What You Need to Know Before You Buy SEO: 7 Facts That Will Save Money And Time

By Angela Johnson – No one works at a loss including SEO companies. This must be understood even before you contact the SEO company.  Whatever business you do – selling bed linen, organizing BTL events, or preparing schoolchildrenfor the English test – you don’t do it for free. Likewise, an SEO contractor works to make a profit, taking into account possible risks.

SEO is not a magic pill for all website troubles, but it is one of the Internet marketing instruments.

You have to be prepared for the fact that SEO cannot cover all the “holes” in your marketing strategy. Different “holes” can be filled with different tools: in addition to SEO, contextual advertising, social media marketing, blogger advertising, and paid publications are all options. Also worth adding to this offline activity (which also works for non-eCommerce companies): TV ads, banner ads, that is, channels for directly building a loyal audience.

SEO consists of several components:

  • technical;
  • content;
  • commercial (behavioral factors, usability).

Within each of these components, there are other components that are under the control of SEO specialists. For example, audits, code improvement, key selection, writing texts, working with the external environment, and others. And there are those that the agency has no influence on: the legislation, the internal mechanisms of search engines, the price offer, competitors, market conditions, and so on.

SEO may and should bring in organic traffic that converts well within its sphere of influence (the same targeted traffic from Google). This is exactly the part of the marketing strategy that you can work off with search engine promotion.

Together with SEO, it is necessary to deal with Internet marketing in general, primarily to work on the brand: to increase its visibility, to build its audience, to get feedback. Without this, it will be difficult to achieve any results.

Read: 5 Compelling Reasons Small Businesses Should Invest in SEO

If SEO isn’t right for your site, a good sales manager won’t recommend it.

Any self-respecting SEO firm is constantly improving the quality of its own sales. As a result, the sales department does not rely only on secretaries or administrators to handle applications. Sales managers in SEO are experts that can diagnose a website quickly.

Only the eye of an experienced specialist can determine which site needs search engine optimization and to what extent. And whether it’s even necessary: certain websites don’t require SEO, and if yours is one of them, the manager should let you know.

The ideal sales manager understands not only search engine optimization services, but internet marketing in general, as well as sales and business principles. But he can’t know everything about you and your company, and to figure out which Internet marketing tool will be effective, he has to ask the right questions. Listen carefully to the questions the manager is asking: is he trying to understand your business? Or is he just trying to sell his service?

Rather than trying to sell their services at any price, companies that aim to help the customer would rather miss out on the material benefit of selling and will maintain their reputation as a responsible and trusted contractor. Simply because it is more expensive.

Read: Top 10 SEO Competitor Analysis Criteria

The commercial proposal helps to identify a reliable company, but beyond that, you must read the reviews.

A good commercial proposal (CP)includes:

  • The content of the individual characteristics of the site. Despite the fact that the CP is free and that some of the work is applicable to a wide range of websites, it should not be fully formulaic and devoid of your site’s unique qualities.
  • Audit of the current state of the site.
  • The list of works that are proposed to be carried out.
  • Predictions (noting that they are predictions, not guarantees).
  • Reviews and cases on your topic.
  • The price is clear, without complicated formulas and conditions.

Look for mentions of the company and reviews after reading the CP.

You can also look at the company’s reputation: if its employees speak at industry conferences and publish articles on specialized websites, it is most likely a “white” company. Otherwise, the company would rather not show up anywhere.

In this sense, the ratings are also useful, despite the fact that they are imperfect and there is no objective way to assess the quality of SEO work, as well as the fact that they are based on different techniques. However, if a company’s rating rises in one way or another, it is a genuine company.

Guaranteeing an increase in sales from the site after its search engine promotion is nonsense.

If you’re told, “We guarantee that your site will rocket to the top in 3/5/7 months,” don’t believe it because it’s impossible to guarantee.

It is possible to guarantee the working process (and this is enshrined in the contract), the result cannot be guaranteed. No SEO expert can guarantee that a site will be at the top of a given list of requests in 3-6 months or a year, or that traffic will increase a certain number of times.

Read: Marketing Strategies for Starting Up Online Business

We can make assumptions, build hypotheses based on our experience, based on other people’s cases, based on seasonality, and so on. We can make predictions and set goals, but no matter what we do, no matter how great our work is, there is always a black box in the form of search engine algorithms that no one will ever reveal to us.

There’s additional work that may take longer than planned due to the site’s technical features (this work with the code in the first place). For example, if the site runs on a self-written engine, many tasks will take longer than if it runs on a standard CMS.

So if you are guaranteed that your website will be at the top of the search engine after a certain amount of time, do not believe it, this will not happen.

Some other promises that you shouldn’t believe:

  • “The result will be fast”
  • “No interaction is required from you: you pay, and we do not communicate until the new reporting period.”
  • “You’ll have a bunch of clients right after you start SEO.”

In general, the payment scheme doesn’t affect anything, so you can pay anyway you like.

Payment schemes can be different: for positions, for traffic, for leads. But in fact, the client pays for time, that is, the work of specialists. You pay for the working hours of the content writer from EssayMap.org, programmer, SEO specialist, as well as for the paid services and directories that the team needs to work on your site.

So, regardless of the payment scheme you select, a portion of the payment will be fixed, as SEO agencies cannot afford to work for free. Fixed payment with a monthly report on the work on the site is the safest and most transparent solution here.

In the SEO world, there are a lot of heated debates regarding paying for positions: many search engine marketers already think it’s bad manners. Perhaps it is, but why not give the client the option if it is more convenient for him?

It follows that the more money you spend on SEO, the more hours of work on the site you pay for. So always ask your manager how many hours of programmer/copywriter/optimizer work you will get for your money.

In SEO, you need to interact, and it is best when the company has a person responsible for this interaction.

There are services for which it is enough to pay to get them. But this does not work in search engine promotion. Without active interaction, everything will be, if not in vain, then close to it.

Read: Guide to Social Media for Small Businesses

There should be a person in contact with the SEO agency who has the right to make decisions. Most often, this person holds the position of a marketer or marketing director. Ideally, this is the person who really makes the decisions and does not act as a transmitter for the next instance. In some large companies, approving changes on the site can take months, because the chain of people with whom you need to approve changes is very long. Of course, this slows down the work on improving the site and attracting targeted traffic.

What should an SEO communications employee do?

  • understand the guidelines for promotion (what is being done and why);
  • promptly react to changes and coordinate them (texts, the appearance of the site, refinements, and so on);
  • suggest his own ideas, if any.

What not to do:

  • try to fully understand the work of optimizers, copywriters, programmers;
  • learn in detail about each step that specialists take regarding your site. For example, questions from the category “Why exactly such a description on these 146 pages?” will only slow down the work of the team. Therefore, you need to be ready to trust.

Let’s talk about the texts independently. If you have a simple subject and sell simple goods or services, the purpose of which is obvious to everyone, you can give the information you have (catalogs, descriptions), then read the first 5-10 texts from the agency copywriter, and if you are satisfied with them, don’t waste time reading and agreeing with them later. Texts will be published as soon as they are written by webmasters. If there are any inaccuracies, you can refine the desired style on a few examples before repeating the process.

It’s quite another matter if the subject is complicated. Here the copywriter can’t do it without you, because it’s a highly specialized range of knowledge. For example, you have a printing house, you print on different paper, in different types of printing, in different formats. A copywriter can’t know all the details about the difference in printing business cards, envelopes, and posters. It is better to provide technical documentation in advance and explain the specifics of your business than to rewrite the texts five times.


Angela Johnson – angelajhnsn2016[@]gmail.com

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