No matter how innovative products & services you have, if people cannot find you online, your startup survival will be the toughest. Your business can neither gain momentum, nor can it sustain any growth, if your online visibility is not good enough.
When it comes to announcing your startup, promotional activities are vital, but you do not always have a budget to do regular promotions. As about half of all visits to a website still begin with a search engine query, if your startup doesn’t appear in the search results, you’re missing a big bunch of target audience/potential clients.
Remember, spending money on advertising is an expense, but spending on Search Engine Optimization is an investment, which yields as regular search traffic to your website, and so the regular potential customers.
You may not be in a position to do Search Engine Optimization yourself, and the best idea is to get it done by an individual expert or an agency, like DoubleSpark who knows how to devise a complete SEO strategy for your startup based on product, market, competition and the competitive edge.
Here are some tips for startups to evaluate the SEO expert/company before hiring or else if you’ve signed up with one already, make sure that the person/company responsible for optimizing the website is your right choice.
Tips on Hiring an SEO Expert or Agency
1- They Deliver More than Just the Keywords:
Web search is getting more sophisticated day by day. User intent is more important than ranking the keyword on the first page. So, a good SEO expert is one who will identify the following for you:
- What are customers looking for when they arrive at your site?
- What is current user behavior, i.e. how much time they spend, how many pages they open etc.?
- How can you improve the on-site elements to engage the user more on the site?
Summing it up, a good SEO expert should deliver you a concept map along with a keyword list and content for the same.
2- They are Technical:
One of the major mistakes that most of the startups commit while hiring an SEO agency or an expert is going after someone who offers tons of backlinks. SEO is 80% on-site improvement and 20% blacklining effort. There are so many technical items that 90% of link builders are not well aware of, i.e. page load speed, responsiveness, content, sitemaps, internal linking structure, and so on.
So, ideally, you should get someone onboard who has strong technical knowledge and hand-on experience.
3- Don’t Forget the “Social”:
SEO itself is a quite daunting task, but as a fact of the matter, SEO works better in harmony with Social Media. Because, it’s not just Google, where people will be searching for you. They would also be interested in communicating with you over Facebook, G+, Twitter and other platforms, so for your SEO expert/team, it’s crucial to have hands-on expertise in Social Media optimization, marketing, and management.
Bonus Tip: Hire Local
While hiring an SEO expert or an agency can be quite overwhelming, it is always good to hire local talent. The biggest advantage of hiring a local person is to have clear communication and effective collaboration which is not that easy in case of outsourcing SEO tasks to someone on the other corner of the world. For instance, if your business is based in Orange County or anywhere in California, a local SEO agency like Titanium Marketing can grow your business better and faster than hiring a low cost SEO service from a freelance platform.
The Bottom Line:
While hiring an SEO expert, you may be flooded with applications, but if you ask them to pitch you based on above three points, you should certainly get filtered experts in the list. Moreover, you must also know that the person you’re hiring won’t get you stellar results overnight, so evaluate them well before hiring.