Questions To Ask Your Potential Search Engine Optimization Partner
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is a job undertaken by SEO professionals or individuals who bring a wealth of experience and perspective to performing SEO. This is neither a one-time activity to be dealt with in a lackadaisical fashion nor a job for a tech-savvy cousin who promises to ‘take care of it.’
SEO is a long-term effort and something that needs due attention as it can have a large impact on your business. It takes planning, proper execution, knowledge and if done in a professional, ethical way, SEO can pay enormous dividends over the long term for your business.
SEO is best handled by professional SEO companies who have the experience and knowledge to navigate the ever-changing field of Search Engine Optimization. Some of the best SEO companies can be found at offshore locations such as India. Businesses of any size that are looking to enlarge their business footprint online will find it both cost effective and easy to outsource and offshore SEO work to a professional offshore SEO company.
There are a few questions to keep in mind when you are outsourcing or offshoring your SEO services.
SEO is a complex activity with many facets to it. It has both on-page and off-page elements to it. It takes experience to learn SEO techniques that deliver long-lasting results. It also takes experience and maturity not to take short-cuts or indulge in black hat activity. Shortcuts may show results in the short run but may will your website and business in the long run. Ensure that any company you hire has a good portfolio of SEO clients that they have delivered long lasting results for. Also try to speak to some of these clients to ensure that you are comfortable with the references they have provided.
This is related to experience but not completely inter-changeable. It’s important to probe your potential SEO services company and their SEO professionals about their knowledge about the field. You can ask for some details about how they plan to execute their SEO activities. You can ask for a road map or you can ask the SEO services company to give an example of a situation where they had some trouble from an SEO perspective with a previous client and how they solved the problem. Knowledge and problem-solving ability often go hand in hand.
SEO is both vast and ever-changing. Some of the newer and critical aspects of SEO include:
a) Content marketing
b) Social Media marketing
c) Mobile SEO
Hence, quiz your potential SEO partner about their specific expertise in each of these areas.
With Google Panda updates in place now for a couple of years, original content has become absolutely essential to increase your rankings. Scraper sites and content farms are punished by Google in the search results. It’s an absolute no-no to have duplicate or low quality content on a website now. Similarly, keyword stuffing is a big no-no.
Content marketing is about using great content to create positive impressions about your product and brand in the minds of potential customers. In the hyper-connected world of today, people can form their impression about brands via a variety of inputs: traditional ads, Social Media feedback, product reviews, feedback from friends and family, etc. To stand out from the clutter in the midst of a constant barrage of information that people are subjected to, you need to supply your audience with unique content that has good recall value — whether it’s classy, catchy, funny, sardonic, ironic, inspirational, emotional, outrageous, eye-catching, or even outrageously politically incorrect.
Content marketing comes in a variety of forms — articles, email campaigns, blog posts, infographics, FAQs, photos, YouTube videos, e-books, and more.
Remember that content marketing helps your website maintain high ranking in the search results. As per the change to Google’s search algorithms, Google seeks to highlight fresh and useful content. When you upload fresh and engaging content to your website, search engines index that content. When content is uploaded frequently, this signals to search engine crawlers to visit your site more frequently which in turn improves your website’s ranking.
Social Media Marketing
In the age of Social Media, nobody can ignore Social Media marketing. This is the age when clever marketing efforts such as the Ellen DeGeneres Oscar selfie can break all records on Twitter for the single most popular tweet of all time as measured by the number of RTs and favorites it got from Twitter users. A billion plus users of Facebook and half a billion users of Twitter and countless more users of Google+, Tumblr, Instagram, and many more Social Media platforms point to the Social Media frenzy among online customers worldwide. This is only going to grow and brands have to learn to leverage this to their benefit.
Think of the viral YouTube video where 20 strangers kiss. It turned out to be a clever marketing campaign. Or think of airline safety videos that are shot in innovative ways in the wilderness or featuring movie stars and/or celebrities. Such out-of-the-box thinking takes something inherently boring and makes it interesting apart from generating great publicity for the brand.
The bottom line is, ask your Search Engine Optimization provider on what is their strategy around Social Media and how they plan to integrate it with your overall SEO strategy.
The growing use of smartphones means that online businesses have to be ready for a world dominated by mobile internet users. E-commerce websites have to enable online shopping from smartphones. Mobile SEO poses specific challenges including how search engines like Google like to index mobile content. SEOs have to ensure that the content on your mobile website does not get punished by search engines as ‘duplicate.’ You can go for responsive web design so that the problem of duplicate content won’t be there. Mobile sites have to be fast loading and should be designed to be touch-friendly. The bottom line is if you give users a good experience which will incentivize them to come back more, Google will reward you for providing a superior user journey to your customers. These are a few of the points to keep in mind when looking into your mobile SEO strategy and choosing a good Search Engine Optimization provider who understands this subject matter.
The above points give a flavor of how you should approach the task of hiring a potential SEO partner whether it be onshore or offshore. Keep in mind there are many other things but the above should prove useful when deciding on who should be performing your SEO. As always, if you need any help or assistance with your offshore SEO or just SEO in general, feel free to reach out to the team at Mind Digital Group.
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