Search engine optimizationYou may be thinking about hiring an SEO (search engine optimization) company to help boost your online search rankings. After all, being in the top three results significantly increases the chance that potential customers will click on your website. A 2013 report by Chitika revealed that placement matters a lot:

  • Search rankings get 32.5% of clicks on average
  • Rankings get 17.6%
  • Rankings get 11.4%
  • Sites ranked below #10 get less than 1% of traffic

Being ranked at or near the top of search engine results can lead to more website visits, higher brand awareness, and more sales. With that in mind, it’s important that you hire the right SEO company to maximize your online exposure. Here are three questions you can ask during the hiring process.

1. What’s your plan for improving my search ranking?

This might be the most important question you can ask, because it helps you separate companies that know what they are doing from those that are just trying to take advantage of your lack of time or SEO knowledge to make a quick buck. Companies should be willing to share their strategy and have it clearly outlined with specific, measurable, and achievable goals, including a realistic timeline.
A comprehensive SEO strategy should incorporate both on-page and off-page SEO work:

  • On-page work includes a review of the site to fix broken links, remove error pages, create engaging content and titles, and insert metadata that helps search engines find your site, such as headings and tags.
  • Off-page SEO means promoting your website through social media, blogs, press releases, and more.

Any strategy should strictly adhere to best practice guidelines set forth by search engines to ensure that you don’t get punished for shady SEO practices. With recent upgrades to the Google algorithm, following these guidelines is increasingly important so you can remain at the top of the rankings.

2. How long will it take for you to get my website to the #1 ranking?

This is kind of a trick question. While everyone would love to hire an SEO consultant to get the top ranking on a search engine, the truth is that nobody can guarantee that result. Companies that promise this, or indicate that they have some kind of inside track with search engines, are at best naïve and at worst unethical. Instead work with a company that outlines measurable goals and a plan for achieving them.

3. How do you measure success?

One of the best things about online marketing and campaigns is the ability to track results—rather than placing an ad and hoping it drives traffic to your business, SEO shows exactly how many people are clicking on your website, from what sources, how long they remain on your site, and what actions they take while there. For this reason every SEO strategy should include a plan for measuring success by tracking things like keyword performance, rank improvement, and the volume of quality links from other sites.

Start Developing Your Strategy Today

To begin optimizing your search rankings so your customers can find you, contact Webstract Marketing at 855-201-5800 for a free website review and analysis.