Choosing an SEO Consultant you can Trust
SEO Management is such a large topic that I decided to break it up into smaller chunks for you over the course of a few posts. Books could be written on the subject, so don’t take this to be an exhaustive analysis. My goal is to give you an overview that will help you make sound strategic SEO decisions for your particular business or situation.
With that out of the way, let’s dive into part one!
Setting Goals for your SEO Efforts
The term SEO management can be scary for a lot of small business owners and/or do-it-yourselfers who want as much control as possible over their site’s search engine performance. But it can be done – and effectively – if you’re willing to make the necessary investments of time – and possibly money – to make it work.
Learn the Language of SEO
One of the first things you’ll need is someone to manage your SEO strategy and tactics. This person may be in-house, or you could rely on outsourced SEO consultants to get the job done (see my note on SEO consultants below for more details). Regardless of which way you go, the first thing you’ll want to do is get to know the language of SEO.
Knowing the terms used in SEO circles will make it far easier to have conversations and read articles on the topic of SEO. In fact, knowing as much of the language as possible could keep you from getting ripped off my less-than-honest people who claim to be SEO experts. There are several places online to learn the lingo. one of the best I’ve found is SEOmoz’s glossary of essential SEO jargon. From there, you may want to spend some time in Google’s webmaster forum (specifically, the crawling, indexing and ranking forum) to see how the terms are used.
Set Realistic SEO Goals
After that, one of your next steps should be to determine some realistic goals and objectives. These should be fairly specific targets such as:
- To increase new visitor numbers by about X%
- To increase your conversion rate by about X%
I use the word ‘about’ above because I don’t want you to think you’ve failed miserably if you haven’t met a particular goal. SEO is not just relevant to what you do with your site. Other sites are constantly competing with you, and without knowing exactly what they’re doing; you’ll be competing against some uncertainty.
Even if you incorporate all the SEO best practices out there, you still face unknowns from your competition. So be realistic with your goals, but flexible with your results.
***Note about SEO consultants*** – One of the ways less-talented SEO consultants will try to impress an uneducated prospect is to make promises they can’t keep and use words the prospect has probably heard, but doesn’t know the full meaning of.
This unfortunately results far too often in someone getting ripped off. The way to avoid getting ripped off is to learn the language of SEO as I mentioned above and work with SEO consultants who have been suggested to you by a trusted individual or work with a consultant who can verify and prove their results with references to back up any claims.
In the next post about SEO management, I’ll talk about how to communicate your goals with your team and how to measure some of your efforts.