An SEO consultant like me can do a lot of good for your website. But, ultimately, we can’t work miracles.
Sure, you might see your site rise to the first page of Google, but there are no guarantees of making any more sales – unless you’re prepped & ready to rock. With that in mind, I thought I’d take a look at some of the things your business should be doing to get ready for SEO.
Try some of them out, and you will make me (or whoever you choose) very happy indeed.
What Exactly is Your Goal?
I get nauseated when I think of just how many businesses I’ve consulted who open up their Google Analytics account and I find out that for the past 10 years of business they have never, ever configured a Goal for their website. This is actually indicative of a bigger problem
Why do you want to invest in SEO, anyway? Is it just because everyone else is? If so, you are making the first big mistake that many businesses do, in my experience.
Ranking for number one on the SERPs is not a validbusiness goal. Neither is getting twice as much traffic as you are getting today.
Your SEO campaigns should be tied in revenue with your overall business and marketing aims so you can measure its results. Spending a small fortune on search is pointless if you don’t improve your sales, for example. So, establish your goals and use SEO as one of the many tactics you can use to achieve them.
Have You Actually Optimized Your Business Itself Not Just A Website?
It was a painful conversation. The client had sent me their email login information so I could setup Google Search console, and I got a peek at the gmail account associated with it during the process. In that moment I saw that the last three email leads sent from their site hadn’t even been opened in the two days since they’d been sent.
- SEO can’t rescue a bad business model.
- SEO can’t fix a lack of follow up on leads
- SEO can’t fix a terrible product
- SEO can’t fix a snotty receiptionist
- SEO can’t fix poor customer service
You need to make sure you’re taking every advantage for your business. Local brick and mortars should consider POS software & loyalty programs. Online vendors should review their customer support emails for opportunities to both build time saving articles that answer common questions. Optimize your business, not just a website!
What Makes Your Business Unique?
I’ve talked to dozens of people who “want to rank #1” and I always ask them…do you really think you DESERVE to be number one? What makes you special? Are you actually communicating that in your marketing or not?
Once you know your business goals, you need to develop a strong brand message about your company and it’s value to it’s customers. Doing so is a vital part of your communication, not just to your customers, but also to your employees and the outsourced agencies you work with.
A strong brand message will help you create a stronger foundation for your keyword research and SEO content. It can also help you laser-target the right people for your campaigns. Don’t underestimate how important this step is.
If you are struggling with getting your message across, get some business communication training to help you find your feet. It strengthens your brand marketing, of course. But you will also find you can communicate better with employees – and consultants.
Let It Go, Let it Go!
When you ask an expert about their opinion in what works, you have to trust them. Ask any SEO, and they will all tell you about nightmare clients that take search practices from 5-6 years ago as Bible. Try to avoid being one of these customers, and let the expert do their thing. I know how hard it can be when you have to hand over responsibility – especially when you run a small business.
But if you have researched your consultant enough – which is imperative, by the way – you should have nothing to fear. It’s not just your ego you will have to give up, either. A good SEO will want access to your analytics software, sales data and a whole lot more besides. If you aren’t ready to hand over the keys, you won’t get the results you need – it’s as simple as that.
Be prepared for the long haul
SEO takes a long time to get right. You might be tempted to go for a consultant who guarantees you top spot within a week – avoid these snake oil salesmen like the plague. There is a lot of work to do when you are starting out from scratch. And, even when the consultant has given you a solid foundation, there will be lots more to come. You will need to invest in creating amazing content, outreach, constant keyword research, and a whole lot more besides.
Taking these first steps will give your SEO consultant a lot to work with – and you can enjoy better results.