Are you planning to hire an SEO consultant, SEO team, or SEO agency to improve your online visibility with search engine optimization?
Search engine optimization (SEO) is a channel of inbound marketing that improves a website’s presence across different searches. It is among the fastest-growing branches of digital marketing that began roughly twenty years ago with the advent of cheaper internet and broader access to the world wide web. However, even before the term SEO was invented, website admins and business owners were already performing the steps necessary to improve the visibility of their digital properties.
Eventually, the need for optimized websites and better inbound marketing efforts created an entire industry of SEO vendors that spans the globe. Search engine optimization can benefit any organization, business, or entity.
It complements any business’s overall vision and objectives and is never separate from brand awareness efforts. Therefore, we can say that SEO makes it possible for website owners to practice all the things they’ve learned about customer experience, customer retention, engagement, and inbound marketing, in general.
But the big question now is when you’re ready to hire an SEO professional, team, or agency, how do you know they’re doing the job they’re supposed to do?
Here’s What You Need to Know About SEO
You Can Start SEO Right Away
SEO may be a marathon, not a sprint, but any SEO agency can begin work on a website the same day they’re hired to improve online visibility. Of course, genuine SEO involves an incredible array of steps. Still, these steps shouldn’t be a problem for any SEO professional, SEO team, or SEO agency specializing in on-page, off-page, and technical search engine optimization.
The process begins with a professional website audit, followed by reports to show you what your team discovered on your website. Then, depending on the team or SEO consultant, you may receive recommendations about your hosting service, WordPress design, and more. Of course, the team or consultant’s capacity will impact how much work will be done on your website and what timescale you’re looking at. However, we can say that for all SEO efforts, you need to be patient with the process because it’s not an overnight endeavor.
We can tell you that organizations that stick it out with search engine optimization are more likely to succeed in the long term, and the results are nothing like Google Ads. With advertising, you get ‘fast results’ that dissipates when the advertising budget is spent. With SEO, content you published five years ago will still compete with other businesses in your market or industry the same way they did the day they were published. That’s the true power of SEO.
SEO is Not Magic – It is an Art and Science Rolled into One
“SEO magic” is ordinary in the industry of SEO vendors, but that’s just a fun term that we use to summarize what successful optimization does. “Magically,” you start appearing on the first page of Google. However, the best optimizers will also tell you that the uphill battle has just begun when you land on the first page. You don’t just optimize to be found; you also optimize to keep people on the page, so they either call you or buy from your website directly (depending on your business).
When you work with an SEO agency or team, you should ask them the following questions to catch the contour of their overall SEO strategy:
- How do you propose to fix the homepage of the website?
- Do we need to modify existing pages or add new ones?
- Do you know how to start a content marketing campaign for the website?
- Are you partnered with websites that can help promote awareness of the business?
- How do you intend to begin the link-building campaign for the website?
- What are your general strategies for increasing a website’s authoritativeness?
- What types of professionals do you work with to complete daily, weekly, and monthly SEO goals and milestones?
- What timeframes do you have for specific parts of the SEO effort?
- What are your recurring projects within the campaign?
- How familiar are you with the general market or industry that my business is in?
Every SEO professional worth their salt has “tried and true” methods that they swear by. Think of different paths up the mountain. If the SEO consultant or team has an accurate map of the finish line, they will eventually get there. How they get, there is a matter of technique. Therefore, we said that SEO is both an art and a science. The science component deals with data and analytics. Essentially, watching the website’s audience grow and discovering more about how the target audience reacts or responds to the new content and pages.
In my first SEO book, I also talked about the finer points of SEO and why it should also be considered an art.
SEO is an art because you’re designing something to create a powerful impression on people. And you do so with their needs and wants in mind.
SEO Works Because it is Customer-Centered
Be wary of any search engine optimizer who says ‘they can’t do marketing’ because ‘they only do SEO.’ This is a bright red flag, and we suggest you bid them goodbye immediately.
Foremost, SEO is a part of inbound marketing.
There’s no separating SEO from marketing because it is digital marketing. It is a way to reach more customers. It is a way to make your website look better. It is also a way to offer relevant, engaging, and optimized content to online consumers. Therefore, it is impossible to isolate SEO from the day-to-day concerns of digital marketing, like customer experience, page experience, and so on.
SEO also requires plenty of strategies.
There can be no accurate SEO without a strategy in place. No strategy means the SEO professional or team doesn’t know who to communicate with through the SEO effort. If you don’t know who you should be talking to, then what’s to optimize? We recommend working with an SEO team, consultant, or agency that can connect the overall offer without communicating with people. A customer-centric approach to SEO and inbound marketing is always best. You skip a lot of problems this way, and your speed to the heart of the matter, which is better communication with returning customers, new customers, and potential customers.
We present the previous point above to summarize the customer-centric approach to search engine optimization: SEO is both an art and a science, and you can’t succeed with just half the effort.
SEO Needs Constant Research and Data
SEO is meaningless without market data, keyword research, competitor research, and frequent tech updates. A website made ten years ago might ‘still’ be functional today, but without the most recent tech upgrades, it may malfunction on both PCs and mobile phones.
The same website that hasn’t had content for years would need to be renewed with content and pages derived from customer search trends, keyword data, and competitive content structure to match competitors’ offerings.
If we were to compare SEO to DIY efforts, then SEO is a complete home renovation. You know how the process works if you have renovated any part of your house or at least improved it bit by bit. Unfortunately, what you see that’s still working may not be efficient, and you may be putting up with less than stellar performance.
If you hired an SEO team recently, they should provide you (at least) with recommendations about improving your website from the ground up. They must provide recommendations when they see weak points because that’s the entire point of SEO: to make a website work better so that customers would want to visit and buy from it.
Therefore, a good SEO consultant or team must always be research-oriented.
Research never stops with SEO; there are always additional opportunities to gain market and customer insights. As we mentioned previously, one cannot separate SEO from digital marketing. That’s not SEO if you’re not firmly connected with your niche, which is your customers, grouped nicely based on needs and preferences. Despite the use of these special terms, SEO will always be for customers. Everything you’re doing on your website attracts people and makes them want to give you business.
Constant SEO research keeps the strategy fresh and relevant to customers.
The right mindset is always knowing what the customer wants and implementing the right changes to the website and the offsite component of the SEO campaign. An incredible array of information is available to business owners and SEO professionals through the right SEO tools. A data-driven SEO campaign will remain superior to all other approaches. You get the right results and know you’re headed in the right direction from day one.