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SEO tips: How to get a good deal and avoid getting conned – part one

Is your website hard to find? Are you considering using an SEO company to make it more visible on Google and other search engines?

Are you worried that search engine optimisation won’t work or that you’ll end up buying something that won’t really suit your business?

If you play your cards right SEO can be like gold dust – whether you’re a big business with grand plans or a small firm with a limited budget. But there are plenty of pitfalls out there so you are right to worry.

It’s hard to know where to start – or whether to start at all – so hopefully these SEO tips will point you in the right direction.

Companies often buy SEO as one big package but there are several ways to get search engines to like your site which means there will be various elements to any SEO strategy.

Each case is different but we’ve identified seven major strands to SEO that tend to be relevant in our experience – see below – so if you are speaking to a provider it’s worth checking they’ve got all the following bases covered.

After that, we’ve outlined a few tips that might help you trim a considerable chunk off what you pay.

But more of that later – for now here’s our guide to what you should be getting for your money:-

What services would suit me best? Seven steps to SEO success:-

1 Company and market research

Your SEO agency will need to understand more about your company, the industry in general, your rivals, which online marketing strategies are most powerful in your sector and how effectively you and your rivals use them.

Some of this research will involve speaking to you, some won’t.

They will analyse the links on your site and your rivals’ sites. They will also take a look at the analytics on your site and feed back to you so you have a good idea of how well it is performing before they recommend the best way forward.

2 Strategy and project management

They will report back to you with various options about how you can improve the visibility of your company online.

Most of the likely areas are covered in the next five points. Some may be more suited to you than others so it goes without saying it is entirely up to you which – if any – you’d like to pursue.

If you go ahead, it’s worth thinking about how hands on you want to be but we’d recommend speaking regularly and meeting at least once a month so they can fill you in on the latest developments.

3 Keyword analysis

Your SEO provider will advise you which words and phrases to optimise your site for.

This process is crucial and must not be rushed. We generally analyse hundreds – or even thousands – of keywords and give clients a detailed breakdown on the pros and cons of each before suggesting a shortlist of the best.

We don’t charge for this but many providers will. Don’t simply choose the most popular keywords – choose those which are most relevant to your business and most likely to drive you custom.

4 Optimising your site – part one

One you have decided which keywords to optimise your site for, your SEO agency will draft page titles and meta descriptions and make sure everything is tagged correctly behind the scenes.

This will ensure search engines understand what your pages are about and can make a huge difference if done well.

They will also be fixing any errors on your site, such as broken code – and anything else that will annoy Google, like duplicated content. There’s every chance they’ll also want to improve your internal links.

5 Optimising your site – part two

Congratulations, your car is now roadworthy – give or take – so it’s time to put the key in the ignition.

But you’ll soon discover it struggles to make 30 and won’t climb hills when your fat mate is sitting in the back. So it’s time to pimp it up big time.

Your agency are likely to advise you about installing social sharing buttons and the creation of new pages that will aid your optimisation. They are also more than likely to want to change the text in various places to make it more search-engine friendly.

SEO tips

Safety-conscious Lucy always set off with the airbag up – just to be sure

6 Blogging

Search engines are primed to reward regular, fresh, relevant content so there’s every chance a blog will be part of your SEO agency’s strategy.

Ideally an expert copywriter will write all your blogs from scratch as they will be most knowledgeable about how to harness keywords in various places such as the meta title, meta description, headlines and the content itself.

However, if you are on a budget you might be able to come to an arrangement with the SEO team where you share blogging duties to an extent.

7 Aftercare

Your SEO agency should continue to paw through your analytics to keep you posted on how your site is performing better, continually suggesting minor tweaks and improvements.

They might also want to speak to you about using social media more effectively and online reputation management, for example – to ensure all the good work you’ve put in from points 1-6 doesn’t go to waste.

These aren’t essential to everyone – it will depend on the nature of your business – but it’s well worth having a conversation.

SEO tips: Summing how to get a good deal on your SEO

All agencies are different and all clients are different but this is roughly what is likely to be on the table if you approach an SEO agency about optimising your website.

They will obviously want to upsell but any responsible SEO agency will only sell products that will benefit the client.

Embarking on something that is not best suited for your business is in no one’s interest as sooner or later it will become apparent you aren’t benefitting in the way you wanted and that will undermine your whole relationship with your provider.

We’ve got plenty of tips for how to get value when speaking to SEO agencies and we go into them in the second part of this blog. We also talk about roughly how much you should expect to pay if you do decide to go ahead with SEO. We hope it helps – happy reading.

If you have any queries feel free to call on 0207 100 4562 for a no-obligation chat. Failing that, good luck!

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