If you have SEO on your mind and are looking for an SEO professional then it is important to ensure that you get the correct solution, the first time. Like any service enquiry, you should a) communicate clearly what you need and b) ensure that you understand what services are being offered, and what the expected results are going to be for the price. In short you should make sure that both parties have the same expectations. “Website top of Google” is a vague comment to be made by either yourself or your supplier. “To rank on the first page of the Google search results for [phrase X]” is much better: it is very clear and can form an excellent objective for the SEO work about to be undertaken. But you need to be careful here too: if your potential SEO professional starts making guarantees about Google rankings, then that is not good. Visit us on small business seo.
Google itself states that no one can guarantee rankings in the Google search results. Identifying the keywords for which you want your website to rank in the Google search results is essential and this list should be agreed by both parties. It is easier to get a website ranking well on Google for more specific, targeted phrases (e.g. “seo sunshine coast”) than more generic phrases (such as “SEO”). In addition to this there are a number of technical aspects about your website that make your website more “friendly” to Google, and easier for your SEO supplier to optimise. These are things that should be discussed and understood prior to getting started with the search engine optimisation of your website. Here’s what I recommend you consider and discuss with prospective SEO suppliers, during those crucial discussion stages.
How you can help your SEO Supplier Do you know what the phrases you need to rank highly on Google for are? Or do you need your SEO professional to find this out for you? Your SEO professional will have a number of specialised tools available which allow him or her to research what keyphrases your target market actually uses on search engines to find your services and products. These phrases often differ from the ones you might intuitively think of, because you are thinking from your own perspective as the seller, you naturally use terminology and jargon related to your industry, and in general it can be difficult for you to really put yourself in the shoes of your potential customer. However your SEO professional will welcome your thoughts on what keyphrases to start with, and will be able to research and develop a pool of keywords for which you need your website to rank well on Google. Also look at your competitors and see what keyphrases they use, or are found to be ranking well on Google for, and generate a list. Provide these lists and ideas to your SEO supplier. Describe your target market to your SEO Professional. Who/what are they (demographics) and where are they (geographic targeting)? This will determine the terminology, grammar and phrases etc to be used on your website and the correct phrases to be included in the SEO (e.g. “optimised” in UK, Vs “optimized” in US).
It will also help your SEO professional when he or she comes to formally telling Google where to geographically target your website. Let your SEO professional see your website’s Content Management System (CMS – the area that you login to, to manage your website) so that an assessment can be made as to how SEO (or Google) friendly your website is. If some crucial SEO requirement is not possible with your current CMS then this is best identified early, and sometimes a rebuild of the website might be recommended at this time. Where is your website hosted, and who by? The physical location of the servers upon which your website is hosted can be determined by Google and used to target your website in the country-specific search results (i.e. “pages from [country]”).