Moving to the next phase of your business requires doing something new that has been proven to work for other companies. Perhaps you have already found a solid business idea and great products. You may be a brick and mortar store owner who has recently had to shift all or part of the business online. Finding new customers for brick and mortar locations has become increasingly challenging due to the pandemic. Figuring out which new strategy to use can be both exciting and terrifying. Knowing what to ask potential providers when starting a new marketing effort is important. Here are a few questions to ask when searching for an SEO provider.
Brick and mortar companies are easy to see when driving down the main street. The name of the business or exterior advertising may provide a clear picture of what is being sold or the service that is provided. Having a website or blog does not mean that anyone relevant is seeing it. The website may currently have some traffic, but it may be the wrong type of traffic if it does not convert to sales. Perhaps the business is currently on page three of four in Google results. The website may rank well when someone types in the company name, but not for top selling products or services.
Business owners who have spent thousands of dollars on creation of their website, may not know their current rankings or how much traffic they receive each day. They may have always outsourced this or relied on an employee to keep track of that information.
When looking for a new SEO professional see if they are interested with where you are right now. Many business owners have a vision of simply making more money, and simply want to hand over that responsibility to the SEO provider. Throwing money at a business problem only works if the strategy is sound. A good SEO professional will be able to give a bit of education on how they care to help. If they do not ask about the current state of your website or blog be wary of hiring them. It’s challenging to move forward without establishing what is going on and where potential opportunities for improvement are. Let them know how you are advertising and spending marketing money. If you currently are buying ads that are not converting or using advertising sources because its what you have always done, be honest.
Where you are right now may be confusing because you are investing in website advertising that is not working. Many small business owners start running ads without tracking them. The SEO specialist may be able to help offer a few changes to improve these campaigns. Maybe the wrong words are being used, or the ads are targeting the wrong people. Some ads used may lead to a page on the website that does not list enough keywords that describe what is being sold. Once a potential customer lands on the website through organic or paid traffic, the keywords needs to confirm that they are in the right place.
Even though an SEO professional is not an ad agency, they can provide insight if you are currently purchasing ads with the wrong keywords. Knowing where the business is first, is the first step in moving forward.
Ask the SEO provider which type of strategies they would like to implement. Fly by night companies often use black hat techniques or shady software that gives immediate results, but it will not last. Shady traffic techniques can lead to future penalties with popular search engines. If the SEO provider is not able to explain a few strategies they are not a good candidate to ensure long term growth.
Ask about the turnaround time for all the work they are going to do. They may say we are going to get started immediately and finish in a few days. Quick work that is done usually is not done organically. An established SEO provider will work consistently to build the website. They should be upfront about it taking several months for the work they are doing to result in better traffic and sales.
Ask what type of traffic they are targeting. The new traffic that an SEO consultant brings will be from a customer either looking for a physical location nearby or in asking specific questions leading to making a purchase. Good SEO consultants will ask who the patrons of the business are and what is being sold. If the consultant never asks questions about the nature of the business, do not work with them. Even if a business sells ice cream, they may attract certain types of customers. They may have people who are willing to drive a bit farther to their establishment due to them having certified organic ice cream free of hormones, vegan ice cream, or sugar free options.
The business may be known for celebratory ice cream cakes or other specialty items. The keywords and questions being asked when searching for a local shop that meets their dietary restrictions or specialty order requirements will be different. Unique selling points should always be known so that those keywords can be used. Expect a consultant to ask about who your customers are and exactly what is being offered.
Ask about special tools or services that will be used to do research and monitor the website progress. They may mention a tool for keeping track of backlinks, competitors, and keyword research. See if the provider is able to email a detailed report of what has changed. Ask for a report that is easy to understand and is broken down based on any goals discussed. Make sure the format is easy to understand and that they will be available to answer questions by email, text, or a phone call.
An agency like Scott Keever SEO Washington DC is available to meet your business needs. Scheduling a consultation is the best way to voice current issues and goals. This meeting allows a professional to review the current content and give concrete strategies for moving towards these goals.