Well, well, well, look who we have here – a savvy business owner on the hunt for a local SEO strategist! Congrats on taking the first step towards world domination… err, we mean, online domination.
Now, we know that SEO can be a bit of a headache – it’s like trying to solve a Rubik’s cube blindfolded, right? And let’s be real, with so many self-proclaimed SEO gurus out there, it can be hard to separate the wheat from the chaff.
But fear not, dear friend, because we’ve got some top-notch tips for you on how to find a local SEO strategist that will have you climbing the search engine rankings in no time. So buckle up, grab some popcorn, and let’s get cracking!
Table of Contents
1. Check Their References
First things first – references, references, references! When it comes to finding a local SEO strategist, you need to be like Sherlock Holmes and do some serious detective work.
Any SEO pro worth their salt should have a list of references on hand. And if they start giving you the runaround with excuses like “all my clients are under NDA,” it’s time to put on your skeptical glasses.
Sure, it’s possible that all their clients are under NDA, but that’s no excuse for not being able to provide solid evidence of their success. And if they’re not willing to disclose info about other people’s sites, ask them to spill the beans on their own optimization tactics.
And if that still doesn’t work, don’t be afraid to ask for non-specific examples of how they’ve crushed it in a particular market. Remember, a little bit of healthy skepticism can go a long way in finding the perfect SEO strategist for your business.
2. Proven Experience
Ah, experience – the golden ticket to SEO success! When it comes to finding a local SEO strategist, you want someone who knows what they’re doing and can prove it.
So, ask for the top search phrases in a campaign they’ve run and see where they rank. Of course, this assumes they’re willing to share a client list with you (if not, that’s a red flag right there).
The proof is in the pudding, folks. If the sites they’ve worked on are ranking high on Google, you know they’re the real deal. But beware of SEO hotshots who brag about ranking for obscure, long-tail keywords that nobody cares about. We’re talking about “purple polka-dot widgets for left-handed unicorns” type stuff. Sure, it’s impressive, but is it really going to bring in the customers?
3. Test Their Industry Knowledge
Making informed decisions about SEO is crucial if you want to avoid getting lost in the depths of search engine results pages. So, to keep your business visible to potential customers, you need to find an SEO specialist who’s worth their salt. And no, we’re not talking about table salt – we’re talking about someone who knows their stuff!
You should assume that you’re not just hiring an SEO service for a quick fix. Instead, you want an SEO company that will continue to add value to your business. Think of them as your trusty sidekick on your business journey.
To make sure your SEO sidekick is up to scratch, you need someone who stays current with SEO trends. The search industry is like a toddler on a sugar rush – it’s constantly changing, and ranking algorithms are always evolving.
You need an SEO strategist who understands the critical points from previous updates so they can better navigate the industry’s progression. In turn, this knowledge should help boost your business’s SEO needs and give you a leg up on the competition.
4. Understand SEO vs. SMO and PPC
So, you want to be an SEO-savvy business owner? Well, buckle up because it’s time for a crash course in SEO, PPC, and SMO!
First things first, let’s talk about SEO. It’s not just a random jumble of letters – it stands for Search Engine Optimization. SEO wizards work their magic on your website to improve your organic rankings on search engines like Google. That’s right, we’re talking about the holy grail of search engine results pages, where you can grab the attention of potential customers without having to pay for ad space.
Now, let’s get to the other players in the game. Pay Per Click (PPC) and Social Media Optimization (SMO) are also marketing methods that make use of the web and search engine features. However, they’re not the same as SEO. PPC involves paying for ad clicks on search engines and social media platforms, while SMO focuses on optimizing your presence on social media.
So, when you’re hiring an SEO professional, make sure they’re actually working on improving your organic rankings, not just getting you paid search rankings or social media listings. After all, you don’t want to pay for a magic trick that ends up being smoke and mirrors!
5. How Do They Build Backlinks?
Link building is a crucial aspect of SEO, but not all SEO services include it. If you find yourself in this situation, don’t fret. Your SEO expert should be able to offer some advice on how to go about building those links yourself.
And while you’re at it, make sure to ask them about their recommended anchor tags for your links and which page URLs work best with each one. This way, you can ensure that your links are hitting the right notes and singing like a canary to Google’s search algorithms.
So go ahead, spread those wings, and start building those links like a boss!
6. How Do They Deliver Reports?
It’s essential to keep tabs on how well your SEO is doing, and you should expect periodic reports from your SEO expert. But let’s be real, old-school ranking reports don’t cut it anymore.
