Most businesses now understand the importance of SEO.
A university in the USA spent time investigating the process of ‘click and attention distribution’. The results showed that the majority of internet users will only pay attention to the top two links on the search page. In order for businesses to reach the heights of number one and two – thereby increasing their web traffic – they need to employ search engine optimization.
The problem is this; SEO is a long and often complicated process. It requires dedicated time each day to analyse key words, the evaluation of competitor activity and the creation of keyword and content rich copy to promote the business website up the Google page rankings. Most business owners are already up to their eyeballs in the everyday management of their company. They simply don’t have the free time needed to put towards positive optimization activity.
As such, companies wishing to promote their business should consider bringing in a dedicated SEO expert. Alternatively they can outsource their work to one of the many companies now offering this service.
With so many search engine optimization agencies fighting for your attention, how should a company choose an SEO agency? As every good businessman knows, the cheapest isn’t always the best, so here are four top tips to choosing your SEO agency:
How familiar is the SEO agency with your industry?
An SEO agency will need to have a good understanding of the industry in which a business operates in order to follow trending topics and to know what content viewers of the website will find interesting. Without a working knowledge of the industry the agency will find it hard to produce content rich in keywords and phrases, and will be ineffective in communicating the business’ experience and trustworthiness.
Conversely, an SEO company that does understand the business in question will be better equipped to increase engagement with online visitors and prospective customers.
Can they write?
Having a working knowledge of the business’ industry is a good start, but the agency will also need experience in writing with authority and expertise. In order to protect and build a reputation the SEO firm will need to demonstrate excellent writing skills. Good copy is not just about shoe-horning in keywords, it’s about creating fresh content that demonstrates the best aspects of the business in question.
Are they ahead of the keyword curve?
The bread and butter of SEO is the use of keywords. All SEO agencies will track current search terms of relevance to their client’s businesses – but they won’t all make use of industry reports and insight to deduce breakout search terms. Staying ahead of the competition is critical; a good agency will use intuition and rely on an excellent research strategy to ensure they can do just that.
Will the SEO integrate with other marketing activities?
Of utmost importance to SEO is the use of original and interesting content. But it shouldn’t be randomly created content. It is vital that the message being produced by the optimization team remains consistent with their client’s overarching messaging and branding. Only agencies that demonstrate a commitment to providing and integrated service that ties with their customer’s SEO, PR, PPC and social media campaigns should be considered.
This is a guest post by Charlotte Ward is a Senior Account Manager at TopLine Communications (www.toplinecomms.com) . TopLine offers PR, SEO, Video marketing and PPC services. Charlotte has worked in PR for five years, first in the B2B graphic arts sector, and now in general B2B technology. She has experience working with businesses in finance, technology, HR and Recruitment.
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