- Is my SEO and social media marketing playing at amateur levels compared to the competition?
- Who is in charge of my SEO team and how much should I be involved?
- Do the same search engine optimization strategies and tactics work like they did in 2013?
- How do I generate more traffic to my website?
- How do I build an effective social media community?
Depending on who you ask, you just may get different answers and in all likelihood you probably will but thats where the MarketingModo team comes to the rescue. Here”s some advice for business owners looking to take their SEO to the next level this year.
Hire In-House or an SEO/Social Agency?
Depending on who you ask, the pros and cons to hiring an in-house SEO or dedicated social media talent versus an agency or consultant may vary depending on opinion, budget, business plan, and industries. Let’s face it, the number of self-proclaimed SEO gurus can be disenchanting and cause more digital injuries than any business owner can imagine. At MarketingModo many of the clients who have come to us come with stories of hiring one of these “SEO masters” and all they get is a nightmare which they turn to us to help clean up. Under the right circumstances, hiring an internal resource is the right choice but we believe that have an external agency such as MarketingModo allows that individual to stay objective and not be influenced by internal movements. What should an entrepreneur know when hiring an SEO/social agency or even a general search professional? Start with this list of three helpful tips:
- Never hire any agency selling links as that will lead to penalties. This can get you in hot water fast. At MarketingModo we firmly believe that links should happen because you earn them, and never because you negotiate them.
- Check referrals from clients.
- Be sure that the agency is mentoring you on their changes instead of vague descriptions of what they are doing. The more specific the better. And remember that the cheaper you want it, the cheaper you get it – in the marketing world the saying that you get what you pay for is 100% true. Marketing that beats your competitors is never inexpensive.
Social Media/SEO Agency Wanted! Now What?
It might feel good to stay with the familiar faces of tradition, the marketing agency your old boss used and loved or the one in business for the longest number of years. But buyer beware. With increasing speed, traditional ad agencies are jumping on the search and social media bandwagon ready to take a bite out of this new business opportunity despite not having a background in search or social media. Use the checklist of questions below to screen for social media fakes and posers:
- How many years of has your agency actually provided social media services?
- How does your social media management result in social media AND SEO success?
- Provide examples of standard social media reports. Where does the data come from and how detailed is it?
- Explain why Google is important for SEO and social media and describe how your agency proposes to use Google in our digital marketing strategy.
SEO and Short-term Vision
Like in any business venture, it can be difficult to resist the immediate gratification of launching a paid search campaign for immediate results and the over-hyped promises of an aggressive SEO campaign with short-lived ROI. Good marketing takes time and many a good business have been destroyed by pushing for short term gains over long-term growth. Business owners should focus on the long-term game rather than the short term as well as implement the following search engine growth strategies:
- SEO isn’t an overnight success story or a one-time effort. Like wealth-building, investing in SEO takes time and continued effort to earn full benefits. This is worth printing out, framing, and placing in a prominent spot in your office. View it daily.
- Research targeted keywords, create a targeted list per page, and use them in multiple places such as in key meta tags, folder and file names, etc.
- The title tag is one of the most important tags for SEO – put most valuable keywords at start and write unique titles for each page.
- Write one keyword-rich H1 tag per page to serve as the page’s headline.
- Write compelling meta descriptions for SERP snippets – this is what converts SERP impressions. People who have managed PPC campaigns before are ideal for this.
- Every page should be crawlable and offer crawlable text for bots to create more keyword relevance and wider keyword coverage but keep it focused.
SEO, Content and Schema
Schema use by search engines is growing. By marking up a website with schema markup, we gain a better understanding of the site”s content.This allows us to create a richer search experience that can lead to an improvement in click rates on the SERP. But it all starts with marking up your content. Skip that step and it becomes much more difficult very quickly.
A Word On Penalties
Business owners need to beware of the severe penalties that will have a hugely negative impact on their business” marketing and bottom line. Unfortunately, few heed this warning and as a result SEO damage control to repair the damage done by prior SEO services has become a popular service offering for many agencies. Playing safe and by the rules is now the only way for business to survive in the SEO world. At MarketingModo, our SEO services are completely white-hat and in line with the policies of the major search engines.