Tips for choosing an SEP professional | Tricks to Gain SEO Success | SEO and Social Media Marketing | SBN Marketing

In my years in business, I’ve found that when folks are asking about SEO, they know they’ve been told they need it, but they also don’t know what they don’t know. There’s a lot of spammer scammers (as my mom calls them) out there, and there’s also a lot of misinformation about what SEO is, what it can do, and who’s qualified to do it. So here are a few of our top tips for choosing an SEO professional.

  • First, if they’re offering results-based guarantees (like first page of Google), run. Legitimate SEO pros know and explain that they can perform their work based on best practices of the day, but past that, they can’t guarantee anything, including when or if the search engines will see the work. (Trust that there are methods we use to submit the work to the search engines, though.) Since we can’t even guarantee that the work will be seen, we for darn sure can’t guarantee the results that will come from the work. If someone offering you SEO services says they can guarantee any sort of results, particularly that you’ll rank in a certain position, understand that it’s likely a scam and you’d be better off throwing your money out a window than giving it to that person.

  • Along those same lines, a legit SEO pro likely won’t talk to you about “rank” at all. That’s because there really is no such thing anymore. The search engine algorithms are now highly specialized, taking into account a searcher’s IP address, past search history, past click history, time spent on other websites they’ve visited, etc. So each searcher’s results are different from every other searcher’s results on the planet! Given access to specific data tools for your site, we can talk you through average positions for queries that led traffic to your site. But we will also talk you away from any focus on “ranking” for a specific term.

  • Know your budget upfront. What can you afford to spend or to allocate toward SEO? This will help you determine what SEO-related services to look for (or at least that you can start with) and which pro can fill your needs. Trust your gut if something tells you a price is too good to be true, but be sure to ask questions. Some agencies, like SBN Marketing, focus on helping small businesses, so their pricing may seem low, but it’s to meet the needs of their target market, not a reflection of the quality of work or the knowledge of the SEO work to be done.

  • Get a scope of work and make sure it includes the basics at the very minimum. (I’m defining the basics as keyword research, title tag optimization, meta description optimization, on-page copy editing/optimization, and image alt data optimization.) Again, legitimate SEO pros will offer this. They will lay out exactly what the price you’re paying includes. Assume that anything not listed in the scope of work is not included. If there is an element not listed that you’re expecting, ask about it. It may be that that piece is lumped in with something that is included for that particular SEO pro. It may be that that piece is not something that pro offers at all. Or it may be that that piece is an upgrade and available for an additional cost. No matter what, you won’t know if you don’t ask.

  • Consider all of the services you need. Are you just looking for SEO? Or are you also looking to outsource your social media management? Or get a revamp on your website’s design and/or content? Or are there other marketing elements you want taken off your plate? You may find that including your SEO services in a larger package deal with an agency gets your marketing where it needs to be at a better overall price.

If you’re ready for an SEO pro and think that SBN Marketing may fit the bill for you, use the button below to give us a shout! We’ll be happy to talk with you about your needs and see if we’re a good fit!

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