These are indeed interesting times for any business owner.Whether you are building a startup or your company is already up and running, you have to concur that there are unique opportunities and challenges that the internet technology has brought forth. As an online entrepreneur, you have to compete at a global level, which translates to more intense competition.
However, the internet marketplace also presents opportunities galore, especially with the rapid growth in the number of internet users. There are over 3.663 billion internet users today and if you are able to market your business creatively, you have a good chance of succeeding despite the competition. It all starts with a well-designed website, but much more is needed. When you have the website in place, you have to consistently optimize it for search engines.
Banking on SEOSearch engine optimization (SEO) should be at the core of your business marketing strategy if at all you want to stay ahead of the competition. According to a report by Retailing Today, 81% of shoppers conduct online research before making a purchase decision. It goes without saying that you must market your business proactively if at all you want to get a piece of the pie.
If your website is not ranking highly on search engine result pages (SERPs), you are missing out big-time. Research now shows that 75% of internet users don’t scroll beyond the first page of SERPs, which means this is where you should be featuring.
Truth be told, you might not have the expertise and resources required for a full-blown SEO Digital Marketing campaign. By hiring a reliable digital marketing agency, you will be ready to set the ball rolling. As the demand for these services increases, many questionable firms are coming up and they are making things worse for desperate online marketers.
To avoid falling for an SEO scam, consider the following factors:
Evaluate Your Company Needs
One of the greatest blunders a website owner can do is to approach an SEO agency without any clear-cut requirements. It is true you are looking for expertise to drive up your site’s ranking but this is a general statement which will not get you the best results. It is important to work with your team to assess your SEO marketing needs in order to hire the right SEO agency. Are you interested in high ranking at any cost or would you love to consistently grow your brand through white hat SEO? Make sure you identify the areas in which an SEO consultant can help before starting your search.
Proven Track Record
Anyone can claim to be the best digital agency in a particular city and lure unsuspecting website owners. This is how scams work and to avoid such a risk, only contact an agency whose work you can see. A good SEO company will proudly display a list of former clients and even the projects they did for them. It is easy for you to counter check with these clients to guarantee you are only buying the best quality services.
It is easy for a digital marketing agency to give guarantees but remember, this is not always a sign of proficiency. In fact, in the SEO industry, such guarantees portend danger. The best SEO consultant will be ready to discuss practical solutions that will be used to ensure your website becomes more visible online. These range from social media marketing, search marketing, PPC and paid advertising, and email lists among others. If an SEO agency is not willing to go into details, you might find yourself being penalized for using the wrong techniques. Black hat techniques might guarantee better ranking on SERPs but you have to appreciate that with algorithm updates such as the real-time Google Penguin, it is only a matter of time before your site is devalued.
It is advisable to always work with an SEO agency which is easy to reach. A reliable company will provide contact information and even include the physical address for easier communication. When interviewing potential SEO agencies to work with, be keen to ask about the reporting process during the project. A lot of work will be going on behind the scenes and you need updates to know how the project is shaping up.
Compare Different Quotes
You should always ask for several estimates from the best SEO agencies in your city. This process helps you assess the companies in terms of professionalism, proficiency, resources, and dedication. If a digital marketing agency has no time to give an estimate, you can bet they will also not have much time to work for you. When at it, always ask if they will cover all the work or if there are aspects of the project to be outsourced.
However urgent you need SEO needs are, never rush to hire the first agency you come across. Take your time to learn what you need, ask for referrals from other website owners, request several quotes, read reviews and testimonials and only hire an agency with a proven track record.
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