When you have SEO on the mind and are seeking an SEO professional then it is very important to ensure that you obtain the proper solution, the first time. Like any service enquiry, you must a) communicate clearly what you need and b) make certain that you know what services are now being offered, and what the expected results will be for the price. In short you must be sure that both parties have the same expectations. “Website top of Google” is just a vague comment to be created by either yourself or your supplier. “To rank on the first page of the Google search results for [phrase X]” is much better: it is very clear and could form a fantastic objective for the SEO work about to be undertaken. However you must be careful here too: if your potential SEO professional starts making guarantees about Google rankings, then that’s not good. Google itself states that no-one can guarantee rankings in the Google search results. Identifying the keywords for that you want your website to rank in the Google search results is essential and this list ought to be agreed by both parties. It is simpler to get a website ranking well on Google for more specific, targeted phrases (e.g. “seo sunshine coast”) than more generic phrases (such as “SEO”). Along with this there are numerous technical aspects about your website that make your website more “friendly” to Google, and easier for your SEO supplier to optimise. They are things that should be discussed and understood ahead of getting started with the search engine optimisation of your website. Here’s what I suggest you take into account and discuss with prospective SEO suppliers, during those crucial discussion stages.
How you can help your SEO Supplier Do do you know what the phrases you will need to rank highly on Google for are? Or do you want your SEO professional to find this out for you personally? Your SEO professional may have numerous specialised tools available which allow him or her to research what keyphrases your target market actually uses on search engines to find your services and products. These phrases often change from the people you may intuitively think of, because you are thinking from your own perspective as the vendor, you naturally use terminology and jargon linked to your industry, and generally it can be difficult for you yourself to really put yourself in the shoes of your potential customer. However your SEO professional will welcome your ideas on what keyphrases to start with, and will have a way to research and develop a pool of keywords for that you need your website to rank well on Google. Also look at your competitors and see what keyphrases they use, or are located to be ranking well on Google for, and generate a list. Provide these lists and suggestions to your SEO supplier. Describe your target market to your SEO Professional. Who/what are they (demographics) and where are they (geographic targeting)? This will determine the terminology, grammar and phrases etc to be utilized on your website and the proper phrases to be contained in the SEO (e.g. “optimised” in UK, Vs “optimized” in US). It may also help your SEO professional when he or she comes to formally telling Google where you should geographically target your website. Let your SEO professional see your website’s Content Management System (CMS – the location that you login to, to control your website) so an assessment may be made regarding how SEO (or Google) friendly your website is. If some crucial SEO requirement is difficult with your current CMS then that is best identified early, and sometimes a rebuild of the web site may be recommended only at that time. Where’s your website hosted, and who by? The physical precise location of the servers upon which your website is hosted may be determined by Google and used to a target your website in the country-specific search results (i.e. “pages from [country]”). There are numerous other factors that contribute to this, but it is information that you should give to your SEO professional. It can also be important to ensure that your website is not hosted in a “bad neighbourhood “.This can be with a webhosting provider or on servers that also hosts poor quality, or dodgy websites such as for example spam sites, or link farms. Being connected with these kinds of website may be detrimental to your success on Google. What domain names point out your website? Do you have just the one, or exist several domain names pointed to your website? If there are numerous domain names for your internet site and the management of those is not done correctly then Google may impose a penalty against one or more of the domain names. The reason being Google of course doesn’t wish to be displaying multiple copies of the same website or website pages in the search results (called duplicate content). Have any Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) activities been undertaken on your website previously? Importantly have some of those “submit your website to many search engines for cheap/free” – kind of things been done for your website by you or other people? They are frowned upon by Google and if penalties have now been imposed or the web site held back on Google because of these, then which makes your SEO Professional’s job much harder, and results harder to achieve.
Things you need to ask your SEO supplier You may wish to make certain that you hire an ethical SEO Professional who will undertake only proper and above board SEO work on your website. Unethical or bad SEO work, where efforts are created to unnaturally or falsely boost the success of your website on the Google search results are absolutely frowned upon by Google leading to penalties, or worst-case-scenario, being banned from Google. This really is very difficult to recuperate from and in worst cases the domain name needs to be abandoned. These practices include buying link, participating in link farms, cloaking domain names, making text on your website pages visible to Google only and creating other content for Google only, and not humans. Much like suppliers of any service you must ask your potential SEO supplier for references. Search for SEO testimonials on their website and check them, and actually ring these clients and verify the success of the work your potential supplier has done. Ask your supplier for a listing of activities they’ll undertake included in the SEO of your website and check that no unethical activities are included. If in doubt ask me. If they donate to an SEO code of ethics of some kind, then that’s desirable as well. Discussion along these lines between you and your SEO Professional ahead of undertaking SEO work can actually help to guarantee the smooth running of your SEO programme, and the achievement of agreed goals. Regular progress updates, or questions from your SEO supplier contribute to your comprehension of the work achieved and is valuable, as is your considered response to questions and feedback when requested. A successful SEO solution is one where in fact the SEO supplier and the client work together.