Nothing. Nothing happened. Your business is phenomenal at baking cakes. But nobody knows it. They search for a cake baker, but you’re nowhere to be found. The all-powerful search engine is just ignoring your great website. Don’t feel bad, it happens to everybody.
So, you immediately call your web guy and complain that your phone isn't ringing off the hook like they promised you it would. So, is it their fault? The short answer is no. Unless your contract clearly stated that you would also be receiving search engine optimization (and for a specific set of keyword phrases), your web designer is not responsible for your website success. Just like the person that printed your business cards isn't responsible for you handing them out.
Choosing the Right SEO Company (Search Engine Optimization)
Your website success is totally dependent on you! I'm not saying that you can't or shouldn't hire this out to someone else, I'm just saying that your website success does not happen by accident. It has to be planned, nurtured and worked on just like every other aspect of your business.
Website success is dependent on a few things. I'm going to narrow this down to just SEO (search engine optimization). Search Engine Optimization is the art of nudging the search engine gods (like Google) to show your website in the almighty results. When people say "I don't show up in Google!" my first question back is "for what?". What phrase(s) are you searching for that you feel confident that Google should show your website above the other eleventybillion websites out there? Once we know the answer to that, we can start crafting a strategy - even if the strategy is to find a different set of phrases.
So, step one is recognizing that you need to be doing some SEO. Step two is determining who should do that work (yourself, your staff or an outside firm). Doing this yourself requires time and patience. How much time? A lot up front and a little each week / every other week for a while thereafter.
This article is written to help you choose an outside source to aid in your search placement. So, how do you choose?
Well obviously, DE Web Works is the right company! However, we don’t take all clients and you might need to get on a waiting list. If we built your website, you'll be at the top of the list.
Here are some questions to ask when looking at an SEO company:
- Will they be editing your website directly? If they are not making direct changes to your website (updating the content and titles), keep looking.
- How will they communicate with you on changes? You don't need a blow-by-blow rundown of what happens, but they should make you aware of when they make changes to your website and what those changes were. You need to make sure your content is still accurate and reflects your business model.
- What does reporting look like? Don't get bogged down with numbers and useless reports. Impressions means absolutely nothing to you.
- Do they have solid references? Call them. Ask them specifically what that company did for them and how long it took.
- How do they get paid? For the project, by the hour or a monthly retainer? Never agree to a never-ending monthly retainer.
Here are some red flags to look out for:
- They called you or emailed you (unsolicited). If they had time to call you, they aren’t good enough to be busy.
- They tell you that they’ve “run a report / audit” and your site is horrible. No website in the history of the Internet will pass their audit. Doesn't mean your website will be any more successful after they've worked on it. If they tell you that your website is missing META tags and that's causing your site to place poorly, just laugh and hang up on them.
- They GUARANTEE you placement! Google even states that nobody can guarantee placement. There are no short cuts to SEO - no silver bullets. Don't get suckered in.
- They create landing pages that do NOT live on your website. This will NOT create a lasting strategy and it sends Google headed in the wrong direction.
Interview multiple companies. First and foremost, you need to TRUST that the company knows you and your business goals.
Next, make sure you understand how much this is going to cost and what you can expect in return.
Last, make sure you can cancel at any time WITHOUT losing any placement that they have worked for. This is the most important part. If you stop paying them, and your site disappears - then they have done some bad mojo on your website.
If you're ready to talk to a professional about your business strategy, contact us today