Evaluate Needs and Set Online Goals
Search Engine Optimization and other forms of online marketing are no different than any other expenditure your business invests in. If your business has a need/goal, you then search for a solution according to your expectations of achieving that goal. You can then make the determination whether or not it will be worth making that specific purchase/investment.
Far too many businesses ‘know’ they ‘need’ Search Engine Optimization so they look for a SEO service provider, get a few quotes and then choose the one with the lowest price – since they all do the same thing anyway… right? Wrong. Not all SEO companies are the same – but more on that at a later date.
You need to determine what you want to accomplish with your SEO project. Before asking where you want to go tomorrow, you have to determine where your business is today. Do you have any sort of historical data to draw on? Do you routinely gauge how your various marketing projects are performing? If so, take a moment to analyze them and determine how they fit in regards to your online presence. Do they contribute to your online marketing? Could they? Could some sort of tweak provide leverage for your online marketing initiatives?
Once that you have taken a solid look at where you have come from and where you are today, the next step is to determine exactly where you want to go in the future – 6 months, 1 year, and 3-5 years into the future.
Ask yourself some of the following questions and be honest with yourself. What needs to change/improve? Do you want more sales leads? More traffic? What sort of traffic? What do you want that traffic to do once they get to your site? Are you on the first page? For what search terms? What phrases are worth the most to your business?
Once you know where you have been and where you want to go, you will be in a much better position to ask potential SEO providers what they can do to help you achieve your goals. A quality Search Engine Optimization service provider will lay out a plan that matches what you want to achieve.
As a side note, a quality ‘SEOr’ may also suggest goals that are different than what you envision. That shouldn’t be looked upon negatively necessarily. If they have done their research, they may bring a different outlook to things than you have. The thing is, if what they present is different than what you believe, they MUST be able to back those thoughts up. If what they are saying doesn’t seem to fit, or make sense, ask for some sort of proof of this approach.
Once you have your SEO goals set and your Search Engine Optimization project is underway, you should set specific intervals to evaluate how you are doing against the goals you set previously. We here at Advanced Web Solutions set aside time each month to discuss where our SEO program is, where it has come from and what we’ve done to get there. If there is a change in approach required, we will explain what is required and put an altered plan in place. Remember SEO requires 3 primary elements and your SEO program won’t be successful if all elements aren’t incorporated.
What sort of goals do you think a SEO project for your business should include?
SEO Program: Set Your Online Goals – part 2