Competition is fierce in the business world, and you cannot survive without a strong online presence. Even the most beautifully designed website cannot stay relevant if its target audience can’t find it on the Internet. This is where Search Engine Optimization (SEO) comes into play, making your business searchable and successful online.

Why SEO is Essential for Your Business

Effective SEO has numerous benefits for companies and entrepreneurs in today’s digital world. Not only does it boost the searchability and visibility of your website, but SEO also contributes to other important factors that help your organization succeed. Regardless of the size of your business or the industry in which you operate, effective SEO can take your brand to even greater success in several ways:

  • Increases Website Traffic – A good SEO campaign helps bring more organic searches to your website. Organic search is a significant part of website performance; creating a “buyer funnel” that encourages prospects to engage with you or complete a sale.
  • Increases Trust and Credibility – These elements are important for establishing a stable foundation for your website and an effective user experience for your audience. Other factors that build a brand’s authority and improve digital properties include:
  • Quality backlinks
  • Optimized on-page elements and content
  • Positive user experience
  • Machine-learning algorithms

Establishing online authority is more beneficial to a brand than other digital optimizations. However, earning trust and establishing credibility does not happen overnight. As a business owner, you must build that reputation over time. It takes effort, patience, and commitment. Part of this endeavour involves providing valuable products and/or services to your customers. Another part is providing useful content and information on your site. These types of activity encourage customers to value your brand.

  • Better User Experience – As a business owner, your aim is to get better organic ranking and online visibility, and user experience (U/X) is a pivotal element in attaining that goal. Google uses algorithms to assess a positive or negative user experience. Your website must provide target customers with the information they want and need. People search the Internet for information, and if your business doesn’t provide answers and solutions, it can affect the performance and credibility of your website.
  • Increases Engagement, Traffic, and Conversion – Many small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) seek local SEO to remain relevant among the growing number of mobile users. Local SEO efforts give SMEs a boost by optimizing digital properties for specific locations. By focusing on a particular city, region, province, or town, you can help target customers find your business quickly and easily. Optimizing your website for local audiences helps you reach the customers and clients you want (and who need you).
  • Influences the Buying Cycle – Today’s consumers search for products and/or services they want on the Internet. Good SEO tactics can be a game changer for any business; they allow you to send messages to a desired clientele. You can share information about promos, deals, and new products and/or services. SEO also helps reflect the importance what your business offers, and allow you to increase their trust in your reliability.

Finding the Right SEO Agency

The implementation of your Internet marketing plan can be a complicated undertaking, which is why it’s helpful to hire a trusted SEO agency to boost your online presence and search traffic. Choose your agency carefully; a good one can help catapult your business’ success by bringing in hundreds of new potential customers and conversions each year, while an inefficient one can have a negative effect.

It may seem overwhelming to select among the SEO companies out there. This is especially true for business owners unfamiliar with Internet marketing efforts. Ask your candidates the following questions; the answers will reveal which team to choose:

  • What is your SEO philosophy and how do you deliver results?

An effective SEO company uses three major strategies:

  • Technical SEO – Technical SEO includes site structure, code, site speed, and other metrics that affect search traffic. These technical components check for issues such as 404 errors, and determine if search engines are crawling your website and content.
  • User Experience (UX) – When reviewing the on-page SEO, an expert analyzes various user-facing aspects like keyword optimization, content, and website navigation.
  • Off-Page SEO – Off-page SEO includes earning links, strengthening the brand online, and boosting the popularity of your website and its content. Implementing off-page SEO campaigns requires a specialist who will use incoming links to your site to increase the authority of your domain and page.
  • How will your strategies be adapted to our brand or business?

Choose an expert SEO partner who knows the various strategies needed to meet your goals. For example, SEO methods for a local business whose aim is to attract customers from various locations are different from those for large corporations within a global market. Although an SEO agency that handles clients across the globe might be a plus, it is not a requirement. Select an agency that communicates well and adopts an approach that caters to your needs and clientele.

  • How long will it take to see results?

It takes time to implement effective SEO, and an experienced professional should provide you with a time frame for results. With legitimate strategies, some movement usually expected within six months, but this may largely depend on your website’s health. For example, correcting technical errors and oversights helps your website gain positive results in a shorter period of time. However, if an SEO agency promises you immediate or quick results, ask how they plan to achieve that. Be cautious; some agencies use outdated, spammy strategies, which will eventually get your website penalized by search engines.

  • How do you plan to optimize our website for mobile?
    Since many people use smartphones to search for goods and services while they’re on the go, mobile optimization should be part of your general SEO strategy. After Google rolled out their mobile-first index, mobile optimization has become more important than ever.
  • How do you incorporate SEO with our overall marketing strategy?

Choose a professional who can incorporate and implement SEO alongside your overall marketing plan. Integrating SEO with your public relations strategies, social media, and content marketing activities is essential for effective link-building. SEO experts should collaborate openly and incorporate their efforts with those of your existing marketing team.

  • Do you provide regular monthly reports?

Ineffective SEO companies may show you the end results without providing insight into the details leading to the result (e.g. links earned and the value of the marketing strategy). A reliable company provides you with regular reports that keep you updated on any changes made and the status of your SEO marketing campaign.

  • What tools do you use?

A good SEO company uses different tools for different tasks, and it’s important to understand how and why they’re implemented. Ask what tools are used for the following:

  • Conducting keyword research
  • Monitoring rankings
  • Crawlers
  • Monitoring backlinks
  • Conducting competitor analysis

Your SEO partner should provide and explain the reasons for using their preferred tools and what impact they will have on your campaign.

  • How do you keep up with the latest industry changes and Google updates?

Hire someone who is up to date with the information Google posts on its Webmaster Central Blog, and whose team follows popular industry blogs. Join various SEO forums that conduct their own research; these sites also monitor for potential algorithm changes and look into the potential shifts among SEO best practices.

Hire an SEO Expert That Delivers

SEO is a complicated field. Since Google’s introduction of RankBrain, the search engine continues to update and improve their service. Local SEO Search is an SEO expert serving St. John and businesses across Canada. They stay current with algorithm updates and adapt to key changes in the industry, while working in partnership with clients to create informed campaigns that achieve their individual goals.