Rankings are important. But it’s not everything.
When talking about search engine optimization (SEO), people are often obsessed about rankings. No doubt, rankings are important; it should be the core of any search engine optimization plan. But also of great importance is how well a page converts when traffic starts coming in. A good search engine optimization plan without a good conversion plan is as good as throwing money into the sea. Imagine ranking first for a highly relevant keyword. Hundreds of people click in everyday. But once they are there, they can’t find the enquiry form. There is no call-to-action. 99% of the traffic leaves after having a quick glimpse at the titles and sub titles. Is this what you want? Spending good money on search engine optimization (SEO) and not getting enough enquiries? Which in turn means not having an optimal return?
SEO paired with Conversion Optimization makes for better return on investment (ROI).
A good search engine optimization plan should be paired with an equally good, if not better conversion optimization plan. Now imagine another scenario – a person clicks into your page. He reads the title and finds it intriguing. He goes on to read the paragraphs below the titles and sub titles. Somewhere in between he sees a powerful statement asking him to take action. He feels the urge to click on the call us button but he resists because he also feels he needs to do more research. After doing some research and finally going through the whole page, he sees another button asking him to take action or risk missing out. He clicks in and got in touch with you. Already an informed and a highly targeted prospect, it didn’t take much to convince him to be part of your clientele. The is the power of good, holistic search engine optimization (SEO). It makes for a much better return on investment as compared to one purely focused on rankings.
So many options. What should you look for when engaging a Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Specialist?
Be prudent in who you engage for your search engine optimization (SEO) needs. The advent of the digital marketing age has sprouted the growth of a great number of search engine optimization (SEO) agencies. Unfortunately, it has also sprouted the growth of a good number of unethical agencies. More often than not, their only goal is to exploit as much monies from their prey as possible than provide actual value. It is no wonder business people often find themselves in a dilemma – Can this company be trusted? Is their strategy sound? Should I go with them? How much should I pay? These are common but important questions that plague business people looking to harness the power of search engine optimization (SEO).
So what should one look for when looking to engage a Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Specialist?
1. Be clear of their track record and credentials.
When choosing a search engine optimization specialist, it is important to know who they’ve done for and how well they’ve gone about it. That being said, a company with major corporations under their belt may not necessary be the best option for a small / medium enterprise. For one, the requirements are vastly different. The approach tend to differ greatly as well. The key is knowing whether they’ve done projects for businesses similar to yours and obtained measurable, positive results. A good search engine optimization agency will be ready in sharing their customer portfolio, results and experience.
2. Be clear of their methodologies.
SEO may fall into one of the following categories: white hat, grey hat and black hat. White hat strategies are those that employ 100% Google compliant practices. Results may take 4-6 months for new sites and is generally quicker for sites 6 months or older. Such strategies work in the long run and establishes a credible, authoritative brand favored by Google. There is no risk of the site suddenly disappearing from Google search results or getting penalized by Google. Black hat strategies, on the other hand, employ unethical methods that may see results in the short term, sometimes even very quickly, but are extremely bad in the long run. Such methodologies eventually get penalized by Google and it is not uncommon for brands or sites of such practices to disappear from search results overnight. Grey hat methodologies employ a mixture of both white and black hat strategies. They too bear the risks of being penalized and your entire site disappearing from sight without notice. If you are looking to build a positive brand in the long run, look for an agency that uses 100% white hat methods that do not risk tarnishing your brand.
3. Make sure you are speaking to someone who genuinely knows his or her stuff.
Ask tough questions. Ask about ROI. Ask about tracking. Ask about conversions. Ask about their methodologies – white, grey or black hat. Ask about whatever you know. You don’t have to be a SEO expert, but with a little research you can field a good number of important questions. Do not be afraid of looking clueless in front of an so called expert. You are not the technical specialist here; it’s perfectly okay and normal to not understand certain terms. The service provider, on the other hand, should be able to provide clear, logical explanations of the processes and methodologies. If the information presented or methodologies appear illogical, overly convoluted or confusing, it’s not a sign of a good search engine optimization agency. You should be able to pick up the information in a sensible, logical manner.
4. Beware of options that sound too good to be true.
1st page guarantee? No minimum contract period? 100% money back? If it sounds too good to be true, it often is. Keywords guaranteed on first page are often ones with low search volumes or competition, adding little or no value to the business. They may also be obtained unethically that poses great risks to your brand (as mentioned in point number 2). Search engine optimization, if done wrongly and recklessly, come with dire consequences which may be costly to reverse. Be sure to look for agencies that provide strong, credible portfolio backed with ready support.