Small Business & Hiring an Search Engine Optimization Firm
It looks like there is so much to get done for my business for search engine optimization. What should I do first? This is a question not only small business owners struggle with, but SEO companies too! Here’s what you should do first and then prioritize second. Make sure to ask your current SEO company or if you are looking to hire one, ask them these questions to make sure you are hiring the right firm. If they hesitate or do not know what you are talking about, chances are they are not doing enough and will only temporarily boost your Google rankings.
First SEO Priorities:
If you don’t have this list straight first, then anything you do after will have little impact on your website rankings on search engines. This list should take about 1 month for a smaller business and up to 3 months for a larger, multi location business.
- Solid Website – easy to navigate, visually appealing, functional, overall professional appearance
- Onsite Optimization – pictures optimized filed names & alt tags, meta data correctly filled out, text is legible, site speed loads fast, no broken links, no follow/no index extra pages, and much more.
- Good Content – 300-600 words per service/product page and 1500 words on homepage, original content, regular blog, compelling to humans
- Reviews – minimum of 5 Google+ reviews for your star rating to show up in Google results, Facebook reviews, Yelp reviews, Trip Advisor, any industry reviews
- Citations – check your citations (an instance of your business name, address, and phone number). If these are not 100% correct, then this could be greatly affecting your rankings and customers may not be able to reach you. Even though the difference may not be a big deal to a human reading the company name or address, it may be huge for search engine ranking Ex: Company Name, Inc. is much different than Company Name Inc or Company Name Inc.
Secondary Small Business SEO:
After you have completed the basics, the rest of your SEO should be customized to you. If your business calls for more social media or if your customers respond better to coupons with event tracking on your website or through an e-mail newsletter or a mobile site, then focus on these items first. Most businesses will benefit from a set list of recommendations from SEO companies but be aware that every company is different and they prioritize different items. You should be receiving regular reports on a weekly or monthly basis from the business you hire.
When finding an SEO company, look for one that is transparent and lets you know exactly what they plan to do for you. For example, Awesomedynamic.com will provide you with a free website audit on items that your company is currently doing well or that need improvement if you contact them. Running your own SEO can be a full time job between blogging, website updates, Google algorithm updates, social media updates, newsletters, press releases, checking for errors, preventing other sites from copying your hard earned original content, link building, contact tracking and more.