We know, SEO firms and agencies are a dime a dozen. They come at you with big promises to up your traffic which will (hopefully) boost your sales, contacts, etc. But, the sad reality is that a lot of these agencies will take a one-and-done or template-type approach. They’ll overstuff your website with keywords that are supposed to be “SEO-friendly” but actually make your website hard to navigate for the user. Most likely they don’t know your brand, know you and they’ll attract the wrong kind of traffic. Here is what we do for our SEO clients at STAK, and how it attracts the right customers to your brand.
Research, Research, Research!
Most SEO firms will find one keyword (if you don’t know what that means, read THIS) and absolutely flood your site with it. URLs, page titles, headers, everywhere. It’s not a good look.
What an SEO firm should do is research the heck out of different key phrases. Depending on the size of your website and the nature (blog, e-commerce, service) the number of key phrases will be different. For example, if you’re a chiropractor in St. Louis, you should be aiming for a few key phrases, not just “chiropractor St. Louis.” Your SEO firm should be doing a lot of base research to figure out what search terms would bring the best traffic.
Also, if you hire someone to just do SEO, please make sure they have an overall understanding of the brand! This leads us to our next point...
Create Conversational Copy
If a so-called SEO expert is just flooding your website copy with key phrases that make it chunky and hard to read, that’s a red flag. Google is smart. It can tell when websites, blog posts, or articles are using a certain search term over and over. Google also takes into account how readable a webpage is when indexing your site. A hard-to-read article will never make it to the first page of search results.
What an SEO firm should do is create conversational copy around your key phrase. This is where research comes in handy. What questions might someone be asking before they land on your site? What other things could someone who searches for a “vegan peanut butter cookie recipe” be looking for? An SEO firm should be finding creative and natural ways to include your selected search terms across all pages, blog posts, services, etc.
Get The Eyeballs You Want
After a one-and-done style SEO firm overhauls your website, you might see a huge tick in traffic. How exciting! Or, is it? If that traffic isn’t resulting in higher conversions, sales, clicks, or whatever your goal is, that extra traffic is kind of a waste. To be clear, SEO is only part of the whole marketing funnel, and you should closely look at the user experience on your site, but SEO should be attracting the right kind of audience.
What an SEO firm should do is understand your ideal customer. Sure, your product or blog post might appeal to a large group of people, but your SEO firm needs to understand which part of your audience is the most reactive to purchasing or clicking and appeal to them through the focus search terms. Well researched and well-targeted SEO boosts conversion rates.
Understand Meta Tags, Alt Text, and H2 H3 Headings
There’s a lot more to SEO than just copywriting. There are technical skills needed and a high-level understanding of how Google indexes and crawls websites. While the copy is very important, there’s so much more to cover when it comes to SEO.
What an SEO firm should do is understand the most important aspects of Google indexing like meta tags, alt text, and H2 H3 headings. The alt text on every single picture on your website should be a searchable term. Headings should be properly tagged and termed. Every small aspect of SEO that is done correctly adds up to big results.
Have a Long-Term Care Plan
The most important thing to understand about SEO before you commit to anything is that SEO is an ongoing process. Yes, the initial work is more intensive and takes time, but a maintenance plan is extremely important to make sure you’re getting a good ROI.
What an SEO firm should do is follow all of the above practices on a regular basis. They should always be researching to make sure you’re ranking for the right search terms. If not, they need to find new and relevant search terms to use. They should be updating new content and products. If traffic is done, they should be able to tell you why.
So, does your current or prospective SEO plan include all of the above? If not, let’s chat about how STAK can create an effective and lasting SEO plan for your business.
Owner/Founder STAK Marketing
Michelle Johnson is the owner, founder and Chief Marketing Guru at STAK Marketing. Our passion at STAK Marketing is to create beautiful STAKs of marketing strategies that help small and mid-sized businesses grow and reach their goals. STAK Marketing's expertise ranges from SEO to branding, e-mail marketing to website design, PR to advertising and much more - making STAK Marketing a one-stop-shop for all your small business marketing needs .