out client testimonials to confirm the credibility of the company. Ring some of them and make sure that they’re still happy since they gave their testimonial.
Analyse and compare the proposals of different companies for different SEO services. Can their services meet your specific SEO objectives?
Have a frank discussion
Talk face to face with company representatives to evaluate their timeline, objectives, specialities and services.
Look for a proven track record
Choose an SEO Company with a proven track record of generating success. Confirm the feasibility of methods they are proposing. Scrutinise the success rate of previous projects and customer satisfaction. Experience always matters when it comes to delivering flawless professional SEO services.
Is this company going to be an investment in your business? Place importance on the quality of work for a given budget.
Find out how you can track progress
A professional SEO company must offer an option to track the status of your project. They also have a responsibility to provide an idea about your website performance and final outcome.