If you want to drive more traffic to your website or be found in Google for relevant keyword searches, then you’ll want to start thinking about the vast and wonderful world of SEO.
If you don’t even know what your keywords are or should be, then now is perhaps the time to seek out some expert help.
The aim of almost every business is to get into the top five results of a search page and ultimately the top ranking, so if you run the only underwater basket weaving service in the world and someone types in “underwater basket weaving service” for example, and you don’t appear anywhere on Google, Bing, Yahoo, etc., then there’s some work to do!
To find out if you need to hire an SEO expert to give your business the online boost it needs, there are several questions you can ask yourself.
1. Where are your keywords in the search results?
If you have blogged, posted on social media and so on, you’re beginning to see traffic to your site and you find yourself appearing on search engine listings within the first 3 months, even with fluctuations, this is a good thing.
What you are aiming for around 6 months into your SEO marketing efforts is that your business’s target keywords should be on the first page of the search results.
If you are not sure how to even keep track of where they are, then engaging the services of an SEO company can be invaluable. They will use a rank tracker or tracking system, to monitor and track where your target keywords on a continual basis.
More importantly they will review your selected keywords to see if they are capturing potential customers searching on the web for relevant products or services.
2. Can you monitor traffic to and from your webpage?
Have you got the time, let alone the up-to-date knowledge, to be able to monitor the visitors that are landing on your webpage? If you cannot monitor and measure data on links, referrals and rankings, then you are not going to be able to analyze your SEO strategy, and plan techniques and strategies to improve it.
An expert will be able to measure and provide advice on the following:
Search traffic is a query that sends traffic (i.e. individuals browsing online) from a search engine (e.g. Google). You are going to want to know where your potential customer is coming from in order to market your business effectively.
Direct navigation comes from users directly entering your business’s name into a search engine.
It’s very useful to know how to measure referral traffic because this comes from promotions or branding campaigns (so you can measure the cost effectiveness of a particular ad on a website, for example) and from links across the web (associated businesses or links from bloggers etc).
3. What are your conversion rates?
Do you know which of your target keywords provide the best conversion rates? What are the keywords that continuously direct visitors to your website and convert?
If you answered no to one or both of these questions, it is perhaps time to call in an SEO expert. A good quality SEO expert can help you and your marketing team to focus on the correct keywords, devise strategies to increase the rankings of those keywords in search and help you in improving the landing page that your visitors reach, so that you best enhance conversions.
4. Have you experienced sudden business growth?
As and when your business takes off, especially for the self-employed, you are not going to be able to continue to do everything yourself.
Focusing on the growth of your business will take up all of your time and then some. Between standing back and taking a strategic approach to growth to reviewing your business plan and risk management, you will not have the time to keep on top of the perpetual learning curve that is digital marketing.
Let’s face it – with the rapid and continuing changes to the online world, volume of work to perform SEO effectively and vast number of tools to keep up with, there simply are not enough hours in the day for you to deal with the SEO side of the company and do it well.
That’s why it makes sense to look for someone you can trust who will take an unbiased external view of your online marketing efforts and work with you to maximize your SEO. Call in the right SEO expert for your business, and you will save yourself a lot of time and effort while doing favours for your bottom line.
This article has been edited.
Adam Guerin is SEO Consultant at The SEO Shop, which focuses on training small businesses to do their own SEO. With 20 years of web and marketing experience, plus 10 years of education experience, under his belt, Adam is passionate about teaching SEO, not just selling it. He loves training people, and says there’s no better feeling than discovering that one of his clients has reached page 1 on search engine results using the techniques that he’s taught them.