What You Need To Know Before Hiring an SEO Company

What You Need To Know Before Hiring an SEO Company

Transcript Below

Hi,it's Gary from 3Bug Media, and today we're going to talk about important things you need to know about SEO before you go out and hire a marketing company to do your job for you.

Now, I've spoken with thousands of small business owners over the past 10 years and the common response I usually get when the topic of SEO comes up is that I understand SEO's important and I should be doing it.

I've tried to hire somebody or hired a company before to do my SEO. I spent what I feel like was a lot of money and I got little to nothing to show for it. So I stopped. So that's usually the answer.

That is the response I get from people, small business owners when it comes to  SEO.

So I want to explain to you today a little bit about how SEO works, why you most likely didn't get the results that you wanted, and some questions and things you should do when you go out and hire somebody to do your SEO.

OK, when it comes to SEO, I like to break it down into three general categories, technical, links and content. TLC, easy to remember.

Technical SEO is setting up your website, optimizing it so the search engines can easily understand the content on the site. They can easily scan and index it to put it in their search results and also that it loads fast. There should be really no obstacles that are that the websites are putting up with the search engines so they can easily scan index and search your Web site. OK, so that's the technical parts of SEO.

Next part is links. Links increases your domain page authority and pushes pages up higher in the search engine results. So when a third party links to your website like, say, you write a blog article on gardening and The New York Times decides to link to it and a couple of gardening blogs decide to link to it because it's so good that tells the search engines that this page is really important. It's a really good, authoritative page about that topic. And that helps push that page up higher in the search engine results  and is kind of like a referral for that website.

It also increases what's called your domain and page authority, which are website metrics created by MOZ to measure how likely a website or page will rank in the search engine results in Google.

And this is kind of an industry standard where as your domain authority gets higher, your page authority gets higher,  how you rank in the search engines get higher. OK, so links help push your pages and content up higher in the search engine results.

And lastly, we have content and content gives you the opportunity to rank for a particular set of keywords or search terms. So basically the way it works is you create a piece of content around a specific topic, a specific set of keywords. The links help to push that content up higher in the search engine results and the technical aspects ensures that there's no barriers for the search engines to understand. Scan and index your page in the search engine results.

OK, so that's how all three of these work together.

OK, this is where most small business owners get into trouble or maybe I shouldn't say trouble, but they don't get the results that they want.

Because if you only have somebody doing one of these 3 things for you, say if they're only doing technical SEO, they're only doing links or they're only doing content, you're essentially going to get little in the way of results.

Nothing is going to happen.

OK, if you get somebody or a company that's doing two of these three, then you'll get mediocre results as long as they're doing these things right.

You can get decent to mediocre results depending on what your topic is, what industry, how competitive it is, things like that.

But you can see better results when you get a company or an individual that is doing all three of these and you're doing them right.

That's what we call SEO.

Usually the trouble is most of the time, you, as a small business owner, when you hire somebody, say you don't have a huge budget to hire a really high class marketing company.

Sometimes you run into people that sell SEO as a service, but they don't necessarily do all of these or they don't really understand how these things work.

So they only might do one or two of these things.

You know, and to give an example is and I'm not going to disparage any one industry, but I'm just giving you examples from personal history and from speaking with other small business owners is sometimes when you get somebody who does one but not the others.

An example would be a web designer, web designers are idea people. They're creative, they're visual people, you know, which is why they can design beautiful websites. And a lot of them will offer SEO as a service and it's extra money for them. It's a way to retain you as a client. Things like that. So it makes sense for them to offer it. The problem? Is most of the time, if you're a designer, you're focusing on really the technical part, right, and even a technical part may be marginal at best and technical maybe they added an SEO plugin to your website.

They may make sure you had good titles on there, which are important, but not, you know, inclusive of technical SEO. So they've done technical SEO, but they really don't know anything about link building or they may not really understand content marketing. You may also get somebody who's very technical, like like a web developer or coder or something like that, or somebody who does computer repairs that really have a technical mindset.

They understand the technical aspects, aspects of a website really well. And they can optimize your website, but they don't do link building. They don't really understand content strategies that are only doing one of these, which is why you probably got nothing in return for these SEO efforts.

Sometimes you'll get companies that can do two things well you know, sometimes you get like social media managers that offer SEO. They'll probably usually focus on content, usually not links, maybe have a little bit of technical know how for SEO and usually that involves an SEO plugin in or something like that.

So sometimes you can get two and get mediocre to decent results.

It's very hard, especially at the small business level price point to get a company that is very proficient in all three of these. You don't mean SEO is expensive.

So you're not going to spend two or three hundred dollars a month and get somebody or a company that can do all three of these well and is really going to push the needle for you as far as ranking high in Google.

You have to invest in SEO. The problem with that is, you know, it's usually a big investment for small business owners and it doesn't give an immediate return like advertising does. So it's kind of a leap of faith, which is why it's super important to make sure you know what you're doing when you hire an SEO company, because you may not realize that you hired the wrong person or they're not doing the right things until six or seven months down the line.

