Before starting an SEO campaign, business owners would be well advised to get a basic understanding of what SEO entails, otherwise, they run the risk of being taken advantage of by unethical companies.
In the world of SEO, unscrupulous companies or individuals can take advantage of an unknowing business, and launch ineffectual, expensive and unethical SEO campaigns, which deliver minimal results at best, and lead to the delisting of your website at worst.
That is not to say that cheap SEO is better. Bargain brand SEO usually means that results will be below standard. And it’s understandable why some company owners would go for subpar SEO – they simply do not have the time to study this subsection of marketing that is often shrouded in mystery for outsiders.
Planning the SEO Campaign
As a business owner, you should first become familiar with Google’s webmaster guidelines, and know that it is your responsibility to ensure that these guidelines are followed. The next step is establishing goals and objectives for your campaign.
Unlike PPC campaigns, SEO takes time, and the marketing plan will evolve as you go along the path to a higher ranking. The process of adding content, fixing technical issues, and acquiring links never ends.
However, even though an SEO campaign is fluid, there are still several guidelines that will shape your efforts:
- SEO audits will have to be performed regularly in order to ensure that the website is in good technical health, and that any SEO problems and shortcomings are addressed.
- Backlink audits can also be a godsend, in the sense that they will prevent delisting by the Penguin update. It’s best to be a couple of steps ahead of the “unnatural links” warning that can pop up in your inbox.
- Keyword research and selection is the bread and butter of SEO. Incorporating highly searched and relevant keywords into your optimization plan will be the foundation of your content.
- On-page optimization efforts such as meta tag, keyword, link and image optimization will have to be kept in check.
- Analyzing the competition should be a routine practice, because it will help you keep pace and even get ahead of your competitors.
- Content marketing is a perpetual task that follows a schedule. The purpose here is to attract links and provide useful resources that can turn into lead generating opportunities for potential clients.
The price of a top SEO firm can be anywhere from $2500 to $5000 per month. However, small businesses that only have an interest in local SEO can choose an entry-level trial package. These packages are offered by certain firms as a way to test out their services. You will not spend an arm and a leg on the effort, and you will not have to worry too much about the decision making process involved in the campaign.
Other options include hiring an SEO company to conduct a single specific facet of the campaign. For example, hiring a top SEO firm for the full package might be out of bounds for many companies, but hiring that firm to perform SEO audits can both deliver results and save money.