I'll cut to the chase: you probably don't need just SEO if you want to make a dent in the online marketing for your business.
Everybody knows you can get leads and sales from SEO. That's the whole point.
And if your business is in Roseville, you probably want to build a relationship with somebody local. So how do you decide what you need?
Well, for starters, if your website converts traffic at a sub-standard rate, running an SEO campaign will be like trying to dip the ocean with a sieve.
Truth to tell, you probably need a combination of conversion optimization and SEO at a minimum. You may need updates and improvements to your content and website over a period. And you may even want to branch out and try additional services, like Google Adwords or Facebook Ads.
It's understandable if you're not sure where to start. Everyone's needs are different, and most businesses need a little more than just SEO.
To get a sense of where you are, try this quiz. It's a sixty-second quiz that will give you insight into what you're already doing correctly.
It'll also show you where you can improve when it comes to marketing your business.
It will only take you sixty seconds and will give you a solid idea about how to move forward. You always need a good game plan, and after you take the test, you'll know your main weaknesses, and have a pretty good idea about where to start.
It's tough sometimes to hire someone to help with SEO. How do you know if the company's good or not? SEO is a long-term operation. How can you tell if someone's going to do a good job and give you the results you want?
I've got a few basic tips that help me, that I'd like to share. I call them the three 'R's':
At this point, I want to say it loud and clear: I like SEO. SEO has been the backbone of my traffic generation for more than a decade. My earlier criticisms were just to point out that you want to go in with your eyes wide open. Let's talk about some of the big advantages of SEO, the benefits you get when it's handled correctly.
1. Cost Effectiveness - There's belief that much of your organic traffic is 'free'; that it comes to you naturally. I believe that's disingenuous, if not just downright wrong. Keywords are valuable, and it takes a lot of aggressive effort to rank for the ones that generate decent ROI. It will be you, or somebody you're paying, who puts in that effort.
After you do all the content production, link building, design, and on-page fixes, I'm sure you'll agree the traffic is anything but 'free.' Even with that effort, however, it's a bargain. SEO, when compared to other solutions (such as, for instance, Adwords), pays huge dividends.
2. Targeted Traffic - Reaching local customers, who search for you, is the best result a business can have. To do that, you have to know how to put yourself in front of those customers.
Before the internet, media like The Yellow Pages and local newspapers carried out that function in their way. You placed an ad and hoped your prospects saw it. You hoped those publications did a good job of reaching their target audiences.
Nowadays you have a lot of that capability within your grasp. It gives you a lot of leverage in the business, but it's also a great responsibility you must take seriously.
3. Brand Awareness - I'm not the biggest fan of brand marketing, but there's no question it has its place. Putting yourself in front of customers or clients my not guarantee clicks, but it does make them think of you. Staying a part of the conversation is a sure way to become the center of attention eventually.
If everything we've talked about thus far is making you consider SEO, let's talk a little about local hiring. There are some significant upsides to working with someone close to home.
Most business relationships rely on a good foundation of trust. That's certainly true for an SEO consultant-client relationship. Working with someone locally increases that level of trust. Doing business while face to face establishes a rapport.
I enjoy meeting at least monthly, to make sure my clients and I are on the same page. We go over plans of action and work out details in a comfortable and secure setting.
I still bring in a couple of clients from out of state (usual referrals from over the phone), but I find a meeting in person much more productive. Nobody knows their business the way the client does. Being with them, while talking over strategies and brainstorming, creates a bond that puts us in sync. Good ideas come quickly in that kind of relationship. There's no overstating the time you save and the quality of work you get when you and your client are moving in the same direction.
It may seem self-defeating on my part, but it lends itself to another aspect of business equally as important as trust, namely integrity. While so many agencies and consultants only do business with a contract, I prefer a simple agreement. It's never helped me to lock a client into a contract. Some consultants insist contracts address problems like cash-flow and continuity. They believe tying up a customer to a six or twelve-month contract ensures steady revenue.
While that may be true, I believe the healthiest business relationship exists when you rise or fall on the weight of your job performance. A client should be able to get rid of you if you're doing a bad job. Since I stand by my work, I've never had an issue living by that standard, and I like the 'security' of knowing the client wants me to be there.
If you had a choice between a large SEO company and an experienced independent, which would you take? My answer would be the independent every time. Here's why:
1) You'll get more attention and better value with an independent - Large companies have large overheads. There's no way around this; they have to charge to cover those costs accordingly. When you pay a big agency, you're paying account reps, salespeople, and a whole slew of others. Also, large firms usually hire SEO personnel with only one or two years experience. They bring them in on-salary and load them with as many accounts as they can. Needless to say, it's difficult to deliver the best results with this setup. It's even harder to do it at a good price point.
2) Independents are lean and generally know their stuff if they're confident enough to strike out on their own, speak to this personally. I usually don't have a huge client load. I can bring attention to every detail. I give my clients one-on-one service and have years of experience in my field.
I say all this with the caveat, of course, that you do due diligence and strongly vet the people you hire. There are a lot of amateur independents out there, still learning their way around SEO. Also, there are a few large companies that know how to get the job done.
If you're a business owner in Roseville, who needs help with your digital marketing, I may be able to help you.
But I want to be honest with you:
I can tell you just as frankly, that this is what I do have to offer:
I don't say these things to be brash or arrogant. They are just the facts, and they're what give me my credibility. There's a good chance I can help you too. More importantly, I'll tell you clearly if I can't.
Right now I have eight clients in California and two that are out of state. I'm an old-school, handshake kind of guy. As I said before, I like working with businesses where I can meet with people once a month. Even if you're not in Northern California, contact me anyway. If it's just a question or two, I'm happy to help, and who knows, maybe it'll lead to something bigger.
Let's do the 'bad news' first: Since I'm a one-man operation, I don't have a lot of time to take on new clients. I've got eight excellent ones now that keep me busy. I've set up a waitlist (which I describe below) that helps me evaluate when to bring in new business.
Now for the good news: You may not even need my help. I've put together a sixty-second quiz with just 10 fundamental questions. This helps us both find out if I actually can help you and your business. Depending on the results, at the end of the quiz you'll get a form to sign up for my waitlist.
The list isn't to become my client. It's really to arrange a discovery meeting. I want to talk to you about your business, your goals, and your problems. Hopefully, I'll give you some good advice and valuable information during that time, free of charge.
I quickly follow up our meeting with a free report that I write, entitled "The 10-Point Digital Marketing Plan".
This report will give you insight into my tactics and methodology. You might pull some pointers from it too, that help you with your business (all the better!). The most important thing is that the report gives you an excellent overview of a digital marketing plan that works for you. It gives us a sense of how we can work together and lets you know precisely whether you need my help or not.
I'll be happy to answer any of your questions. Drop me a line. Let's talk and see how it goes.