And at that point you spent thousands and thousands of dollars on this and now you have to abandon the project and start over.

So this is usually why small business owners don't get the results, because people that sell SEO services, especially, like I said, especially at the smaller business price point, five hundred thousand dollars, fifteen hundred dollars a month.

A lot of times they're not doing all three of these. They're telling you they're doing SEO, but really they only understand one, maybe understand the second one a little bit. Rarely will they understand all three of these and be very proficient at it. If you can find them, they're well worth the money.

OK, so some questions you should ask. OK, make sure you ask a lot of questions.

When you're hiring somebody to do your SEO, you're hiring SEO company because you want to make sure that they understand how all three of these work. OK, so questions you want to ask?

Some general sample questions would be how do you plan on optimizing the website and always ask for specific examples, especially if it's all the clients they work with, get a visual what they're doing.

Ask how are you planning to optimize it if they say, oh, we're going to install this plug in and blah, blah, blah, and they kind of give you a big answer. They may not understand technical SEO that much. If they turn around, say, you know what, we're going to do a site audit, we're going to test, see how fast your website is.

We're going to optimize that. We have a couple of plugins we're going to use. We're going to go through all your titles, you meta descriptions. We're going to make sure they're in line with your content on the page, you know, things like that. Then you'll understand that, OK, they have a pretty good grasp of technical SEO and you can feel confident with their explanation.

You can ask what what is your content strategy? Ask for examples a lot of times what I see, what content creators now or people that are offering content, content marketing or SEO using content, things like that is they have somebody on board that knows how to write, they have a writing background or English majors or things like that.

And they're good at writing blog post, but they're terrible at understanding content marketing and how that strategy works.

And to give an example is a lot of times when we take on a new client, they may have an active blog on there. And then once we do an audit, we kind of look through their content. We realize they are targeting totally targeting the wrong people.

And you might do that with DIY type of content or just list type content. That's great on social media. It may drive traffic to your website, but it's not going to turn that traffic  into customers for your business. So you want to get examples of what type of content they're going to create and how they're thinking about strategy. Really what you want is you want is somebody that's looking at your business, looking at your service offerings, looking at what type of customer you need for your business and then developing content around that. So if you're offering, say, home organizing services, then you want somebody to say, you know what, you offer a home organizing, organizing services. We want to drive more traffic for that. So what we're going to do is we're going to create a series of 10 blog posts all focused on home organizing. And the plan is to bring them to the website and then drive them to that service page.  So if you can get somebody that can kind of speak that kind of language and have that kind of strategy in mind then, you know, they're real content marketers and they understand how to use content to grow your business and get you more leads when it comes to organic traffic.

OK, how will you build or links the website?

Like I said, most, most of the time, if you're a web designer or things like that, they don't do link building.  link building is almost a whole different category, and it's usually out of reach of a lot of people that don't understand SEO. And link building is one of those things that, number one, it's hard and sometimes there's lots of gray areas on how to get links and where to get links from things like that.

So you really need to you really need to have somebody that understands what they're doing with, link building number one, to get links that are going to drive your content up higher in the search engine results and also not to do anything that's going to get you in trouble. They're not going to be buying links from China or something like that. And then next thing you know, Google thinks you're running some kind of scam and they de-index your website or something like that to give you a penalty…….. happens all the time.

So you want to talk about link building and you want to understand what their thinking is, what their strategy is, and some examples of what they're going to do with that. Like I said, make sure you ask for specific examples and things you just want to know.

People have something in mind. They have a strategy in mind to have a system in place.

You know, if you're doing local SEO, that could be starting out with citation building, trying to get some sponsorships, nonprofits, trying to work some ideas with you like that. Some may be some of your other contractors can link to your website, things like that, or creating blog post and then sharing them on social media, trying to or reaching out with that content to other blogs in that industry to see if they'll link back to your content.

You want to just get an understanding that they know what link building is and they know how it's used. They're going to use it as part of their service for you and they're not going to get you in trouble.

So make sure you ask lots of questions about each one of these and you ask for specific examples so you can start to understand what their mindset is. OK, so this is a bit much. I know, but you really need to understand how SEO works.

Hopefully now you understand maybe why you weren't getting the results that you wanted when you were paying somebody to do your SEO. And now when you're on your search for a new SEO company, you have some questions and some, you know, knowledge behind what you're asking them. OK, so hopefully this is helpful. If you want to learn more, you can go to 3BugMedia.com. Thank you very much and have a good day.

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CEO at 3Bug Media
Gary Shouldis is the founder of 3Bug Media, a web marketing company that helps businesses create 360 Marketing Strategies to dominate their market. His blog is read by over 20 thousand small business owners a month and has been featured in the N.Y. Times Small Business, Business Insider and Yahoo Small Business.

What You Need To Know Before Hiring an SEO Company

What You Need To Know Before Hiring an SEO Company

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