Search Engine Optimization or SEO is a valuable way to drive traffic to your website and help get potential customers to notice you. Doing SEO takes time you don’t have however, so many businesses hire companies to do it for them. SEO companies offer a number of services, such as running Facebook or Twitter campaigns to make your business popular or setting up pay-per-click advertising in the best way to get traffic, but the key reason you’ll be hiring them is to increase the chance of someone reaching your website. Companies will do this by researching what search terms are popular and then they’ll try to get your website on the first page of Google for each search term. The search terms chosen will be specific to your business – there’s no point being the first link in Google when someone searches “beekeepers in Australia” if you run a plumbing company. When increasing your website’s rank, your SEO company should be doing things like editing your website text to target specific markets and producing regular content on a company blog or side-project.
The way that Google ranks websites changes regularly in order to avoid dodgy companies from cheating the system as well as to make sure the user is getting the “best” result for their search. This means that the best way to stay in the rankings over an extended period is to put out consistent updates that are targeted at your potential customers. Some SEO companies may claim to know a better way to increase your website’s visibility without changing the content of the website – these companies should be avoided like the plague. Apart from a few back end things like making your website load faster or work better on mobiles, any supposed SEO that doesn’t produce meaningful content for the reader can give you serious problems. These SEO techniques will work in the short term, but Google and other search engines don’t like being played. When your website is caught out for using bad SEO to promote it, you can get blacklisted by Google – you won’t appear at all, no matter the search term, and most likely your business will die a slow death.
Because of the risk of bad SEO companies, you’ll need to choose carefully. Once you decide you don’t want to do it yourself (which is definitely a valid option, here’s a good place to start) research different companies and shop around. See which companies have won awards and double check any claims you find suspicious. Talk to each company in your price range – here’s a great list of questions to ask – and if you’re not happy with their answers, move on.
Scheduleflow is an Australia-based small business automation software solution for field service businesses, serving customers in the UK, US, Australia and New Zealand. To find out more, click here.