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What To Expect From A Search Engine Consultant

Aug 17, 2007
There are many self-proclaimed SEOs out there and it is difficult selecting someone suited to your business needs. Apart from hiring someone who knows some technical aspects of the business, an SEO must also be intuitive. Understanding the business makes an SEO more successful than someone who deals with their clients with a "one size fits all" attitude.
There are several ways to get ranked higher and quicker. There are fast ways of doing it, where you fall down faster too or you can do it the slow and longer lasting way.

Here are some tips on what to expect

1. Building links from your site is important. The links you have per keyword, the higher your rating in the eyes of a search engine. Beware of link farming. The idea of link farming is to have reciprocal linking with other sites. The quality of these sites are important. If the link quality is not good, Google can label you as a 'bad neighbourhood' which means that Google has determined that you are swapping links in order to manipulate page rank. Adding links that your visitors can use is a good way to avoid this tag.

For example, if you are selling clothes, it does not make any sense to link to a website selling cameras, would it? Moreover, outbound links are always better than a link exchange. Of course, linking to a complementary site is good, if it drives some traffic your way. A partnership is better than linking to just anyone. If you can find sites which offer products or services which compliment yours and you can help each other out and you are proud to be associated with them and claim so on your website, then that is the best method. If you are trying to just build links and are trying to hide the links in another page which is hidden, then that is a big no no.

2) Before building links, it is important to optimize your website for certain keywords. Remember, one keyword per webpage. It is not always nice to find out that you ranked high in the search engine for words like "free" or "welcome to our site". This will prove very costly especially if you are doing pay per click advertising as it means that anyone typing the word "free" in the search engine, can expect to have your site among the search results. Each time someone clicks on the advertisement to come to your site, you not only lose money, but you will not be converting anyone. Reason being that, it is not your potential customer.

Relevant keywords are important and over time, you will come up higher in the search results. Have one keyword a page, if possible. Ensure that when the customer clicks on your advertisement, the person lands on the relevant page. For example, if you are selling several baby products and a customer is searching specifically for prams, your chances of converting a lead is higher when you direct the customer to the webpage selling prams. You can go one step further and have the prams divided into brands. It could be in the same page or in small icons which they can click to go to the next page. In this way, the customer feels that they have a choice.

3) It is always better to have a website designer with SEO knowledge design your website, as it goes a long way in increasing your website's visibility to search engines. You can ensure that all the meta tags, heading, title and others have been optimized to get the most out of your website.

4) It is useful to have tracking installed on your website to see how many visitors have come, where they have come from and which page they spent the maximum time. Google Analytics provides a wide range of information and can be viewed in the form of graphs, charts and figures. Using this information, you can study your customers and enhance your website to generate more traffic. Ensure that your consultant can install the codes in the relevant pages and analyze them. Search engine optimisation is not a "install and go" method. It requires thought, knowledge of the market, various online marketing methods and continuous fine tuning to achieve your business goals. Understanding the business is the first step towards attaining the business goals. The goals could be as varied as getting more leads, constant traffic, conversion of leads, selling more products online or just simply a place where you can share knowledge with like-minded people.

Search engine optimisation is still a growing field and as long as Google, Yahoo and MSN is used to search for websites on the web, it will always be an important exercise to follow.
About the Author
Kathy Austin is an SEO Consultant and founder of SeoEcom. She is a Google certified Adwords professional and helps small to medium sized businesses search engine optimisation analysis and strategy to achieve a businesses goals. She believes that each business is different and her solutions are tailor made to its needs and budget.
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