There’s no doubt that search engine optimization should be a key strategy for any business with an online component; search and email are the two most common Internet activities globally, and 70% of the links searchers follow are organic, meaning that they’re ranked naturally instead of being paid ads. There’s more confusion, however, over how SEO works and what Internet marketing companies should do to accomplish it. If you’re a small business hoping that SEO will boost your web traffic and help you build a stronger customer base, then you’ll want to work with a top SEO company that’s honest with you and explains the process as clearly as possible. Here’s what a professional SEO company should tell you from the start:
- SEO Simply Isn’t an Exact Science
Everyone who works on Internet marketing strategies wishes that SEO were an exact science, something that could be achieved by following a simple recipe. But that’s simply not the case; even the best SEO experts are constantly analyzing results in order to piece together the rules by which search engine algorithms determine rankings. And since those algorithms get periodic updates, as well, SEO always has and always will include a certain amount of trial and error. That means anyone who promises an instant, magical solution guaranteed to boost you to the top of Google results in the next month is simply lying to you, or at the very least willing to take some unethical steps to get you there (not caring about the fact that it’s your business that will take the hit when Google catches on and penalizes your site).
- Classic SEO Differs From Local SEO
SEO benefits both purely online companies and local companies who need to bring customers into a geographically fixed location. However, local Internet marketing techniques differ in some key ways from general SEO. A local SEO strategy rests largely on building accurate and perfectly consistent citations of your business’ NAP (name, address and phone number) across the web, whereas on-page signals matter much more in classic SEO. Your local SEO company may be able to handle both types of SEO, but make sure that the strategy will be differentiated based on the type of business you run.
- Good SEO Is Also Direct Marketing
A professional SEO company should never ask you to make choices between appealing to search engines and appealing to your actual potential customers; good SEO uses strategies that accomplish both goals simultaneously. Blogging as a part of content marketing is one example of a good strategy. Business websites that incorporate a blog get an average of 434% more indexed pages, leading to better rankings and more potential for leads. But those blogs can also draw readers in directly, establishing your company as source of valuable information and an industry expert. The days of hard-to-read, keyword-stuffed text are far behind us.
Do you have any tips to share on what to look for in a professional SEO company? Add your thoughts and provide feedback in the comments.