It's easy to get overwhelmed by the number of web marketers to choose from these days. There are thousands in the U.S. alone, but not all of them are credible or know how to take your site to the next level.
Since the nineties the titles "web developer" or "online marketers" have had vague definitions, mixing professionals with beginners. Here are six ways to narrow down your search for the best SEO marketing experts.
1. Find Out How Concerned The Marketer Is About Your Business
One of the first ways to weed out marketers that are only looking to take money from clients is to have a conversation about your business. Notice to what degree the marketer has concern about your business model, its target audience and your ultimate marketing goals. If they just want to pitch their services and never get around to asking about your business, it's best to move on and find someone who cares.
2. Ask How Quickly SEO Techniques Bring Traffic
SEO can be very effective, but it's not an exact science and there are no guarantees of ever achieving high search rankings even for your most important keywords. It's really a game of odds, in which you have the highest chance of attracting traffic through search rankings if you focus on crafting unique, useful content that matches what your target crowd is searching for. But it may take several months before search engine robots index all the pages on your site. The most honest SEO marketing experts will tell you there is no way to predict where your site will rank by a certain date since Google does not reveal all of its ranking criteria.
3. Learn How They Build Brand Awareness
The concept of building brand awareness should be easy for any marketer to talk about. So if they cannot convince you quickly that they have well tested strategies for helping your target customers learn about your business, then they probably aren't seasoned professionals.
Brand awareness can be built through press releases, videos, informative blogs, newsletters, pay-per-click campaigns, social media, email, cross-promotion and traditional advertising. The more they can build your brand through inbound marketing, the more you'll cut costs.
4. How Will They Reach Your Target Audience?
If your SEO candidate only offers limited strategies for attracting your target market to your website, then you must keep searching for one that provides a wider span of options. Some marketing firms work with HubSpot tools, which gives you a wide range of possibilities, whereas small operations might not have access to such tools. At bear minimum, SEO marketing experts should understand that online advertising is usually the quickest path to bringing leads to your site.
5. How Well Do They Understand Analytics?
Analytics are an essential resource for studying your online audience. Your marketing team must have a command of the basics and beyond. You might even ask if their analysts are Google-certified just to make sure they've been through proper training. There are plenty of metrics to know about, but some of the most important include page views, bounce rate and where your traffic comes from. It's important that they understand how to analyze your traffic so that you can make adjustments to your site as you learn what users care about the most. Ask if they use heatmaps, which track user behavior on specific parts of pages.
6. Check If SEO Team Manages Blogs
It's good to know which SEO marketing experts can create and maintain blogs, since search engines often prioritize them if they deliver the information users demand. Blogs are creative, personable and knowledgeable pieces that make up a bigger series of writing, almost like an anthology or even encyclopedia of useful information. If the team can manage and update your blog frequently, then your odds will increase for gaining organic traffic.
Ultimately, evaluate SEO marketing experts based on experience, skill and knowledge. The more you research the field of online marketing, the more you become familiar with the questions to ask and the less likely you'll fall for the sales pitch of an online marketer that doesn't have your best interests in mind. Take the first step in generating the leads that will turn into sales, by researching online marketing.