How to Increase Your Website Traffic with SEO
We recently had the chance to sit down with Marc Brookland, CEO, and founder of SEO Locale, to hear firsthand what businesses should be looking for in an SEO agency.
If you want to bring quality traffic to your website, talking to an SEO professional is a must.
What should businesses expect when working with an SEO agency?
All SEO agencies should be doing a competitor analysis, identifying quality keywords, and mapping out which keywords to use on each page of a website.
When we say quality keywords, we’re talking about the keywords that people are searching for because that will determine your entire SEO strategy and campaign. When an SEO strategy and campaign are done properly, the right keywords are targeted, and they bring in new traffic to your website. With an SEO strategy, the most important piece is to target the right keywords on your website’s home page since it’s the easiest to win a high ranking in search engines (like Google). Then you can focus on the rest of the pages of your website.
At SEO Locale, we also research related high-volume keywords that people are searching for to optimize a website and drive new traffic there. Research is key as you need to know what an audience is looking for and what they’re typing into search engines. Something important to note is that people may not know how to talk about a particular industry – they don’t know the industry language or a specific business’ services – so as a business, it’s all about identifying user intent. User intent is about the results that people are searching for.
You can start by going to Google and typing in some brand or industry words to see what results show up. That’s the best way to gauge what Google – based on all of the data it has collected – is saying the user intent of a specific keyword or phrase is.
What are the top 3 red flags businesses should watch out for when looking to get SEO help?
There are several red flags to look out for when it comes to getting SEO help, but the top 3 red flags would include:
Red Flag #1: If an SEO agency is trying to lock you into a longer-term contract.
When looking for an SEO agency, a good rule of thumb is to make sure their contracts are month-to-month. You don’t want to be locked into a 6-12 month contract because it doesn’t guarantee that the work you need to be done will get done. And six months is the average wait time before SEO kicks in and you start to see results, so you want to make sure that the SEO agency is doing the work you hire them to do with a month-to-month contract.
Red Flag #2: If an SEO agency guarantees results in a short timeframe or window.
You can’t guarantee SEO results. It all depends on the competitive landscape and the geography/area that you’re targeting. While local SEO can be easier to target, SEO agencies shouldn’t promise guaranteed results in a specific timeframe. While SEO is progressive, you need to invest before seeing results, and those results may not come until months 7-10. If you want to see long-term results with SEO, you need to be ready to invest long-term.
Red Flag #3: If an SEO agency isn’t ranking well in search engines themselves.
It’s important to work with an SEO agency that can deliver what they’re promising, so look at the deliverables. Are they ranking well in search engines? Are they targeting the right keywords? Again, you want to work with an SEO agency that knows what they’re doing.
Look to see if they have reviews and testimonials on their website and see if they have an office and an in-house team that they’re working with to ensure they’re a professional agency.
If businesses want to build an online presence, where is the best place to start?
It’s always smart to start with a social media presence. While social media doesn’t necessarily generate leads, it helps to build up brand awareness. And you need to have a website that people can find and know about – that’s where SEO comes in. People type what they are looking for into search engines, and you want your website to appear in search results.
While you can learn to do SEO yourself, most businesses don’t have the time, and that’s why they hire SEO agencies to take care of it for them and make sure it’s done right.
Targeting the right keywords your audience is looking for – which stems from their user intent – is how you get people to your website. And then you get people to stay on your website by having the information they’re looking for. In addition to having the right information on your website, you also want to consider user experience, site navigation, site structure, page speed, and the overall look and feel of your website. So getting people to stay on your website is a combination of a lot of different factors.
And while you want to have the right keywords on your website’s home page, it’s also important that your content is relational and conversational. To help do that, you can use related keywords or synonyms to your target keywords to help search engines better understand the context and relevancy of your content so that it can rank higher. For example, if you’re trying to target “web design services,” you can use other keywords related to “web design services” like “site structure” and “page speed.”
Remember, no two businesses are the same, which means that no two SEO campaigns will be the same. If you found this information helpful, be sure to check out SEO Locale if you want to increase your website traffic and want to boost your overall brand awareness.