Promoting your small business online may be the difference between having a successful company and failed one. This is because, now more than ever, people are turning to their smart devices to explore the world around them. When someone is looking for a local business, there is a good chance they will turn to the internet to perform a quick search for what they are seeking. This may be a specific type of business, a service, or a product.
Having a website that is properly optimized will allow Google to direct online users to your website. This plays a very important role in attracting customers and bringing business to your company. The more competitive the industry you work in is, the more important focusing on marketing will be in order to be successful.
What is an SEO?
SEO is an acronym for “search engine optimization” or “search engine optimizer.” Deciding to hire an SEO is a big decision that can potentially improve your site and save time, but you can also risk damage to your site and reputation. Make sure to research the potential advantages as well as the damage that an irresponsible SEO can do to your site. Many SEOs and other agencies and consultants provide useful services for website owners, including:
- Review of your site content or structure
- Content development
- Management of online business development campaigns
- Keyword research
- SEO training
- Expertise in specific markets and geographies.
Advertising with Google won’t have any effect on your site’s presence in our search results. Google never accepts money to include or rank sites in our search results, and it costs nothing to appear in our organic search results. Resources such as Search Console, the official Google Search Central blog, and our discussion forum can provide you with a great deal of information about how to optimize your site for organic search.
If you run a small local business, you can probably do much of the work yourself. Here are some good resources:
- Check out our video series on building an online presence for your business.
- Google Webmaster Guidelines
- Google 101: How Google crawls, indexes, and serves the web.
- The SEO starter guide describes much of what your SEO will do for you. Although you don’t need to know this guide well yourself if you’re hiring a professional to do the work for you, it is useful to be familiar with these techniques, so that you can be aware if an SEO wants to use a technique that is not recommended or, worse, strongly discouraged.
Remember that it will take time for you to see results: typically from four months to a year from the time you begin making changes until you start to see the benefits.
If you think that you still need extra help from a professional, continue reading about how to choose an SEO.
Choosing an SEO
If you’re thinking about hiring an SEO, the earlier the better. A great time to hire is when you’re considering a site redesign, or planning to launch a new site. That way, you and your SEO can ensure that your site is designed to be search engine-friendly from the bottom up. However, a good SEO can also help improve an existing site.
Be committed to implementing the recommended changes. Making the changes recommended by an SEO takes time and effort; if you aren’t going to take the time to make these changes, it’s not worthwhile hiring a professional.
Interview your potential SEO. Some useful questions to ask an SEO include:
- Can you show me examples of your previous work and share some success stories?
- Do you follow the Google Webmaster Guidelines?
- Do you offer any online marketing services or advice to complement your organic search business?
- What kind of results do you expect to see, and in what timeframe? How do you measure your success?
- What’s your experience in my industry?
- What’s your experience in my country/city?
- What’s your experience developing international sites?
- What are your most important SEO techniques?
- How long have you been in business?
- How can I expect to communicate with you? Will you share with me all the changes you make to my site, and provide detailed information about your recommendations and the reasoning behind them?
- See if the SEO is interested in you and your business. If they’re not interested, find someone who is. Your SEO should ask questions such as:
- What makes your business or service unique and valuable to customers?
- Who are your customers?
- How does your business make money, and how can search results help?
- What other advertising channels are you using?
- Who are your competitors?
Check your SEO’s business references. Ask past clients if they felt that this SEO provided useful service, was easy to work with, and produced positive results.
Ask for a technical and search audit for your site to learn what they think needs to be done, why, and what the expected outcome should be. You’ll probably have to pay for this. You will probably have to give them read-only access to your site on Search Console. (At this stage, don’t grant them write access.) Your prospective SEO should be able to give you realistic estimates of improvement, and an estimate of the work involved. If they guarantee you that their changes will give you first place in search results, find someone else.
Decide if you want to hire.
Houston Online SEO Company
If you are not putting resources into optimizing your website, you will quickly fall behind your competitors that have already implemented SEO strategies to their online presence. As the gap expands between how much effort your competitors are putting into their online marketing and how little work you are putting into your website, the harder it will become to engage with customers online. The team at Houston Small Business Marketing works hard to help your business stay relevant in this online-focused world by tracking the latest strategies in online marketing for businesses.
Do not allow yourself to miss out on potential customers and become a force within your industry! From excellent web design to social media management, the team at Houston Small Business Marketing is here to help you broaden your reach and grow your audience! If you are tired of giving away potential customers to your competition, contact us today! We dedicate ourselves to working closely with business owners to come up with a marketing plan that helps them succeed. We provide each customer with a free consultation for your website and social media to let you know how you can improve your placement online and grow your engagement with local potential customers looking for your services.
Houston Small Business Marketing
1415 North Loop West #950
Houston, TX 77008
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