SEO is a subject that many people in business just shy away from. Hearing words like; search engine optimisation, website metadata, external backlinks or algorithm updates can seem daunting. Hold on a minute; it’s not all that bad. In fact, after reading this article, you should better understand what to expect from your SEO company and what you should be paying for.
Through this article, we will be looking at on-site and off-page SEO for company websites.
On-site optimisation can be completed before the launch of any new website or can be tidied up as you grow with an existing online presence. This type of SEO is the easiest and less time-consuming. We will give you a list of considerations, but first, try and understand that a good SEO company can make the necessary tweaks in a few hours.
If you have a tremendous e-commerce website, expect an SEO expert to spend 2-4 days on optimisation. If you have an excellent web developer, all the elements of on-site SEO will be considered and explained to you. A good web developer and a designer will ensure you don’t have to hire an SEO company for most on-site SEO considerations.
- Ask for case study reports before entering an agreement with any SEO company
- Make sure they deliver a brake down of work completed every month. (A Google analytics or fancy spreadsheet showing some stats should emphasise where improvements and changes can be made
- You need evidence of work completed, marketing strategy and improved rank position with key search terms being targeted
- A solid SEO company will have long and short-term goals. Everything should be presented, so you know where your hard-earned money is going
- Remember, onsite SEO is different from content marketing. Onsite SEO takes less time to complete
- Onsite SEO Checklist
- Meta Data: Site title & site description
- Internal linking strategy for pages and posts
- Site navigation (easy to use – search engine friendly and considering key search terms)
- Search function
- Sitemap, XML and HTML
- Page title
- Heading tags
- Sidebar with popular or recent post structure
- Relative products if e-commerce
- Relative pages and posts depend on content. (Make sure to add unique, creative content worth reading with a volume of at least 700-800 words)
- Images allowing for alt and title tags
- Is the website responsive? Does it work on smartphones and tablets? (This may need a re-design and is a total separate cost)
- Instal Google analytic tools. Check for 404 / 500 errors and duplicate content (You can have access to this at any time)
- Get your developer to create a Robots.txt file. Make sure to claim your business/website on all the primary social feeds
- Talk to your designer or developer and get them to add authorship markup to your site.
You can give this list to your designer and developer and ensure these are all ticked off as the site is being built. Alternatively, a good SEO company will have their checklist and show you a report on anything that has been changed and updated from the initial overview. The idea is to ensure the user can manage all the above using a content management system.
Off-page SEO is a different game altogether. Furthermore, an off-page strategy does include some planning and thought. If you are considering this, expect to be offered a monthly payment plan. You don’t have to enter a contract for this type of work. An SEO company should offer you a long or short-term goal strategy. A good SEO company should use words like marketing, articles, link building and unique content. If you find them using complex jargon, ask them to explain what they mean and how it will affect your traffic and conversion.
Short Term Strategy
Short-term techniques can be implemented to simply drive traffic to your website through advertising. Moreover, a short-term strategy can be a high cost with a low/medium return on your services or product offering. The idea is to get yourself into a position where you use fewer of these techniques in the future.
Google Ad Words
Many search engines offer a pay-per-click (PPC) service. It is straightforward to set up, and this will direct traffic to your website from blogs, magazines and websites that attach PPC ads to their site. However, you will need a budget for this, and the amount charged will vary depending on the words you want to target. You can also pay your way to the top of the search result as Google offers a bidding service to rank high on page one of SERPs. SEO companies will charge you to set this up and offer a 10% management fee.
Social Media Advertising
Facebook, Twitter and other social media websites offer targeted advertising. Some companies have seen a fantastic return on social media advertising as the ads can target age groups, gender, industry sectors, locations and much more. Give users an apparent reason to click on your advert, and you see some conversion.
Advertising On Related Websites
Many websites in the same business sector as you offer plenty of advertising space. On average, if a blog, magazine site, news site, or something alternative has 100,000 visitors a day looking at that site, expect a 1% return on your advert. Sometimes advertising is good for brand awareness, which can be beneficial. This means they see you, but they might not click on you. However, a seed has been planted for the future.
Press Release Information To Sector Magazine Types
Always consider a great press release that can be posted on several websites. Some marketing and PR companies will have a great network full of resources enabling publication for a press release. Post the press release on your company blog or news site first and share. Don’t be afraid to ask your SEO company what sites your press release will be posted on. Do some research on each site to see if it is relevant.
Set yourself up an email client. I highly recommend MailChimp if you are starting. You can build and design your email templates, import all your contacts, and use some great features to target more people to sign up for your list. Send an email out at least once a month. Moreover, sending out email campaigns is a great way to get people back on your website to see your services or new products.
Long Term Strategy
Moving your website through SERPs can take a little time using organic SEO methods. Timing and positioning depend on the competition you are up against. If you search a particular word in a search engine and hundreds or thousands of related pages are available, expect to have a long-term strategy. If you have a huge budget and want results sooner, refer to short-term goals.
Your SEO company should be talking about content and strong links back to your website. They should have a strategy in place where they are now talking about:
- Target key search terms that represent your products or services. (Alternative trending factors and a complete Google trend report that shows alternative ways to attract your target market)
- Content writers that can produce valuable content that represents your company
- Indirect marketing platforms. (A possible magazine or news channel with rich information that directs readers to your website)
- Direct marketing platforms. (Use your news or blog feed with internal links)
- Education resources (Content – website – blog)
- Advertising campaign (Using trend-related website channels that can push articles in front of readers that may be interested in your website)
- Creating original content, images and graphics. Show people something that they can SHARE and talk about
- Off-Page Checklist
- You can check inbound links using this tool: https://moz.com/researchtools/ose/ (create an account and use the free tools) Remember, if your website is new, there won’t be much to look at
- Pop in your competitor’s website address. Check out what they are doing
- Try and get some permanent links back to your site using these techniques
- Online press releases through paid or free services
- Try and use legitimate directories and local/regional web listings
- Always use your site blog and create relevant publications
- Think about leadership articles and whitepapers
- Use or create useful interactive online tools that others will want to show, blog about and link back to
- Has your writer got authority online? Create authorship and cross-network your information
- Use social media to post some of your great content
- Use review platforms that people can share and add content.
SEO Top Tips
- Get a few quotes from alternative SEO and Marketing companies
- Visit the company in person
- Meet the writers and marketing team
- Look at samples of their work
- Ask for examples of companies they have worked with
- Read their testimonials and research the company before making a decision
- Ask for a sample of their reports and logged work completed over the short-term or long-term strategy. (Make sure it’s not just a Google analytic report highlighting traffic to your website)
- Be patient
- Be creative and unique.
If someone starts talking to you about Dolphins, Pandas and Penguins, don’t worry. This is just Google updating their brain, so Marketing and SEO companies only use good tactics you have just read about.