Hiring an SEO Company: 8 Simple Words You Need to Know First
The property management industry is more competitive than ever, and that means hundreds of websites are all competing for the same set of searches online. Whether you are trying to boost your traffic, or gain more visibility online, SEO consulting is still one of the best investments you can make in your website.
Before you hire an SEO company, you should do a little bit of research first. Of course, who has the time? But taking a few minutes of your day now, can greatly improve your chances for SEO success later.
SEO or Search Engine Optimization, is often called “organic search.” You might also hear people refer to organic traffic as natural traffic, because these are naturally occuring search results. Is there such a thing as unnatural search results? Well in a way yes, those are called paid listings or paid search.
You will often hear people confuse SEO, SEM, and PPC. To be clear, when people refer to those they aren’t talking about free natural organic traffic.
Just think of it as home-grown SEO. You can’t buy it, it just happens naturally as a by-product of creating great content and building awesome websites that people share and visit over and over again.
Analytics are a critical part of the SEO equation; it’s how you measure whether things are working or not. Website analytics can include everything from Enterprise-level software like Adobe Omniture to the industry standard Google Analytics.
Every SEO consultant knows how a healthy trendline looks for web traffic: it’s going up! In addition to more traffic, it’s important to understand that analytics can also tell you if the right kinds of traffic are coming to your website.
Content isn’t just about text anymore. A great website has content that includes optimized images and video as well. Content is the meat of your site, and it’s what sets you apart from your competition. There is an industry saying that “content is king,” and it’s a critical piece to good SEO.
A link is simply the term to describe one website linking to another. In this sentence the words “awesome blog post” are the link. The target of that link is none other than this blog post I’m writing now. There are many tips and tricks out their for building SEO links. Easy enough?
Rankings is a term used by SEO companies to describe what position your website is found in Google’s online search results. If your rankings are good, it means in general your website shows up prominently on Google when people search for phrases related to your website.
If your SEO company says you’ve experienced a “rankings drop,” it means that you aren’t showing up as highly as you did before. For example a website experiencing a rankings drop might be #2 for a search one week, and #8 for that same search the next.
Traffic is the lifeblood of your website. A site with lots of traffic usually gets rewarded with more traffic, and a website with very few visitors has to scratch and claw it’s way into Google’s good graces.
Traffic is usually measured in unique visitors, often in monthly or daily increments. The most popular measurement of website traffic is comparing traffic from one month to the next. While your traffic might fluctuate from time to time due to seasonality, in general a healthy website’s traffic should increase a few percentage points each month, and 5%-10% over the course of a year.
When people talk SEO, they usually mean optimizing for Google search. And when you think of Google search, you should be aware of Googlebot. Think of Googlebot as a robot helper, that visits all the websites in the world on a regular basis.
Instead of having people visit your website, there is an automated robot that visits it usually on a daily or hourly basis. Some websites are so popular, Google sends bots to visit them every second.
Hiring an SEO company can bring with it great benefits like increased traffic, customers, and revenue. But be aware that what can go up, can also come down. Hiring the wrong SEO company who is inexperienced can result in dramatic traffic loss, which can cripple a website.
Just like in sports, a penalty is when Googlebot decides you have done something manipulative to try and increase your traffic. This could be repeating too many keywords on a page, repeating too many keywords on a page, or repeating too many keywords on page. Note, please don’t try this at home without supervision from someone who understands SEO very well.
If you don’t understand the basic concepts of SEO, you are placing your company at risk of being outperformed in the marketplace. I linked to a lot of great articles in this post, so go back through and read a few of them when you get the chance. Bookmark this article, and commit to read it at least a few more times before making a decision about the SEO company you decide to work with!