5 Things to Consider Prior to SEOJuly 5th, 2017

5 Things to Consider Prior to SEO We all get the calls and the spam emails from SEO firms promising to make us number one in Google. These come from companies all over the world, promising things that we know they cannot possibly deliver. We know logically that someone can’t promise you that they can get you number one rankings without even knowing your business or even what you’d like to be found for!  Still, search engine optimization is something we all work on, whether you do it yourself, hire a management company like RooSites, or an outside agency.  But, before you do anything here is a list of 5 things you should determine before starting any search engine optimization campaign.

  1. What do you want to be found for? This is the most basic, but also the most important thing. Seems simple, but a lot of companies and businesses can’t tell you. Until you determine what key phrases you want to be found for, you should not proceed. Because no matter how legitimate the company you’re working with is, if they don’t know what to shoot for, then chances are they will fail.
  2. Are you looking for local or broad search engine ranking improvement? This is very important. Depending on what you do, you can focus all your energy on local search improvement which is a much faster and many times a more successful process. For instance, if you are a plumber in Smalltown, USA, Getting found for Smalltown USA plumber is a lot easier than being found for plain old “plumber”.  This is simple, in small town USA there are a limited number of plumbers, where as nationwide there 10s of thousands. Now if your company is an e-commerce company selling to customers nationwide or even globally, the process is much different.
  3. Where are you today? Before you start a campaign, you need to know where you are ranked at this moment in time. Otherwise you will not be able to see if your SEO work paid off or not. Simply type in the search phrase looking to be found for, and see where you come up. There are also many free SEO tools to do some preliminary tests. But be aware, many of these are trying to sell you something, so be sure you don’t get yourself tied into some kind of commitment.
  4. Set reasonable expectations. Before you start, try and come up with a reasonable measurement. What would you view as a success? Now, it is simple to say I want to be number 1 for 300 key phrases. (wouldn’t we all?) But that isn’t reality. If you have a much more competitive key phrase, then perhaps being on the first page of Google is a solid goal.  This is also very good test of the company you’re working with. If you tell them you want to be number one for 15 or 20 key phrases and they say no problem, then it is a good time to end the relationship.
  5. Be ready to commit time and resources. A lot of of true search engine optimization has to do with adding consistent, quality content. A lot of that is in the form of news and blog postings. Now, while you can hire people to write it for you, the best material is likely written by you or someone that works for your company. Because you don’t want content to be written just for search engines, because that fails. Search engine’s are looking for the best possible search results, not ghost written garbage. So if you aren’t willing to put in the time or at least have a resource in your company put in the time, then perhaps you should not be planning an SEO campaign.

Bottom line: Search engine optimization is not an instantaneous process. It requires research, and ongoing improvements. Since the Internet is still a very relatively new science, a cottage industry of SEO companies have propped up and made false promises for years. So, follow these five steps before you even speak to an SEO firm and you will be better off in the long run. RooSites is a full service agency and we work SEO into our normal service plans. If you need help, contact us at http://roosites.com/contact.

 

Change of Seasons, Time To ReviewOctober 27th, 2016

change-of-seasons-time-to-reviewMy clients often ask me how often should they be reviewing their website and social media campaigns. Well, being a web guy I look at my web properties all the time,  every day.

But I realize other people have other priorities, and running a business doesn’t allow you the free time in order to always check out your web and social media platforms.

So what I try to do is get my clients to review their sites at least a few times a year, taking a good hard look at everything they own. I look at the change of seasons as a perfect time to review everything you are doing. The leaves are falling down, schedule some time with yourself and review everything you’re doing. Make a list of what’s working, what’s not working and where you’d like to improve. Do the same at the start of each season.

Here is a handy chart to use.  Put these dates on your calendar and have a meeting with your staff.

Season's Change Calendar 2016, 2017

Next, schedule some time with your website management company. And if you don’t have a website management company, then you aren’t doing justice to your business. Contact us, we are happy to help you come up with a management plan that will work for you and your enterprise. Have a meeting to go over your findings, and also ask them what are they seeing, where do they think you can improve? They may have a different take on things, but between the two of you, you’ll be able to formulate a plan that will set you up for the next quarter or so.  This is especially good time to review any advertising you are doing. Are your Google adwords working well for you? Are you using social media ads, how are they doing? You have to review these things from time to time and change up what you’re doing. What’s working today, may not work tomorrow. For instance, I have seen more success lately from my social media ads versus my adwords expenditures. This of course may change, so I review what I’m doing all the time. Now this doesn’t mean to panic, because you have to give your ads some time to percolate.

It is really easy, to let your website & social media properties go. The sad part is they will grow stale and people who visit your website or social media pages will not do business with you. Think of yourself as if you are a brick-and-mortar store. If someone came in and your inventory never changed, what do you think would happen? I can tell you what will happen, you will close. You will fail.  So think of your website the same way, it needs to be up-to-date, it needs to have a pleasing design, it needs to be responsively designed so it looks good on mobile, and it needs to have current news & information. This will give your customers an opinion that your company is successful, that it is moving forward and they will be more likely to do business with your company.

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