20 Oct How to pick the best Local SEO Company in Roseville
What you need to know about SEO
If you run a business you more than likely have a website. You’ve probably read or have been told that having your website show up at the top of Google search results for keywords that relate to your business is critical for generating new customers. And you’ve probably heard how having your website show up for search terms/phrases on the first page of search results as opposed to the 2nd or 3rd is the difference from being found or being the best kept secret. All of the above is actually true – in today’s business environment having an optimized website that positions your company in the first 5-10 search results gives your business the best shot at pulling in new customers/clients from the web.
Unfortunately, for most business owners the process of being listed at the top of Google search results doesn’t happen by simply designing and launching a website. Googles algorithm is a sophisticated software program that uses 295 signals to determine what websites should be at the top of the rankings. Understanding how to set up, manage and implement certain activities ultimately determines your position in Google organic search.
When you add up everything that is required to rank prominently in Google search – the list is long. And if you don’t know what you’re doing there’s a probable chance that you could fail if you go at this alone. Most consultants, study groups and peers recommend that you partner with a reputable SEO company to help you achieve top rankings in Google. A quick search online for an SEO company typically reveals dozens upon dozens of companies that all claim to deliver results – some even list a turnaround time-frame and price range. With so many options at your fingertips figuring out the best service provider can quickly become an overwhelming task.
The goal of this article is to help business owners understand what to look for when hiring an SEO company – and equally important, how to spot red flags and how to stay clear from unqualified service providers.
How to avoid a bad SEO experience and spot Red Flags
Not all SEOs are equal. There are many great SEO companies in most major markets – but finding them is not always easy. It’s important not to get lured by savvy marketing ads that make big promises in short order for a few dollars. The truth of the matter is that real, effective SEO that drives business month after month doesn’t have an end date. In fact, a real SEO program never ends. Your goal is to partner with an SEO team that both pays for itself (ROI) and delivers good profits for your business.
The truth about SEO is that lasting results take time to achieve. Any company that promises overnight, speedy or results in 30, 60 or even 90 days – without doing an extensive review of your website, local market, and competitor(s) is simply making promises they may not be able to keep. It’s important to note that there are ways to game the system – by implementing certain tactics that Google frowns upon – you can produce results in short order (ie: Black Hat SEO). Those that choose to go this route – either knowingly or unknowingly – risk being penalized or having all of their gains wiped out overnight.
Google is constantly working to perfect their platform and facilitates updates to their algorithm to enhance user experience and punish cheaters. It’s possible that a get ranked quick scheme can work for some time — but know that your luck will eventually run out – and time and money invested can quickly be flushed down the drain without any warning. That’s why using hacks and illegal tactics should be avoided at all cost. Rather than try to manipulate Google into thinking that your website is great and of high relevance – its best to just create a superior website and prove your authority by attracting lots of niche traffic that really need and want your offer/services.
How to select a local SEO company
When hiring a local SEO company it’s important to understand what they will do to ensure your website ranks at the top of search results. Since most business owners don’t deal in SEO task on a day-to-day basis you’ll want the chosen service provider to explain their strategies and tactics in plain English – as industry jargon and lingo will often just confuse the average decision maker. Below is a list of questions you should ask:
- What changes or updates will you need to make to my site in order to convert traffic into leads?
- Will you be creating new web-pages (i.e.: Landing Pages/Funnels) to use in certain campaigns?
- How will you acquire backlinks to my website? Ask for example of their work.
- Will you be blogging for my website – and who will write the blogs?
- What is your plan for Guest Post on high authority websites?
- What do you use to report progress? Analytics, Keyword Rankings?
- How often will you send me reports on your activities?
- Can you show me examples of your success with ranking for keywords for other clients?
Now, you may be wondering why the questions above are important to ask and more importantly, what the correct answers should be. See below for the answers to these questions.
Website Optimization: A truly optimized website that is designed for lead generation should be structured to capture qualified prospects. This requires that your site feature call-to-actions that speak to the problems, challenges, issues or goals that your product or service is geared to fix, solve or deliver desired results. If the top portion of your website reads like a book and doesn’t lead with a question and feature a lead capture form — your site is not ready to convert traffic into leads. In order to generate a pipeline of prospects – this will need to be fixed before spending good money on SEO campaigns.
