Targeted search engine traffic is one of the most profitable sources of new customers you can obtain. People who are actively shopping using a search engine to help them find products and/or services are usually ready to buy immediately or in the near future. This is why you’d be smart to ask, “How do you find high quality SEO services?” Below, you will find step by step instructions on how to take this important step to improving your business profits.
Finding a local SEO service gives you the change to meet with your potential SEO consultant(s) personally so you can get a more accurate impression of who they are and what they do. Furthermore, if they come to your business, see your operation, and meet your employees, they’ll be in a much better position to work with you on developing your target keywords and in knowing which page(s) and/or product(s) to promote more fully. This also makes your SEO consultant more personally invested in your business as they will feel more a part of it and they can sense the pride you take in it. Even if you live in the boonies or do business exclusively online, it can still be very important to find an SEO consultant in your general region. This way, you can set up at least one face to face meeting to accomplish the above.
To do a geographic search on Google, simple go to Google’s homepage and type in the name of a city and state, or other specific geographic locale. For example, you can take in “Jacksonville Florida.” At the top of the results, you will see a little map for the region. Click on this to make it bigger and searchable.
There will be a search bar at the top of your Google map. Type in “SEO.” Be sure to keep the search term this generic to return more hits. In other words, if you type in “SEO consulting,” you may miss some important ones. If you live in a geographic area of 50,000 or more, you will likely see multiple listings pop up immediately. About twenty-five entries appear for the greater Jacksonville Florida area. If you happen to live in a small place and don’t find many SEO businesses on your initial map, expand the map out until you do find some SEO businesses located in places that wouldn’t be to hard to drive to and/or have them them visit you.
You will notice that many of the SEO businesses displayed on the map will have an overall rating displayed (you may have to hover the curser over them to see this information) and a link to the Google reviews they have received. Additionally, many will also show a link to their website or at least their phone number. Read through the reviews and check out their website to narrow down the list a bit. However, at this step, keep your options open to at least five to ten possibilities.
Once you have found a number of good possibilities near you, you can search for other online reviews and information to help you narrow down the list even more. To do this, start with Google searches using the company name without quotes and then again with quotes. If the name is generic, you can also add in a geographic term. For example, you could search for, “XYZ SEO Services in Toronto.”
Scan through the results looking for reviews. You can find reviews for SEO services at sites like Angie’s List and Yelp. However, you may also find more reviews in local directories, magazines, and newspapers. Additionally, you may find informal but very revealing reviews in online forums. You can also search LinkedIn to see what people are saying and perhaps find a person who you personally know that is connected to a business that reviews the SEO service. Using these methods, narrow down your choices to about three choices. This is your “short list.”
Once you have your short list, you can start thoroughly vetting each choice to pick your winning SEO service. Meet with each one personally. You can gage how interested they are in getting to know your actual business and tailoring an SEO strategy to fit your business specifically. If they seem to think that “one size fits all” when it comes to SEO strategies, you should probably hire a different SEO service.
Instead of asking for references, ask them to show you the websites of the businesses they have worked with before. If they name just one or two, ask additional questions like, “Have you ever worked with any local non-profits?” or “Have you ever worked with any businesses in a certain industry?” This will get you a longer list of their clients so you can vet them more thoroughly. Since you are dealing with a local SEO service, you will likely have connections to at least some of the businesses they mention so you can get the “inside” scoop.
Always ask their clients how long the SEO plan they developed worked. If it only worked for a fleeting time, i.e. the site jumped into the top ten but then faded away fast, the SEO service may be using some sort of “black hat” (spammy) technique(s) that could actually hurt your website in the long run. It would probably be a good idea to avoid this SEO service. At any rate, it is better to have a good solid showing in the search engines for months/years than to have a #1 spot for a week!
I am a Toronto-based SEO Consultant and marketer with experience in Web Design, E-commerce, Online Reputation Management and Search Engine Optimization. Through effective Internet Marketing strategies and SEO services, I can help turn your website in to your business’ most powerful lead generator.
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