When it comes to determining if you really need a professional SEO Services provider, ask yourself these questions. If you do, the next step is to select one by asking the right questions. Here’s how!
Most business website owners first ask themselves whether or not they should hire a professional SEO services provider based upon the fact that their site is just not well ranked on major search engines such as Google. They have quickly discovered that a poor ranking makes their site difficult if not impossible to find among the many thousands or even millions of competitors and that traffic just doesn’t happen when you are invisible.
The same small business owners may have no clue how to improve their rankings but they do know that there are people out there that do. The problem becomes “can I do this job myself” and if not, “how do I know who is capable, trustworthy and affordable?”
First, Determine if you Actually Need Professional Help
Most owners of small online businesses are busy day and night attending to managing their business operations. To many of these people, search engine optimization is a mystery that requires knowledge far beyond their technical experience. If this describes you, there are a few questions you should ask yourself to find out if you should begin searching for an SEO services provider. These include:
- Questions: Do the majority of my customers come from searches on sites such as Google, Yahoo, AOL and others? Are people searching for the product(s) or service(s) that I offer? If so, are enough new potential customers going to the search engine directories to find what they need? What words/phrases (keywords) do they search with?
- Questions: Are my competitor’s websites coming up when I search with the terms that best describe what my site offers?
- Would a meaningful increase in targeted traffic to my business website result in enough new business to justify the cost of a professional SEO services provider?
- Answers: You can find out whether you could reasonably expect a significant increase in traffic by plugging your search terms (keywords) into WordTracker or Google Analytics FREE analyzers and looking at just how many searches have been recorded under each keyword or key phrase. This will tell you if people are actually searching for what you’re offering.
- Answers: If the business websites you compete with come up, it’s a pretty good indication that SEO has paid off for them. However, that’s not the entire story, there are other factors that you might have to do to get similar results.
- Answers: This is the BIG question. If you are already having a satisfactory conversion rate on your site, it’s pretty obvious that if you doubled the traffic, the conversion rate would rise as well. So, yes! However, if you now have an unacceptable conversion rate, odds are more traffic won’t help. In this case, deal with improving your conversion rate and that’s something a professional SEO/SEM provider can help you do.
If SEO makes sense, How Do You Select the Right Provider?
Yes, there are lots of second-rate SEO companies out there, but there are also many that are worth every penny they cost. It’s probably best that you narrow your search down to three or four providers at the most. And the best way to start is to ask people whose opinion you value who they used and who they would recommend.
If you don’t know anybody to ask, go to the Internet and select a few top rated firms from a popular category and ask them who they used. This doesn’t have to be in your field, but it should be in a popular field such as real estate, retailing or even technology. Almost anyone who is happy with the results they got vs. what they paid out, will be more than happy to pass along a solid recommendation.
As for pricing, you’ll have to work that out with an SEO service provider yourself because only you know what your company can afford and/or what you’re willing to lay out to get where you need to be.