The buzz word every small business owner hears about these days is SEO. So what is SEO and why should I even care? Simply put, SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization; A set of tactics used to increase the visibility of your website on search engines, such as Google and Bing organically (without paid advertisements). The reason it is important is also simple; Your business needs to participate in SEO tactics if you wish to be found on the internet organically.
Clearly, there is an abundance of SEO “experts” just by doing a quick Google search. Let me tell you though, there is a significant variance in terms of skills for SEO “experts”. There are definitely SEO experts out there who know their stuff, but in this industry, there is a high percentage of “experts” that can’t even tell you what a meta tag is. The point is, you need to be very selective when hiring a SEO “expert”.
I’m going to walk you through a few key components a small business owner should look out for when hiring a SEO Expert:
- First and foremost, your expert should provide you with a list of references they have provided SEO work for. You should get in contact these references and check their results and opinions based on their rankings before and current rankings across the internet.
- With so many scammers in the industry, I believe you should look for results-driven fees. There are agencies that will do this (typically with a start-up fee) and you pay them when your rankings on search engines increase! Why have it any other way? *Make sure to put together a contract*
- Do your research before you meet with them: Going into a meeting with a SEO expert can be intimidating since most business owners are not familiar with how SEO really works. Grab a book from your local bookstore, read some articles (like my blog). After you feel confident with the industry terms, you will have an edge up over most clients.
- Beware of those “experts” who are charging less than $500 a month for their services and promise to deliver results. Often times, these “experts” will take your money and do a little dance and than submit your site to thousands of sites, not adding any real value and possibly getting you blacklisted from search engines.
- Before you hire a SEO expert, make sure to check your current rankings with search engines by using the Google Keyword Planner. This is a very important step, many small businesses fail to do before hiring an expert.
- Find out what kind of reports they will provide you. If you’re paying money for your expert, you should be receiving updated reports on your site at least monthly, as well as a quick phone call.
- Ultimately, the person you hire should be motivated, enthusiastic, be able to explain any industry concepts clearly and concisely, as well as honest.