If you’re new to the SEO game, you’re not alone. New businesses are turning to SEO every day, hoping to boost their web presence, draw traffic to their website, and increase their leads and sales. The good news (or some would say the bad news) is that SEO is always changing. You can jump in and learn the latest; knowledge of ‘old style’ SEO is not required, and in some ways it’s better if you are blissfully unaware of the days when spammy content and paid backlinks were cool. Whether you’re looking for an agency that offers SEO in Brisbane, Sydney, Perth or anywhere else in Australia, you’ll find that there’s no shortage of agencies. Any decent digital advertising agency will offer SEO (usually as a core service); the trick is to find good PPC management agency that offers high quality SEO. So, what are the basics of SEO? It pays to have at least a general understanding before you jump in the deep end and hire an agency – and it’ll help you weed out the good agencies from the bad too!
The main components of SEO
• Keyword selection. It’s important to choose keywords that will attract the right sort of traffic to your website. First and foremost, they need to be relevant to your business. Secondly, they need to be achievable. Some keywords are very competitive, and it might not be possible to get your site on the first page of search results for them. These days, long-tail keywords (keywords that are longer and more specific) work well. They are less competitive, and draw relevant traffic to your site that is more likely to convert.
• Content. Content is just the writing that fills your pages, right? Well it is, but it’s not there just to fill pages. Content needs to position you business as an expert; it needs to be well written, informative and long enough to show Google that you’ve got plenty of relevant information. Keywords should be included, but the main focus should be crafting prose that answers search queries and provides useful information, rather than just matching keywords. It’s also important that content is not duplicated; it has to be completely unique.
• Backlinks. The important thing to know here is that paid backlinks are out. These days, it’s all about building links on authoritative, relevant sites. It’s about quality over quantity.
• Offsite citations. Citations are basically mentions of your business on other sites. They are particularly important for local businesses that rely on local search results; generally, the citations are placed on local directory sites (e.g. Yelp, The Yellow Pages).
• Site structure. One of the first things SEO agencies check, your website needs to be structured logically – making navigation easy for both human visitors and search engine crawlers. Google is all about user experience, and therefore they like sites that ‘make sense’. However, a confusing sitemap can also mean that the crawlers miss certain pages or don’t crawl them correctly – and this doesn’t help when it comes to getting a site ranking.
Don’t fall victim to poor quality SEO
If you’re just about to begin your SEO journey and are looking for an agency, there are a few things you need to consider.
Does the agency offer some sort of guarantee, or do they offer a ‘pay on performance’ plan? It’s preferable that they do, as this hopefully means you’ll see some sort of ROI. Be wary of agencies that:
• Say they can deliver page one rankings in less than three months
• Are prepared to take your money with out any sort of result guarantee
• Have no plans to send you updates of the work they are doing
• Don’t explain any changes they’ll have to make to your site (because there will be many!)
• Offer you a plan that includes a huge number of keywords (often they’ll overlap anyway, you don’t need a crazy-long keyword list)
• Don’t have an in-house team
• Aren’t ranking well themselves, or don’t have a decent website
SEO agencies do tend to get a bad rap – there are many reports of businesses walking away disappointed. However, if you take the time to find the right company and are prepared to commit to at least 6-12 months (SEO is a long term strategy) – then you can expect to see some great results! Try pay on performance @ http://www.payonperformance.com.au/