If you haven’t built a site yet, then make sure you talk to SEO experts before building your site! SEO should not be an afterthought!
Lately, I’ve been asked to assist companies more and more with their Search Engine Optimisation. The first thing I ask is why they are not consulting with the firm that built their website? In most cases it comes down to price but also they want to independently verify the work that was done by their web development firm.
The first thing I tell clients is that they shouldn’t expect their website firm to have done much SEO work if they didn’t explicity ask/pay for it. Invariably it is the case that the minimum will be done and sometimes they just don’t have expertise in the area. Most firms put some basic effort into SEO but beyond that, nothing is done. However, if companies charge for it, I’d expect a little bit more and a report of what has been done.
If you are not happy with your site’s SEO and you are seeking an SEO consultancy firm then I suggest you follow these tips:
- Understand the basics of SEO yourself, read books, go online, do some research before meeting a consultant
- Ask your business networks do they know SEO consultants that have made a difference for them
- Ask SEO consultancy firms for the best examples of their work
- Be careful that the SEO firm doesn’t have other clients in your niche area, would there be a conflict of interest?
- Make sure the service they are providing is clear and what they will need from you
- Make sure and get clear reports based on your analytics data
- Make sure the price is not ridiculous. In Ireland I’ve heard of some companies charging 1500 per day! That kind of spend would get you a lot of clicks through PPC advertising
In my professional opinion an SEO consultant should be able to assist you with the following:
- Keyword Analysis
- Competitor Analysis
- Website Audit
- Suggest or make changes to your site (sometimes they might not be willing to update the site)
- Link Building or Link Suggestions (sometimes best to do link building in house)
- Social Media Marketing
- Advertising Advice
- Deciphering Analytics and Monitor Improvements
Most of these tasks can be done in house at a fraction of the rates an SEO consultant will charge you, so in my opinion, do what you can yourself based on your SEO consultants advice, however if you do require expertise to fulfil a specific task outsource that aspect of it (e.g. link building, site re-build etc.)
Just a short blog to let you know that upthedeise.com has a new links directory at the following URL
Waterford Links Directory
This directory has an impressive root Google Page Rank of 5 and so anyone with a website in Waterford (and a bit of sense) should submit their site to it as soon as they read this!!!
Another free directory, which will soon become popular is LinkLusters.com, an Irish Links Directory
They are both moderated directories and so only quality links will appear on them which means your own site can only benefit from being on it.
I was delivering a presentation to a group of start ups just before Christmas and one of the class members asked the dreaded question…
“What is a Blog???”
Hmmm, I suppose if she asked it then others were thinking it too.
My simple answer was that it is an abbreviation of Web Log, but of course this is just the label and explains nothing.
In a nutshell a blog is simply a website that facilitates the publication of articles.
According to Wikipedia, a blog is a type of website, usually maintained by an individual with regular entries of commentary, descriptions of events, or other material such as graphics or video. Entries are commonly displayed in reverse-chronological order. “Blog” can also be used as a verb, meaning to maintain or add content to a blog (See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blog).
Blogs are generally organised by date and into user defined categories. Often blogs present an RSS feed to the web. A RSS feed is a file that contains a synopsis of your latest articles and the links to those articles. RSS feeds are automatically generated by tools such as WordPress. Other users and sites can then subscribe to the RSS feed in order to be notified of updates to your blog. A podcast is related to a blog in that it presents media to the end user instead of text. I will explain podcasts in greater detail in a subsequent post.
Blogs are a great way to promote your company website as Google likes to check them regularly for updates. Also, by writing a blog you will get more traffic to your site because you are more keywords and phrases that google can potentially match user searches with. So if you have a company website, you should set up a blog ASAP that you can write about interesting topics that are related to your business.
The best way to learn about blogs is to simply register on wordpress.com and create a blog for yourself to discover all the really cool features inherent in modern blog systems.