I have written a few articles on “what to watch out for” when dealing with internet marketing providers. These posts, including a detailed one on the SEO mafia, intend to help brands and businesses identify areas of concern with their existing or prospective SEO team. Well today, it seems that the spirit of the season (it’s Thanksgiving in the US today) has me giving thanks for those in the industry that indeed do right by their clients day in and day out. Thus, I’ve decided to offer you a glimpse of what a great SEO company looks like. Chances are as the new year nears your business will be making big decisions in regards to how it will move forward with their online marketing plan, so please consider this a little nudge in the right direction as you prepare for the annum ahead. Read further to find out what to look for when choosing an SEO for your brand.
Five Positive Traits to Look for When Selecting an SEO to Manage Your Online Marketing Plan
1. Accredited, Associated, Educated…and Connected
This four-in-one trait is essential in establishing the credibility of an online marketing company. You will immediately be able to identify the existence of each by browsing their website, and you rarely need to go beyond the homepage to do so. Does the prospective SEO display accreditation with their local Better Business Bureau (BBB)? Are they members of a local Board of Trade, Chamber of Commerce, or other reputable business association? Does their team profile evidence a staff of highly-qualified individuals educated and groomed in the ways of internet marketing? You’ll come to this conclusion quite quickly with a brief review of an SEO’s site. Lastly, connected may be a little less obvious than the identifiers above but the existence of the first three often leads to the latter. Well-connected SEOs have access to a slew of online resources throughout their region and beyond, resources that can equal enhanced online exposure for your business in the form of backlinks and brand mentions – online PR at its best.
2. Foundation in On-Page Technology
Year after year ranking factor reports continue to prove that on-page technology is essential to your brand website’s ability to rank well on search engines. SEOs with a strong background and foundation in the technical matters of internet marketing will be able to get your site off the ground. This will be especially essential and relevant to you if you are launching a brand new website, or if your site have never truly been able to rank well since its inception months or years ago. Ask your prospective SEO what they plan on doing on the technical “backend” of your website to introduce it to the online world “with a bang”, or to improve upon its existing performance. Listen for the following expressions in their response:
- Marking your site up with structured data (structured snippets, schema.org)
- Optimizing your title tags, headings, and meta-descriptions
- Optimizing your website page speed
- Optimizing your site with mobile-friendly responsive design
- Optimizing your local SEO with Google My Business development and map placement
3. Driven by Content
While on-page technology is indeed the foundation of a good SEO firm, and subsequently a good SEO plan for your business, content is what makes SEO great today, in 2015, and beyond. If your SEO provider is deserving of leading the charge for the success of your website they will have a content team, armed with the gift of online gab. This proven team will rewrite your webpages, craft your ongoing blogging strategy, and provide media-rich content in the form of photos, info-graphics, and video to provide your customer base and search engines alike with all that they demand. Inquire if your prospective SEO firm has the staff with the chops to take on your content plan.
4. Certified and Open in Google Analytics
All SEO companies will have an individual or individuals on staff certified in Google Analytics. That goes without saying. What is not as common as it should be, is an openness with these analytics as they apply to a client’s website. Good SEOs will be open and forthright with the analytics provided to your business on a monthly basis. They will provide you with a monthly analytics report so that together you can discuss the progress of your website marketing plan, allowing you to identify areas that are working in your favor while also addressing those that need to be adjusted.
SEO today is no longer just about what happens on your website. Social signals have an impact on SEO more than they ever have before as we enter 2015 and the impact of social network activity on search engine optimization will only grow stronger in the future. SEO firms that are truly connected and relevant to the ever-changing landscape of online marketing have a significant social media presence. Don’t make the mistake of judging these SEO providers by looking at their number of followers per se, but instead watch to see if they are staying active on social media with optimized profiles and daily posts. Their website should display social icons and plug-ins that show that they understand the importance of being open and connected to the most significant social channels out there and they should be able to answer any questions your brand has about optimizing your own presence on them. A good, if not great, online marketing company will offer to help you manage your social media marketing plan because it is absolutely interconnected to your SEO strategy.
By referencing the above five items you will be able to identify an SEO company that will serve you well. And in case you haven’t noticed, you happen to have found one here today that “checks” all five of these boxes, so please excuse a little blatant self-promotion here as I encourage you to contact this internet marketing company, at your convenience. Standard Marketing would be honored to have you.
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