As a small business owner, taking advantage of free online traffic to your should be your digital marketing priority.
In the course of hiring professional SEO services, here is a checklist of requirements to speak to your SEO consultant about;
1. How do we do a site audit?
For Google to rank your business website, there are lots of technical factors the Artificial Intelligence looks for out, e.g, site loading speed, keywords relevant to your products and services in H1, H2, H3 and meta tags, image alt tags, appropriate keyword density etc. This is the ultimate signal to Google about what exactly your website is about.
Making sure your website is Google Search compliant by optimizing for all these factors is top priority. Once this is in place, the foundation is solid for a successful SEO campaign. This is carried out by using very trusted and efficient freemium tools like Screaming Frog.
2. How important is content for SEO?
Google deeply cares about its users and their experience using their Search Engine. Mind you, it’s a competitive industry like any other. So Google Search exists majorly to answer their users’ questions on general knowledge. And also to point them in the right direction when they are asking about a product or service.
Content marketing is therefore the practice of publishing very insightful and informative blog posts on topics relevant to your industry. And genuinely adding so much value to visiting online users that they browse around your website for more information. It could be an opportunity to also place your product or services as the ideal solution to the questions they are asking that led them to your website in the first place (searcher’s intent).
This practice is the most effective way of generating free organic traffic on Google to your website. So it’s a win-win, really. Develop and publish content on topics that satisfy searchers’ intent and Google will reward you with ranking and traffic!
A decade ago, SEO involved gaming the Search Engine bots to rank sites with copied content, spammy techniques, random blog comments and link-building from irrelevant websites. It should not come as a surprise to you that the Artificial Intelligence that produces the results on Google’s first page today has gotten way smarter than that.
Invest in keyword research, SEO content-writing and link outreach to be able to be successful on the Internet going into the 2020s. Consult the experts.
3. Why should we do ethical link building?
Doing whatever it takes to achieve fast results is typical of human nature. In the world of SEO link-building, it is not far-fetched. So it is important to have an ethical and best-practice conversation with the agency you are hiring. This communicates how valuable your online reputation is, to your business. It is also the responsibility of the SEO consultant to manage your expectations, as it regards ranking and getting traffic. A white-hat (ethical, organic and best-practice) campaign takes at least 6 months on the average to be able to quantify results in large numbers.
It takes time to build trust with people. The internet kind of works that way too. A future Google algorithm update (to prevent spammy strategies) could be disastrous for your rankings, if you encourage your SEO agency to indulge in the dark arts to achieve results by any means, fast.
4. Is having https on our site a ranking factor?
If you sell products or services on your website, you must encrypt the connection between your site and the users to protect them. This is important because users would have to submit their personal information, and sometimes credit card details in order to buy items or book your services.
Since information shared on an insecure website can be accessed by hackers, the HTTPS framework prevents such third parties from intercepting communication for malicious reasons.
Most browsers including Google Chrome shows a padlock image in their search bar to show that the site’s connection is encrypted and users’ info is secure. Some internet service providers inject paid advertising into their clients’ websites who still run their websites without security (HTTP). Needless to say, the revenue generated from the generated ads belongs to them alone.
As a matter of fact, Google strongly considers this when ranking websites. It is the ultimate trust signal.
As a business owner, having a checklist of your SEO needs, guides the questions you are going to ask your agency. This helps to better understand areas your business website needs improvement and the timeline to achieve results.