Before You Hire an SEO Agency, Take Care of These Issues
With so much of the world’s commerce and entertainment now occurring online, more and more businesses, brands and individuals seek to immerse themselves in this medium for personal or financial gain. As such, the role of search engine optimization has expanded and so have the number of firms offering specific services on everything from link building to content creation. There are still a number of tasks that any web-master should complete on their own before enlisting the services of a SEO firm, as doing so will save you time, frustration and money. Below we will outline each of these actions that should be taken before you contact or recruit any agency.
Know Your Goals
Before you can adequately convey the vision for your website, blog, business or brand, you will first need to understand what you expect out of the process. Are you trying to attract volunteers or followers to a new cause? Do you have a product to sell? Do you want to start pinging your blog to search engines in order to be heard? An agency will be more than happy to help you find a “vision” (that often involves costly additional services that are not needed), so be sure to understand the short and long-term plans for any SEO business relationship. Failure to do so will result in more money spent and less efficiency gained.
Create Your Own Content
There are a variety of content creation services available on the web that can help you obtain custom content for your blog or website. If your blog is already functional, then chances are that you either are creating this content yourself or have enlisted the services of a freelancer or writing agency. If you are just starting your blog and do not have content yet, then do not enlist the services of a SEO agency. In order for any agency to be truly successful at optimizing and improving the search engine optimization of your website, it will need to be in existence and building credibility so that analytics, trends and past performance can be observed.
Set Up Social Media
Many SEO firms will want to know more about your social media presence before agreeing to any terms, in order to know what to expect and what services will be needed. If you have not already established an extensive social networking presence across multiple platforms, then you are not ready for the services of a SEO agency. Once you have established a presence on sites like Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and Google Plus and are pinging your blog or website consistently to audiences, then you can consult with a SEO agency about how to improve your overall performance. Any sooner would be premature, with no social signals being associated with your blog or site.
Finally, you will want to work on building links to all the different forms of content on your website and to other websites. These actions can also be handled as part of a SEO effort and plan, but again, it is vital that you establish some presence in all the key areas of SEO before any consultation begins. If you can link to popular websites and have a solid network of internal links, then this will automatically improve your PageRank and make it less costly when SEO services are truly required to up the ante.