Landing Pages/Funnels: You might have a great website but sending traffic to a general page that offers or speaks to many aspects of your product or service might not be conducive to converting niche prospects. Its recommend that you create a separate web-page that solely speaks to one product or service that you offer – and is focused on one goal – which is typically having a prospect fill out and submit a lead generation form or purchase one of your products.
Backlinks: One of the most influential activities an SEO will facilitate is the creation of backlinks to your website. A backlink is essentially a link that is placed on another website that points to your website. There are several ways to acquire backlinks – some are better than others. Understanding how your SEO goes about this process is critical to your websites success in ranking for meaningful keyword phrases that convert prospects into your marketing funnel.
Blogging: Like gasoline to a race car – a blog is like fuel for your website – as publishing new content helps to increase traffic to your offer. Googles algorithm scores blog quality too – so writing crappy no value articles will typically lead to zero readership. It’s important that your blog be informative, educational and helpful. A blog should be used as a communication tool to help you position your value proposition. Your blog is not a commercial and it shouldn’t be used as a 500-2,000 word sales pitch – rather you’ll want to help your audience understand various concepts, tactics and strategies that they should consider, contemplate and fully comprehend.
Guest Post: Having your articles featured on quality websites with a high volume of readership helps your keyword ranking goals. Your published articles not only demonstrate knowledge leadership but they should also feature hyperlinked keyword phrases that link back to your website (i.e.: Backlink). Guest post are one of the most important backlink types in the marketplace. Googles algorithm is able to identify that a link is pointing from a high authority website to your website – which ultimately increases your sites relevance in the eyes of Google search.
Reporting: In order to best understand progress or the lack thereof – you need to be able to see how all of the above activities are impacting the keyword phrases you want to rank for in Google. Beyond Google Analytics, your SEO team should be using sites/services like SEM Rush, Agency Analytics, Monitor Backlinks and Moz.com – just to name a few. These analytic software tools will be able to track the performance of your website and reflect what keyword phrases your website ranks for in Google and Bing.
How much should a good SEO company charge me?
In order to grasp cost and fees it’s important to understand that all of the processes above take time to process and implement. For instance, optimizing your website and creating landing pages/funnels are often one-time expenses. You can expect to pay either an hourly or flat rate for design and development. In some cases, designing and developing web-funnels in an on-going process. To ensure you don’t receive a sticker shock invoice – ask your SEO company to provide you with a quote. All projects are different – but a basic website optimization could cost anywhere from $500 – 3,000. There are variables like the implementation of Marketing Automation software (Hubspot, Jumplead, Pardot, Infusionsoft) and integrating a blog if your website does not already have one.
The same is true for Blogging, Guest Post and Backlink creation – depending on the volume of services provided your monthly cost could range from $500 – 5,000. Companies with multiple offices and national presence often pay up to $10,000 per month. It all depends on your goals, prospective clientele, and services/products you sell.
The proof is in the pudding
Results speak for themselves and numbers don’t lie. If you’re partnered with a quality SEO company you should start to see progress – not necessarily strong lead flow — within 3-6 months. Over saturated industries in competitive metros may require more time. Within a year you should start to see some level of ROI. Note that SEO is a long term investment – not something you dabble in for short periods of time. It’s critical that you set reasonable expectations and choose an honest SEO provider with a proven track record. You may experience some peaks and valleys – this is normal. Firing and hiring multiple SEO providers because you have a hunch that things should be working faster is a bad practice. This is why it’s important that you invest in having a high level understanding of the process before committing to a service provider.
Have questions? We have answers
Before you sign up with an SEO provider you should consider opting for a comprehensive SEO analysis and see various plans from different agencies. We help companies understand how to get the most from their marketing dollars and net the best results 24/7/365. Feel free to pick our brains and ask all of the questions you have regarding how best way to implement an SEO strategy for your company.
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