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SEO isn’t easy. Nope—not at all. Especially today. And it won’t get any easier. Not to mention how the SEO stakes have changed dramatically over the years.

With this in mind, let’s examine some of the top questions and answers for your SEO company in today’s online marketing environment.

  1. Is SEO right for my SMB?

Maybe. Maybe not. Today, you need a significant budget to achieve any kind of rankings. If you’re in a competitive market, you can easily spend several thousand dollars per month. You may also need time, perhaps upwards of at least a year before you begin to see results.

You may even compete with large brands, and it may be difficult—perhaps even impossible—to overtake them in search.

Keep these factors in mind when assessing the value of SEO for your business.

  1. How will you help me win at search?

SEO is quite open-ended these days. There’s no one path to the top, though there are solid fundamentals that can help you succeed (on-page optimization, fast page load times, rock-solid content, etc.). So, what’s your specific strategy?

Ask your SEO expert about your site and competition to assess how they’ll help you win at search.

  1. How will you attract links to my site?

Links are the lifeblood of any website, but not just any old links. You want high-quality links from reputable websites.

Google prefers specific strategies to get links (e.g., promoting your content) while not caring for other approaches (e.g., building links on forums or placing them on directories).

In fact, doing the latter can completely ruin your website rankings—making it that much more important to learn precisely how your SEO company will attract links to your website.

  1. Can you share a case study of a similar company you helped succeed?

Local SMBs can vary wildly by industry, and your SEO company may therefore not have worked with another SMB in your field.

Nevertheless, the company should have a customer story or two from another business in a similar industry and be able to share exactly what they did to help that company achieve search success—as well as the results they achieved.

  1. Which metrics do you measure to track progress?

Small business SEO is tricky…even for SEO companies. Your SEO provider should be able to show you keyword rankings, the total number of pages on your website that receive search traffic, and the total amount of organic search traffic you receive on a monthly basis.

  1. Is a contract necessary?

If you favor an SEO company’s approach but they lack an extensive and verifiable track record, sign a contract with an opt-out clause after 3 months. Never sign a long-term contract if you don’t have a concrete way to measure the company’s reputation. If you can research and verify their reputation online, you can feel more comfortable signing a one-year contract.



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