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Looking for the right SEO specialist can be a difficult task. Fortunately, there are a number of ways to narrow the field and choose an organization that can best serve your needs.
Search engines are constantly evolving with new methods of ranking content and understanding user intent. More and more business is shifting from offline to online channels, where a significant percentage of referrals come from search engines. For this reason, it's critical that websites are optimized well to achieve high rankings.
The objective of search engine optimization (SEO) is to achieve the highest ranking possible for a keyword or group of keywords, capturing a wide range of traffic. When a user searches for information via a search engine, the results are ranked in order of relevance. These rankings are critical due to how search engines are structured.
A search engine's job is to take a query with relative user intent and organize everything into the best possible results. There are a limited number of spots to satisfy a user's intent and millions of possible results; hence, the information has to be organized as efficiently as possible to help the user find what they are looking for. This concept is called relevance in SEO.
It's important to establish relevance right out of the gate because a website is often the first contact a potential customer when they find a business. While search engines have become smarter at recognizing intent from the perspective of users, sites are a bit more complicated. Therefore, it's critical that sites are structured properly in order to respond to users.
— Does the specialist stay abreast of industry trends?
SEO is constantly evolving as algorithms change on a regular basis. Rankings can rise and fall literally overnight, which is why selecting a specialist that monitors industry changes closely can allow you to respond quickly before things get out of hand.
— Does the specialist have experience with sites in your industry?
The tactics that work for one business might not work for another. E-commerce sites function differently from sites that collect leads for services provided offline.
— Does the specialist engage in white hat techniques or black hat techniques?
Certain tactics are frowned upon in the SEO industry. Your site could lose rankings if found to engage in black hat techniques like link spamming, for example. It's critical to understand your specialist's philosophy when it comes to increasing rankings.
— Does the specialist have a history of delivering results?
When it comes to your business, you want to hire someone who knows what they're doing. That's why it's important to select a specialist with years of experience making improvements to websites and a history of delivering results.
— Who will work on your account?
Are you hiring an SEO expert or a junior level beginner that is learning on the job?
The primary job of an SEO specialist is to ensure that a site is optimized for the most relevant searches or group of searches through the use of keywords associated with those searches. To accomplish this, SEO experts may be versed in technical concepts and best practices regarding site structure and are able to implement these for clients.
SEO specialists may engage in both on-page and off-page SEO to improve rankings and find new business opportunities. They utilize tools in various areas of expertise to influence rankings, like content marketing, link building, outreach, and/or pay-per-click advertising. In addition, they can come up with a content strategy that resonates well with audiences, analyze the performance of existing keywords, and discover new keywords.
When it comes to selecting an SEO expert, it helps to consider your site's goals and overall business objectives. But in order to get the right answers, you have to ask the right questions. Is the goal, for example, to increase traffic or increase conversions? Both of those would require different approaches.
If you run a fast growing business, it might be helpful to hire a strategist who can point you in the right direction. Choose an experienced SEO professional to assist with your site's keyword and linking strategy to drive bottom line results.