For any small business, search engine optimization (SEO) can be extremely beneficial. Search engine optimization is the process of boosting a company's visibility within a search engine like Google. And considering that over 93% of online experiences begin with a search engine, it is vital your small company gets recognized.
Most small companies are small fish in the big pond of Google, so SEO consultants will use different methods of boosting visibility. Search engine marketing (SEM) is an umbrella term that includes SEO, but also other popular methods for standing out online, like using paid per click ads (PPC), social media marketing, and backlink methods to bring customers to your site.
But before you hire your SEO analyst or SEM company, here are some questions to ask them.
1. How will you improve our search engine rankings?
It is important to understand their plan of action before you hire them to make sure they will be successful.
2. Will you inform me of the changes you make to my website?
Generally, SEO companies should give you regular updates.
3. Do you focus on organic or non-organic search results?
Organic clicks can be more important than non-organic links, especially considering that 70% of the links search users click on are considered organic, and 80% of users only click on organic results.
4. What are your plans for our social media marketing?
Social media can be a powerful tool. A good SEO company will have an writer to help you rank on specific keywords in company blogs, and they will help you manage your social media accounts including Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook.
5. Do you have PPC consultants that are trained in Adwords?
PPC consultants are important because they are the only ones who can guarantee you a spot on the first page of search results right away. This can be tricky for someone who is not trained in PPC, so it is important they have a quality consultant on their team.
6. Can you share information on your past client's successes?
If they have success stories, they should want to share them with you!
7. What tools do you use?
There are many SEO tools including reporting tools, link building tools, and research tools that companies all use.
8. Do you do technical, off-page, and on-page SEO?
9. What is your payment structure?
10. Do you stay up to date with Google's recent algorithm changes?
Google changes nearly every day, but it is important your SEO analysts and PPC consultants are up to date with their major changes.
Above anything else, you should be able to trust your SEO providers to give you the results you are looking for. If you remember that SEO is a long term investment, and it is important to be patient, then both you and your company will thrive.