These days, it’s all about fancy tools like Google Analytics. This magic tool can show you the amount of traffic coming to your website. And you know what’s even better? Seeing that traffic increase after your SEO expert has worked their magic on your site.
So when you get those reports, keep an eye out for the amount of search engine traffic, and make sure it’s on the up and up.
7. Ongoing Optimization and Maintenance
When it comes to SEO, it’s not just a one-and-done deal. Like a fine wine or a good cheese, your site’s SEO needs to mature over time. That means your SEO specialist should be willing to pop in and perform upgrades on a regular basis.
Now, before you start worrying about your site’s neediness, keep in mind that not all industries require constant attention. Some sites might only need updates every few months, while others need a weekly check-up like a hypochondriac at the doctor’s office. It all depends on your site’s unique needs, so be sure to discuss this with your SEO expert.
8. Who Has Ownership of the Work?
When it comes to SEO, it’s important to keep your eyes peeled for any sneaky tactics from your so-called “expert.” You want to make sure they’re optimizing only your site and not trying to pull a fast one on you.
Unfortunately, some SEO gurus create doorway pages that belong to them. Sneaky, right? These pages might be helping your site climb up the ranks, but if you ever decide to part ways with them, they can just snatch those pages away and leave you high and dry. And let’s face it, that’s not a good look for your site’s standing in the search engines.
So, be sure to ask your SEO specialist if they’re using any of these tactics. And if they are, well, it might be time to show them the door!
9. How Do They Determine Success?
When it comes to your website’s success, there are two key factors to consider: search term listings and organic search engine referrals. But simply having these is not enough – they need to be clearly defined by your SEO pro. Here are some tips to help you get there:
- Ask your SEO expert to set specific goals for your search term listings or group. This will help you keep track of your progress and make adjustments as needed.
- Request regular updates on your organic search engine referrals. This will help you understand the impact of your SEO efforts and identify areas for improvement.
- Work with your SEO pro to determine what percentage increase in traffic is considered a success for your website. This will give you a concrete target to aim for and measure your results against.
Remember, success is not just about having a high number of search term listings or referrals – it’s about achieving your specific goals and driving meaningful traffic to your site. So make sure your SEO expert is on board and working towards the same objectives as you.
10. Write Down Everything
Alright, listen up, because this one is important. Make sure you have everything in writing. That’s right; you gotta put pen to paper (or fingers to keyboard, whatever floats your boat) and get it all down on that contract. Here’s why:
- Without a written agreement, you’re basically just relying on good faith. And let’s face it, in the business world, that’s not always the best bet.
- If your SEO expert promised you the moon and the stars but didn’t deliver, you need to have that in writing so you can hold them accountable. It’s not personal, it’s just business.
- Plus, having everything in writing makes it crystal clear what you’re getting for your money. No confusion, no misunderstandings, no “he said, she said” nonsense.
So, before you sign on that dotted line, make sure you have everything you need in writing. Your future self will thank you.
Bonus Tip – Request an Audit of your Website
Before you let any SEO specialist loose on your website, you should definitely request an audit of your site. It’s like taking your car to the mechanic for a tune-up before you hit the road. Here are some things to look for in the audit:
- Did the SEO specialist create a prioritized list of proposed changes, including their expected impact and difficulty? You want to make sure they’re focusing on the tasks that will have the biggest impact first.
- Did the specialist take the time to explain the reasoning behind their suggested changes to you? You want to be in the loop, after all.
- Did the specialist consider how real people would read and understand your website’s listings in the search results? After all, you’re not just trying to impress the search engines – you want to appeal to real human beings too!
- Does the specialist feel like someone you could work with and learn from? If you’re going to be working with them for a while, you want to make sure you get along.
Having an audit done can give you a good idea of the SEO specialist’s approach and whether or not you want to work with them. Plus, it’s always good to get a tune-up before hitting the road.
Congratulations on reaching the end of our blog post about hiring an SEO expert! We’re glad you stuck around for the ride. Here’s a quick summary of our tips to help you find the perfect SEO candidate:
- Research potential candidates thoroughly (no, we don’t mean stalking them on social media)
- Request an audit of your site (and try not to cringe too much when they point out your site’s flaws)
- Have everything written down (because verbal agreements are so last year)
- Set clear expectations and hold your expert accountable (just like you would with your pet unicorn)
- Get strong legal documentation to protect yourself and your investments (because legal battles are not fun)
- And of course, contact JC Web Designs for help with your SEO needs (because we love making your website dreams come true)
By following these tips, you’ll be well on your way to working with an SEO expert who can help your website become a true contender in the search engine rankings. So go forth and conquer, internet warriors!