There is a lot of misinformation and in some cases deception around the topic of SEO

So over the next few blogs I'd like to give you some easy to follow tips and education so you can ask the right questions and know which SEO providers you can trust.  

Not all SEO companies will do anything to get a sale, but you still need to be careful of the smoke and mirrors and sometimes very convincing sales pitch, which often ends up in disappointment.

Below is an introduction on 2 areas of SEO you first must understand and the initial questions you must ask.

  1. Onsite SEO

The first part of Onsite SEO is finding out how much work is needed to ensure your website is SEO friendly. In other words, can Google easily read and understand all the pages on your website and does Google trust your website content. A great program which will tell you how much work is needed to fix the onsite SEO of your website is called SEM Rush and will provide you a score out of a 100 in addition to all the site errors and warnings which may need fixing. This is a great way to view the before and after result and see if your SEO agency has done everything required.  You don't need to understand it all, but it's a great tool to begin asking questions.

Question to ask: Can you provide a before and after analysis using SEM rush or a similar tool, and will you implement all the onsite SEO changes on my site?

The second part of onsite SEO is your site content strategy. If your SEO agency has not discussed the content on your website or recommended which pages need more content or additional pages focused around specific keywords, then it's a red flag they may not really care about results. As a general rule you should not rely entirely on your home page to rank all your keywords. Here is a great blog written by our head of SEO that clearly outlines the issue of SEO link building only to your home page.  

Question to ask: Will you provide keyword research and recommend a content strategy for our website?  What is your approach to recommending content?

  1. Offsite SEO

Offsite SEO is really only one thing, Link Building.

So what is Link Building?  Quite simple really. It is the process of getting your brand mentioned on reputable and Google trusted websites.  

Link building still represents the most effective way to achieve front page rankings for your high competition keywords, which will ultimately deliver the highest traffic and ROI long-term. However, there are short term wins that can be gained by first getting your brand noticed by Google and then building the authority of your brand in the eyes of google.  Authority basically meaning Google trusts you.

Getting your brand noticed by Google is the first level of building trust and can often give you a short-term boost in rankings with your low competition keywords. Second level is ramping up that level of trust with extreme authority backlinks and directing that trust into categories related to your industry .  

But first things first;

Level 1.  How do we get your brand noticed by Google?

Answer:  Our Social Fortress strategy is the quickest way to get your brand mentioned on hundreds of websites without any risk of a Google penalty.  Building any other type of link too quickly however is a red flag to Google that shows that your links may not be natural.  It is also the most effective method available to optimise Google Map listings.  Other than the Social Fortress we also need to optimize the listing itself and check consistency of current map listings.  For most sites the Social Fortress and optimization is enough to get the page ranking in maps especially when the actual site competes well organically, however in some cases we also require map embeds. These are far more technical and something we only do when required. You will also find that as we rank for more and more keywords your map listing visibility will naturally improve.  What you want to avoid is SEO companies that build an excessive amount of business directories too quickly. Building a lot of Social profile links quickly on the other hand is okay and carries no risk.

Learn more about Social Fortress here: SEO Social Fortress  password:  kickm2016

Questions to ask: Do you build social profile links and how many?  Will you optimise each with my unique images and geo-tagged locations?

Level 2.  How do we establish niche relevant Authority

Answer: Link building is to all about getting links from authoritative sites that are relevant to your industry. Relevance can be based on the domain name, the url, the anchor text, the meta title and description and the content of the page that is linked from. But what makes a site authoritative? The answer is simple, rankings and traffic. Google rewards sites it trusts with rankings which means those sites get traffic so this is the ultimate measure stick for how much authority a site has in the eyes of google. If you wondering how to measure this, tools like semrush show how many keywords a site is ranking for and estimate based on those rankings how much organic traffic the site gets.

Question to ask: Will you obtain links that have relevance? Do you prioritise acquiring links from sites that have high rankings and traffic?

Lastly and this is the most important thing to learn with SEO.  

It's called "Link Velocity" and very clearly explains why you need the highest quality links and not a high quantity of links. If your SEO provider is building a high volume of low quality links, you could be doing serious SEO damage which could be very difficult to recover from.  It's also still a very common practice and why cheap SEO providers are getting such a bad reputation.  Simply avoid cheap low cost SEO providers, you will likely do more damage and doing no SEO is better than doing cheap SEO.  

Here is the most important article you will ever read on the topic of SEO and could save you thousands in wasted SEO investment, or worse a manual penalty.  

Important, read this: Link Velocity

Brendon Comerford

Managing Director / Digital Strategy Analyst

Brendon is our Managing Director and follows a transformational leadership style that inspires trust through a shared team vision. His GM experience for multiple agencies brings both a level of integrity that has lured the best to follow and the lessons to live by in building a stable and talented digital team.