As we’re contacted by a number of local businesses every month, we’ve seen a trend rising out of the woodwork that’s rather alarming: SEO has changed, and local businesses are being hurt by hiring companies that do not know this.
Unfortunately, it gets worse. In addition to not knowing the current best practices, many agencies are still using shady methods to get links with either spam or the infamous black hat strategies.
Although marketers and business owners alike would like to think these practices have finally been put to rest, they’re still alive and well. Why do we keep seeing this: These services are always “the most affordable” and small businesses that are just gaining momentum think this is all they are able to employ.
Unlike purchasing a t-shirt, where the quality of the product or service is apparent, all imposter agencies have to do is churn out a pretty website and they look like a top-dog in marketing on the surface. Poor quality local SEO consulting isn’t something that should ever be correlational to a price point as even paying the highest market value can prove to be disastrous. The only thing that matters in the end is the level excellence of the group you choose to trust.
Here are a few ways you can tell if the company you’re looking into are worthy of trusting.
They know the value of great content
Yes, SEO does involve the building of links to raise your rankings, but not as much as you might think. As each year passes, Google has successively been taking importance away from backlinks and placing it into other areas.
As we covered in a previous blogpost, we disclosed information about the increased value in time-on-site, bounce rates, site clicks, content readability, average article word count increase, and mobile ready. You can look into the proof of this yourself. Google is doing this because they want websites to have the best information to help the searcher as much as possible, not the best link building techniques.
If your website has yet to be made for mobile use and isn’t loaded with good content to engage the user, you’ve got some hurdles to jump that should be focused on as soon as possible. Keywords and backlink optimization can wait until your site has been optimized, otherwise you’ll be looking for a light at the end of the tunnel with your hands covering your eyes.
They know SEO can be a main form of lead generation
When we see people funneling 80% of the marketing spend into channels like billboards and television ads we know that they’ve probably been struggling to get leads and have been for a while. Your audience is online more now than ever.
Not only does having a solid local SEO strategy create a way to track where your leads came from, but it also enables you to know more about them so that you can mold your marketing to what they actually want.
And when it comes to local SEO results, being highly visible is vital to those customers looking to buy right now. But what is important to understand about leveraging this traffic, is that your budget should never limit the quality of the work a company with SEO experts can do. The only limiting factor is how long the changes will take.
We always operate with full transparency
As we have been in the local SEO consulting industry for a while, we have seen a large percentage of people that think SEO is nothing more than a magical dash of backlinks to raise a website’s ranking. Of course, this is unfortunate as there are tons of sources online to explain exactly what SEO does.
Consulting companies, who you can trust, will always take the time to sit down with you and explain exactly with your website what they are doing and what they expect as a result.
We’ve been overcoming the challenges that small companies face in local SEO results to get where they want to be.