If you own a business, you probably have a website. In order to grow you need to drive traffic to that website. There are many ways to drive traffic. Marketers widely agree that one of the most effective ways to drive traffic to a website and to generate leads is through SEO (search engine optimization). The challenge for businesses is that hiring an SEO or a Digital Marketer isn’t anything like hiring a professional in most industries. For one thing, the industry is not regulated. This creates a problem for businesses. Why? Because anyone with a laptop and an internet connection can say they’re an SEO. You can find SEOs on Fiverr for as little as $5 per hour and on LinkedIn or Upwork for as much as $150 per hour. So, what’s a business to do when it comes to hiring an SEO?
First, decide on your own Marketing goals and what kind of outcomes you’re looking for. Then, make a list of Digital Marketing companies you want to engage based on their online reputation or a referral you may have received from a trusted source. Schedule a call with that company or an individual SEO and ask them to run a live website audit on your website. This will really help you understand what tools they use and how they go about analyzing the content and data on your website. A great time to hire an SEO is when you’re considering a website redesign, or planning to launch a new website. An experienced SEO can ensure that your website is designed to be search engine-friendly. However, a good SEO can also help improve an existing website.
Keep in mind that it takes time to get to know the back-end of your website and the data you’ve collected over any period of time. It’s not unusual that an SEO will tell you they can work with the current website, but then once they’re in the website they find out that the theme and set up is not as good as they initially thought. To prevent this, you can ask them to do a deep website audit and discovery. When doing this they’ll need access to your analytics tools, the back-end of the website or CMS and your hosting account to access files in the cPanel. This isn’t a free service or an automated website audit. You can expect to pay anything from $75 per hour to a minimum charge. Here at Prediq we charge a minimum of $2,000 for a Digital Marketing Discovery and deep Website Audit. Several people on the team will help collect and analyze data to create an 80-page document that takes about 2-4 weeks to put together. At that point we sit with the client and debrief them on everything from customer journey to errors on the website. We also share competitive websites and keyword research.
The bottom line is you need to do your research to get an SEO with a winning track record. Like all other things in business, you get what you pay for! Don’t expect to spend $1k per month, hoping to rank on page one and generate a high ROI. In order for SEO to perform, you need great content on a consistent basis. That’s not likely going to be something a technical SEO will do for you. The SEO may also not be willing to manage certain aspects of your site. You need to know whether they’ll do on-page, off-page or both. You need to be committed to implementing the recommended changes. Making the changes recommended by an SEO takes time and effort; if you aren’t going to take the time to make these changes, it’s not worthwhile hiring a professional.
Questions to ask your potential SEO or Digital Marketing company providing SEO services
- Can you show me examples of your previous work?
- Can you share some success stories and SEO campaigns that failed?
- Do you follow the Google and Bing Webmaster Guidelines?
- What do you need access to in order to analyze my website?
- Do you offer any digital marketing services or advice to complement your organic search business? If not, tell me how you work with other marketing teams to accomplish your goals.
- How do you determine what kind of results you expect to see, and in what time frame? What tools do you use to measure your success?
- What’s your experience in my vertical/industry?
- What companies have you worked with?
- What’s your experience in my country/region/city?
- What kinds of demographic data do you use to better understand my target audience?
- Do you have experience in developing international sites?
- How does language impact my rankings?
- What are your top SEO techniques?
- How long has your company been in business?
- How will you communicate with me?
- Will you be sharing all the changes you make to my site, and provide detailed information about your recommendations & the reasoning behind them?
- What makes your business unique and valuable to customers?
- Do you have industry certifications from OMCP, Google, etc.?
- What other marketing and advertising channels are you using?
- Who are your top competitors?
- Ask the SEO or company for at least 3 clients you can contact. Then ask them if they felt that this SEO provided useful service, was easy to work with, and produced positive results.
If you’re not familiar with Digital Marketing I recommend you learn more about how search engines work. Google has a great resource on this page.
If you are familiar with some aspect of Digital Marketing you can learn more about SEO by reading the Google Webmaster Guidelines.
Check out this video from Google for Tips for hiring an SEO.
Below you’ll find more Resources to help you succeed with your SEO in 2021.
Digital Marketing and SEO Content you can trust.
- OMCP Podcast
- SEM Rush Webinars
- Follow Google Search Liaison Twitter account
- Prediq Webinars
- Bing Webmaster Tools
- Google Search Console
- Digital Analytics Association
- Free 75 page Online Lead Generation eBook
28 Free SEO Tools
For the record, the tools we chose to list below are tools we’ve either used in the past to help our clients succeed or we currently use to conduct SEO research and strategy. None of the links below are affiliate links. We’re not being paid any fees by the companies below. As is the case with any other piece of software, you need to determine what you like about each application. I would focus on pricing, features and support. An important feature for you should be the type of Reporting the application offers. It’s especially helpful to buy a tool that offers real time chat. Another element that may be the deciding factor for your and your SEO should focus on how much training and content to help educate you and your team they offer.
General Technical Tools
- SEM Rush
- Google Search Console
- Screaming Frog
- Similar Web
- PageSpeed Insights
- Mobile Friendly Test
- Google Analytics
- Google My Business
SEO Plugins for your CMS
If growing your business in 2021 is your goal, the team at Prediq can help. In the past 10 years we’ve generated more than 20 million leads for over 3,000 clients globally. Our client list includes Fortune 500 brands as well as SMBs. Schedule a free consultation today or Call 888-329-0073.