In my last post on search engine optimization (SEO), I shared some lessons learned, but I left the question open as to whether or not to seek out SEO services. The answer, as is often the case in marketing, is complicated.
First, SEO Is Part of A Larger Marketing Strategy
Some businesses can get away with signing up for SEO services and get measurable results that are satisfactory (enough). Then, they move on to the next problem.
For the vast majority of organizations, that isn’t the case. In reality, SEO is one factor in a broader marketing strategy that consists of real-world and Internet marketing components. SEO, in fact, could even be considered a sub-component. After all, it is just one factor in your organization’s Internet marketing approach.
The components in any marketing strategy are becoming more and more interrelated. As a result, there is often overlap between brand, on-site experience, and SEO. This can be good and bad. Additionally, there are both advantages and disadvantages to getting your SEO services from the same firm that provides your web design services.
Like a lot of things in business, it’s always good to weigh your options.
Secondly, SEO Has Changed
The interrelation between these overlapping components is largely a result of a) technology adoption and b) the fact that Internet searching is a lot smarter than it used to be. My biggest complaint with SEO services for a while has been that so many did not change with the industry and practice itself. With multiple search algorithm changes and updates, good SEO companies must be able to adapt. Many have not. More will follow.
To be an SEO services company now, you must constantly be on your toes. And, the services you offer will increasingly overlap with other areas of a broader marketing strategy as mentioned above.
So, What To Do About SEO Services?
Because of the cost involved – as well as some pitfalls with long term consequences – enter into any SEO services relationship carefully and cautiously.
One good first step is to ask yourself what exactly about your search engine ranking or performance you want to change. Maybe you don’t know exactly, but you might have a specific search-engine related metric in mind. For example, maybe the leads coming in from your web site are repeatedly the wrong fit.
Once you make contact with an SEO services company, keep these five questions in mind:
- How do you handle link building as well as disavowal of existing – potentially “bad” – links?
- How “locked down” is the content of our site once your SEO services kick in?
- What are your recommendations with respect to our existing social media presence and how it affects our SEO strategy?
- Do you ever “re-optimize” or do you see optimization as an ongoing process?
- How will you report your performance and results to me?
Do you have thoughts on SEO services? Maybe a horror story? I’d love to hear from you. Comment below or reach out @GamelanLLC on Twitter.