Finding a Website Optimization Company
Whether your business is small, big, or somewhere in-between, chances are you depend on customers finding your website to enhance your marketing and sales efforts. This is why you need to give some consideration to using the services of a website optimization company that specializes in search engine optimization (SEO).
If your business is just starting to pay attention to the importance of optimizing your website for search engines, how do you start to narrow down the available options and find the SEO company that’s a good fit for you? Let’s begin…
Regardless of which business sector you are in, you will want the SEO company you hire to have experience in a number of different areas including web design and usability, marketing, sales, social media, and communication strategies as these areas support and enhance website optimization. You’ll also want the company to have a strong knowledge base around SEO best practices – that includes all of the technical aspects that could be limiting your website’s performance, as well as how to optimize each webpage and how to go about improving your website’s off-page optimization (this area includes back-linking from other relevant websites, being seen as an authority in your content area, and engagement with your content through social sharing) and how to avoid “black hat” techniques that could land your business’ website in a mess of trouble. In addition, you may also want to consider if the SEO company has experience in your line of work. If you own a restaurant, for example, you may want to pay additional attention to a website optimization company that specializes in that area or has a deeper understanding of your business model.
When looking for the best company to update your website’s SEO, pay attention to on-line reviews and comments you may find on social media or discussion boards. If your business works hard to maintain a good reputation and winning track record of delivering quality goods or services then it’s essential to contract with a website optimization company that shares your same business values. Finding a company that aligns with your business values is important because in any working relationship there needs to be mutual trust and understanding. If at any point in the exploratory stage you question a company’s trustworthiness or integrity, or feel you aren’t quite “in sync” in your communication, take it as a sign to move on to the next company on your list. Additionally, take a moment to think about your customer service experience and how their representatives handle your questions. Do you feel you are being listened to and that answers are provided within a reasonable time frame? If not, it’s time to look at other SEO companies.
You would expect a job candidate to provide references before offering them employment, and the same applies when you’re getting ready to make your final selection for a search engine optimization company to work with your business. A reputable company should gladly provide you with a short list of client references, their websites, and contact info. If it is an important factor to you, ask for references from your business sector, too. Once you get the reference list, spend time contacting each one with your top questions. Did the company deliver what they promised? Did they deliver in a timely manner? How did page rankings, website usability, and key performance indicators (KPI) and metrics improve? Was the pricing reasonable? Listen to what the references have to say and make sure the information and impressions they are providing align with your expectations and business needs.
A trustworthy SEO company will tell you what needs to be done to better optimize your website and improve your search rankings, and they will also provide you with a realistic time-frame. Change doesn’t happen overnight, and it’s important for you, the business owner, to understand that it may take months of updating your website before gains in website traffic, sales conversions or lead generation are noticeable.Beware any SEO company that promises top rankings in a short period of time. Click To Tweet
Chances are, whatever methods they would use to get you that boost would ultimately hurt your website’s reputation and be fleeting at best. For any company you are strongly considering, ask for a sample research report or description of the optimization methods they would use. Some companies may even have white papers or client case studies that will provide you with detailed analysis and procedural information about what you can expect should you choose to work with them.
One of the first things a good website optimization company will do is to review your business’ website and make a list of problem areas that could be negatively impacting your rankings. These issues can be anything from broken links, empty or non-optimized meta tags, error pages, or under-use of internal linking, to body text that is missing important keywords, not properly utilizing headline tags, or URLs or page titles that need optimization. Unless the SEO company you hire is given full-access to update your website (and depending on the size and nature of your business, this may or may not be attainable) any and all website recommendations will need to be implemented in order to be effective. If you contract with an SEO company, and they give you a list of meta tag updates that need to be fixed on your website, and you never fix them… well, let’s just say you’re not going to reap the maximum benefits of their services. In addition to fixing limiting factors on your website, other suggestions may include fully utilizing appropriate social media channels and integrating them within your website, blogging, establishing a content marketing strategy, fully optimizing all page and image content, improving your website’s speed, and ensuring that your sitemap.xml is up-to-date and functioning.
The primary reason you hire a SEO consultant is to boost your marketing and sales efforts. Whatever your key business goals are (increased sign-ups or lead generation, more time engaged with website content…) you want to make sure there is a plan in place for measuring the results and then sharing those outcomes with you. In addition to seeing improvements in your keywords and page rankings, what does your website traffic look like? Where are visitors coming from and what is their behavior? A reputable SEO company will want to access your Google Analytics account so they can easily generate reports and share them with you. Often, you will be able to see how optimization improvements to your website can positively impact traffic over time. Month-over-month and year-to-date comparison reports will help to illustrate just how much your keyword and page rankings have improved and how your business’ exposure through search has increased.
Website Optimization: Common Improvement Strategies
Whether you’re in the early stages of investigating working with an SEO company or getting ready to sign a contract for service, it’s important to remember that search engine optimization isn’t some sort of magical wand that your SEO consultant waves over your website which instantly drives everyone on the Internet to your business. Optimizing your pages, website, and external factors such as social media, authority, and back-links, takes time and effort and it requires you, the business owner, to be an active part of the process.
When your SEO consultant provides you or your webmaster a list of fixes that will improve how search engines crawl your site, complete them in a timely fashion. If blogging is a course of action that is recommended for improving your ranking as a content authority, put aside the time to get it done or assign it to someone working for you who can. The same goes for appropriate social media channels. If social sharing and traffic from social media is a weak-area in your current optimization strategy, come up with a plan for strengthening that communication avenue and stick with it. And finally, critically analyze your website traffic, storefront traffic (if you have a physical location), and other “success” metrics established with your website optimization company.The faster you take action to improve your SEO, the sooner you will reap the rewards! Click To Tweet
Be sure to consider other factors, such as the economics trends you are seeing in your community and in your business sector. With successful website optimization, your business may be better positioned than the competition to ride through an economic downturn or heavy marketplace saturation due to your ability to reach more potential customers. And when economic times are good or competition less fierce, your optimization will help your business to thrive and be seen as leader in your field.