You have a great product. Now how do you let potential customers know that without having to shell out for paid ads? Search engine optimization (SEO) is a tried-and-true solution for engaging target audiences by showing up higher on search engines. You do this by building your website’s credibility.
Considering that Google regularly changes its algorithms, SEO has a lot of moving parts. If you aren’t able to invest a significant amount of time in keeping pace with these changes, you would be wise to hire an experienced SEO firm that can help you leverage Google algorithms for your benefit.
I’ll let you in on a little secret, though: You’re not off the hook by farming out your SEO. Even the best SEO team will need your input. I’ve seen many companies lose their edge when they hire an SEO company and forget about it. There’s nothing wrong with outsourcing, but there’s definitely something wrong with the “forget about it” part. Yes, your SEO company should be doing the heavy lifting, but when you stay engaged in the right ways, you can multiply their efforts.
Here are six things you can do (or not do) to support your SEO partner and maximize their efforts to make your wallet fatter:
Hypothetical scenario: Your SEO company writes some killer blog posts for you. They’re witty, informative and have great calls to action. Before posting, they send the drafts to you to get your blessing before they go live. I get it, you’re busy. So you make a note to get to them next week. But then the week passes… and then another.
The problem is that Google loves fresh, frequent and consistent content. By dragging your feet, you’re sabotaging your potential to dominate Google. Make sure to respond quickly to your SEO company to get the most bang for your buck. If you don’t have time to respond to their requests, delegate them to someone in your company who can give these communications the high priority that they deserve.
Take the time to steer your SEO company in the right direction, especially in the beginning. After all, a boat setting sail in the wrong direction by a few feet can end up off course by a few miles.
Something as fast and easy as you recording a brief video with feedback can go a long way with helping your SEO company align with your vision, helping them convey your company’s mission and philosophies, attracting your ideal buyer and putting money in your bank account.
Make sure there aren’t too many cooks in the kitchen.
Designate a point person to interact with your SEO company rather than having them interface with several representatives from your company and losing time by waiting for each of them to reply. Yes, a consensus is great, but allow that to happen behind the scenes. The point person can deliver the consensus and update the SEO team when it is complete. Otherwise, it can be confusing for your SEO company to receive different (and sometimes contradictory) input from each team member.
I’m all for being detail-oriented, but I’ve also seen clients lose the big picture by managing every last word, hyphen and pixel. Micromanaging can create a lot of back and forth that monopolizes your time, which is the very thing you’re trying to conserve by hiring an SEO company in the first place.
Ask yourself: Will it really matter if this logo is ¼-inch to the right or left, or if the latest blog uses the word “dilemma” versus “conundrum”? Go to the mat over the big stuff, but save time and energy by letting the unimportant stuff go. As the popular adage goes, “Perfect is the enemy of good.”
Don’t override their expertise.
A while back, I had a client who insisted on making every blog a hard sell. They couldn’t seem to grasp (in spite of many conversations) that blogs should provide value to customers by educating and entertaining their audience, therefore establishing expertise and building trust.
Readers are turned off by thinly veiled sales pitches, causing them to abandon your pages quicker, hurting your search engine rankings. As a business owner, you know your organization better than anyone, and your input is crucial to your campaign’s success. Just make sure that you are open to counsel from your SEO provider. After all, they’re experts at their craft as well.
Paid ads can generate rapid, short-term results, but the beauty of SEO is that it is usually (a lot) less costly and more sustainable in the long run. It may take time at first, but each new SEO milestone will build on the last one so that you are continuously growing your brand, engaging your target audience and positioning yourself as an expert in your field.
This is the secret to achieving and maintaining Page One rankings and, therefore, more traffic and more sales. But if you jump ship prematurely, you’ll waste the momentum you’ve gained and take yourself off the best path for long-term online success.
Hiring a good SEO company can be one of the best business decisions you ever make. Staying involved with your SEO campaign in appropriate ways is the secret to accelerating your returns. Keyword: “appropriate.”