Choosing the Right SEO for Your Small Business Needs

SEO could benefit many businesses who are looking to increase their online presence and drive more targeted prospects with their websites. Unfortunately the SEO industry isn’t known for its transparency and this can be confusing for businesses which are wondering just what exactly they will be getting in return because of their investment.

The SEO industry in addition has attracted many cowboys who employ “black-hat” techniques that not in favor of the policies of Google and the other search engines. You should make sure that your SEO will undoubtedly be done using ethical “White Hat” techniques.

Businesses that unwittingly employ an SEO that uses these techniques could see short-term results until Google discovers the footprints left out by these techniques, at which point they will see a negative effect on their search engine rankings. seo The black hat SEO offers quick fixes and is normally long gone by this point!

What’s With the Hats?

The term “Black Hat” originates from the old western movies, the criminals always wore black hats! The good guys wore white hats, you will hear ethical SEO referred to as “White Hat” SEO. Remember the bad guys always got their just deserts!

What When your SEO be Doing for Your Business?

It is important to know just what your SEO will undoubtedly be doing for you personally and how they will offer you measurable results. Be wary of any SEO who supplies a guaranteed ranking, it really is impossible to ensure a ranking with Google or any other search engine!

Any SEO who is able to guarantee results without even knowing which keywords you want to target is using this as a marketing ploy, how could they guarantee results in the event that you wanted to compete for keywords like “Apple”, “Google” or “Facebook”?!

Without conducting keyword research it is impossible to inform how likely the success of an SEO campaign will undoubtedly be and how long it is likely to take. SEO is an ongoing process of research, testing and analysis. It takes careful planning to identify the very best keywords and to then put a solid strategy in place to rank for those keywords.

On-site and Off Site SEO

SEO takes into account factors which are both on-site and off-site. On-site SEO entails an analysis of your website. It involves looking at many factors including the site structure, usage of keywords, the sites content, page loading times and the HTML and CSS that the site is built with. Good on-site SEO benefits the end user and also helps to avoid any technical “Gotchas” that search engines don’t like, such as duplicated content.

A good SEO begins by analysing your site and making recommendations to boost an optimise the website for both users and search engines. Off site SEO involves creating relevant backlinks from other sites to yours.

Each backlink is counted by the search engines as a vote for your site. Websites receive an authority score called Page Rank. Each time a site links for you it shares a small amount of its page rank with you, links from high authority sites share more of this page rank than lower authority sites. Incoming links to a site are known as backlinks.

To Follow or to Nofollow…

Some links carry no authority at all, many links carry a nofollow attribute that tell the search engines never to count that link as a vote. Webmasters and bloggers might add this attribute themselves should they don’t their link to be counted as a vote for the external site or it could be automatically added by the platform they are using to create their content, this is the case when a site offers its user to include comments or content and the webmaster has little control over what links get created by the sites contributors.

Links without the nofollow attribute are termed “dofollow” and pass page rank from your own page to the linked page. In HTML there is absolutely no actual dofollow attribute, dofollow happens automagically in the lack of a nofollow attribute. You must never nofollow internal links as this will cause any page rank that could have been passed to that link to just evaporate!

Where Did YOU OBTAIN Those Links?

You should ask your SEO how they will create backlinks, a good SEO will try to build a varied backlink portfolio for you personally. This portfolio should include quality value links that are found in bodies of text such as blogs. These usually carry the most page rank but also require the most work as the SEO will need to build connections with blog owners and frequently provide the content themselves.

Any good SEO will look for quality over quantity, anyone promising a high number of links is most likely best avoided. The various search engines like to see “Natural Links of Love”, a few high quality links will go a whole lot further than many poor links.

Other linking strategies include using quality business directories or commenting on blogs and forums and using social media and social bookmark creating sites.

Link exchanges are best avoided as both of these way links don’t look like natural links. Search engines can easily see the Internet as a series of connected nodes and easily detect unnatural patterns such as this.

Your Business, Your Needs

Your SEO should talk with you about your business needs and goals and in addition try to understand just as much as they can about your target audience. If they don’t do that then they are unlikely to pick keywords that may attract and convert the proper audience for you business. They ought to conduct extensive keyword research and be able to identify the keywords that will bring in more of the proper traffic. Traffic is useless if it doesn’t convert!

Added Value

Your SEO should also have the ability to research your competition and let you know what keywords they are targeting and also just how much time it is likely to try compete for the same keywords. They should also be able to come up with alternative strategies if those keywords are far too competitive for your budget or even to bring in traffic when you work towards competing for the primary keywords.

SEO takes time, it doesn’t happen overnight. Your SEO should be able to provide you with a monthly report that shows the way you are progressing through the search engine for your keywords. They ought to also be able to run PPC campaigns in your stead and also create content and copy for the site.

Many SEO’s may also be in a position to promote you via social media marketing and advise you on other Online marketing techniques such as building mailing lists for email campaigns.

The Bottom Line

The rate for an SEO varies a lot. Some agencies will charge upwards of 1000 a month! Your small business should be able to look for a decent SEO for around 300 a month, this depends upon the amount of service required but 300 can purchase you a good campaign targeting 5 keywords.

The first month is usually a bit more expensive as this is actually the month that the on-site SEO takes place in addition to the keyword and competitor research.

Some SEO’s offer a very cheap service, you get everything you pay for and take into account that SEO takes a large amount of time as it involves lots of research, analysis and content creation.