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February 3, 2021
An effective digital marketing program should include an SEO strategy. Here’s what to look for when hiring an SEO agency to improve organic health.
If you’re a business owner or marketing director competing in today’s economy, you know that having a strong online presence is essential for success. Having an effective SEO (Search Engine Optimization) strategy is imperative to creating that strong online presence. It’s ultimately what can put you above your competitors in organic (unpaid) search rankings.
But SEO today is more than dumping keywords onto your website to show up at the top of Google. It’s about creating the best user experience possible. In fairness, it is an extremely complex subject that makes it pretty unlikely one person has the time or capability to completely support a business' SEO strategy. Marketing companies typically have a team devoted to this subset of digital marketing. And most businesses today can’t afford to pay a specialist’s salary to solely focus on improving their search rankings, so the best financial investment is to outsource this expertise. But, having a little better understanding of what truly affects SEO and the recipe for success before you hire an SEO agency can go a long way.
We are going to outline some things that will help you identify potential marketing specialists with the ability to achieve SEO success. Consider asking these questions before you trust an agency with your business.
The best SEO firms will create a strategy that leverages the marketing you’re already utilizing. A solid strategy works in tandem to maximize the efficiency and return on other marketing efforts. An expert knows that an effective SEO strategy can strengthen a pay-per-click (PPC) campaign and in return other advertising mediums can work to strengthen SEO. It plays a major role in creating exponential growth for cross-channel marketing. You want to make sure it is going to become an integrated function of your business overall.
SEO is no longer as simple as keyword stuffing your site with the words and terms you want to rank for to see results. Those days have passed and search ranking guidelines have gotten more stringent. Today that will get your website penalized in search rankings. The way a company handles keyword research is what differentiates them from other SEO agencies. The best agency will take the time to get to know your target audience and your industry. Then implement custom keywords that work best to garner attention from those most likely to become your customers.
You will want a competitor analysis to identify industry specific terms that aim to directly take on your competition. Another part of a successful strategy also includes finding terms that will take less effort to rank for, yielding quicker results and others that will become long-term goals. The agency should also work with you to decide what keywords are most beneficial to drive your unique business’ growth.
We all want results. But, setting realistic expectations needs to be part of the conversation with the firm you choose. They should tell you that SEO is a long-game. Search engine result pages (SERPs) shake-ups don’t happen overnight, they require a consistent, targeted effort to produce dividends. i.e. you don’t just jump to the top of the first page of Google, you have to climb the ladder. For instance, you’ll see quicker and more direct results from Pay-Per-Click ads in the first month than you will in the first month of implementing a Search Engine Optimization strategy.
But the long game pays off. You should be able to see results in six months, and rest easy knowing you’re investing in a strategy rather than a short-term tactic. Done the right way, SEO will create a more relevant experience to people coming from ads while offering better information for search engines to crawl and index. It takes a good deal of work and continued learning to stay current and keep up with best practices, but that is how you stay ahead of the crowd.
An informed agency will prioritize quality content, consistent outreach, and relevant partnerships when it comes to link building to your site. High quality links is the name of the game. It can amount to a lot of tedious work but it plays a major role in standing out against your competitors. Backlinks provide strong indicators that other people recognize your content is valuable, which has long been known as a factor in how your website content ranks.
The truth is that search algorithms are ever-changing, which means a good SEO team is always learning and paying attention to updates in best SEO practices. Google, Bing, Yahoo and other search engines won’t just pull the carpet out from under current best practices. When they make updates, the changes are typically gradual and methodical. Google says they make thousands of changes per year, but the majority of people won’t even notice most of them. Although, they periodically make core changes and information will be released around how they want people to respond to get the most from the optimization.
Experts know to balance the current analytical results with forecasted trends for continued success. Make sure your prospective agency has a plan for change - because it happens often.
A good marketing agency will be able to provide testimonials, references or case studies. An above average agency won’t have any shortage of proof that what they do truly works for their clients. On the other hand, when you start to work with your marketing partner, you should expect key performance indicators (KPIs) to be tracked as well as regular analytical progress updates. You should be in on the conversation about what KPIs matter the most, it’s your business at the end of the day.
We’re committed to making it easier for customers to find our clients online. With over 50% of all website traffic coming from organic search results, we know the hard work pays dividends. At BakerWoodward we offer comprehensive marketing services with a customer-first mindset and we take SEO seriously. A blueprint that focuses on the micro and macro details of a winning SEO strategy is what your business needs and we would love to talk about how we can help you implement a plan so your business is found more often.
CONTACT US Today to get started.