SEO is long term. It's probably the simplest statement I can make to a potential client but the hardest for them to understand. We live in a ROI driven world where clients and management are breathing down our necks to produce results now! Unfortunately, you can't rush SEO and expect anything good to come of it. And outsourcing your SEO doesn't speed up the process either.
Here are 5 things you should do before you even consider outsourcing your SEO:
Wait at least a year from site's launch
A site's age and trust factor with the search engines are two incredibly important ranking factors, and a new site just doesnrsquo;t have them. It doesn't matter what kind of SEO campaign you build, your site's age and trust factor can't be rushed along. It's better to spend the first year getting your site to the best version of itself and focusing on the user-experience before you invest in any heavy off-site link building.
Understand the online market and your target audience
If your business is relatively new to the world on online marketing, you've got a lot of work ahead of you. One of the most important things to do is go back to Marketing 101 and define your target market. Your offline customers may not have the same characteristics as your ideal online consumer. How do they use the Internet? What social networking sites do they have profiles on? What are some of their favorite sites and blogs? In order to effectively reach your online audience, you have to know where to find them first.
You also need to define who your online competitors are. You may be the leader offline, but if you're late to the online space then you need to figure out where you stand in relation to the competition. What niche have they carved out for themselves and where do you see opportunity for your brand? SEO can help you outshine the competition, but you need to know who they are and what they are doing beforehand.
Learn the basics for yourself
Unfortunately, the SEO industry gets a bad reputation from the black hat SEO practitioners and scammers that are looking to take advantage of unsuspecting site owners. Don't let yourself be fooled! If you take the time to learn the basics of SEO for yourself, you'll have a better idea of what is and isn't white hat SEO, what the search engines are looking for and general best practice tips every site should follow. Since you know the basics of SEO, you'll be able to implement some of it on your own and allow time to take its course. That way, when you do decide to outsource your SEO the foundations for a great campaign are already in place. Your new SEO provider can just pick up where you left off and run with it!
Start blogging right away
Just like any other website, a blog needs time to age and develop a trust factor with the search engines. If you start blogging right away, when the time comes to outsource your SEO your'll have already built up a strong archive of valuable content, found your niche in the blogosphere, and courted loyal readers. This gives your SEO firm a lot more to work with; they can better leverage your blog for SEO and brand building.
Build your social profiles
Social media marketing might be even more long term than SEO. Don't expect to just launch a Facebook page and have 1,000 Fans overnight. It takes time to develop real relationships with current and potential customers and to develop a voice for your brand on social networking sites. Before you even think about outsourcing your SEO (or social media) build and develop your profiles. Focusing on gaining real, human fans/followers/friends (that means you donrsquo;t buy them from!) that will become brand ambassadors for your company.
About the Author
Nick Stamoulis is the President and Founder of Brick Marketing (http://www.brickmarketing.com), a Boston SEO company. With over 12 years of industry experience, Nick Stamoulis shares his knowledge by posting daily SEO tips to his blog, the Search Engine Optimization Journal (or SEO Journal) and publishing the Brick Marketing SEO Newsletter, read by over 150,000 opt-in subscribers.
Contact Nick Stamoulis as 781-999-1222 or email@example.com