The Definitive Guide on what makes an SEO company best for small businesses
Qumana is one of the leading small business SEO companies – not because we say it, but because of the small business owners we work with, who speak with conviction, from the heart, about the impact we’ve made on their business – with a mediocre budget at best.
We are a pragmatic small business SEO agency, that is utterly realistic on what to expect. We try to align realistic SEO timelines, with your business goals and budget, in order to ensure that you see a ROI from your efforts.
We have successfully helped a wide array of businesses, ranging from electricians, accountants, insurance and mortgage companies, to much more. The one thing they all share in common – is the fact that had a tight budget – but if the SEO company can produce an ROI – then they could continue the budget long term with the SEO company. Below are things we, and you, should take into consideration before hiring a small business SEO consultant.
There is no guarantee
Anyone who wants your money upfront, in exchange for a financial guarantee, is setting themselves, and you, up for failure. There are no guarantees – because how can a consultant control a third party: Google? Typically, we recommend prospective clients ignore companies who want your money upfront in exchange for a financial guarantee. That’s not to say everyone’s a scam artist, but frankly more scam artists go for the, “too good to be true,” money back guarantees than not, so it’s better to be safe than sorry.
Your website is your weakest link
Search engines judge you based on your website. Most small businesses are cash strapped, and that can take a toll on your website. Many small businesses, often have viruses in their website, which if unresolved – can hurt SEO rankings. Search engines like Google, are unveiling new algorithms to fight hacked websites. Most recently, Google unveiled a new algorithm that is expected to impact over 5% of all websites. As a small business owner, before you hire an expensive small business SEO company to help – you should make sure you to resolve as many issues on your own as possible. Quite often, most SEO companies end up hiring out external web developers, and marking up the cost.
Content is king!
The amount of content you have on your website has a lot to do with your search engine rankings. The more content you have, the greater the chance you’ll rank well. Typically, you should consider creating content that is going to be relevant to your prospective audience, and will rank well in search engines. For example, if you have 100 pages, that all have 100-300 words, you should consider consolidating the content. One of the biggest reasons we see websites get into penalties, is because they create ton’s of pages, with a little bit of content on all of them. Unfortunately, this can result in a Google Penalty.
Many small businesses, in an attempt to save money, often “borrow” content from others in their industry. This is a big NO NO. It should be frowned upon and avoided. This falls under the category of duplicate content, and is one of the easiest ways to get into a Google penalty. We do not suggest this, at all.
Your citations matter
Citations are links from websites like Yelp, Google places, Yellow Pages, and other such websites, that are trusted by Google. Links from places like these sites help search engines confirm that your business is in a certain city. For local businesses, i.e. electricians, its important that the SEO company you work with take care of local citations. If you get a proposal that does not include local citations as a part of the services to be rendered, you should not work with the company who sent it. In addition to being a source of confirmation that your business is in a specific city, the links you get from local citations are valuable and helpful. Often, you can get 30,40,50, or even 60, high quality links from citations. Its important that when citations are created, they have correct address, phone number, and website URL information on them. They should be the same on all the different citations websites, and be correct and as listed on your actual website.
What keywords are you targeting?
The keywords you select, as a small business, greatly influence what type of ROI you get. Typically, in order to make SEO work for a small business – you need to pick keywords with commercial intent. An example of a keyword with commercial intent would be, “NYC Electrician,” or “Best NYC Electrician.” An example of a keyword that is not desirable, or may not result in leads/business, is “Best electrical wire for home wiring.” This type of keyword involves someone who is still in the research phase. They are looking for information, and may not necessarily hire you to be their electrician. Most of the time, it’s easier to rank for informational keywords, versus ranking for direct commercial intent keywords. As a result, if the small business SEO consultant you’re hiring is trying to “game you,” – they’ll give you a list of target keywords that are informational, as opposed to commercial intent keywords.
One of the best ways to understand the value of the keywords the SEO company is offering to help you with, is to research them yourselves. One of the most popular tools to do this, is the Google keyword planner. You can use the tool by visiting: https://adwords.google.com/KeywordPlanner. After you login to the tool, enter in your keywords/the keywords provided by the seo consultant. Using this tool, you can find out how much traffic the keywords get. In this case, I continued using the “NYC Electrician,” example, from above, and show you how much traffic these keywords get.
As you can see, Electrician NYC, versus NYC Electricians, have two very different numbers, in terms of monthly traffic the keywords get. There is almost a 100% difference in the overall traffic between the two keywords. In this case, I looked up the traffic for just six keywords. I’m sure if I had looked up other keywords – I would’ve seen other interesting facts.
What this goes to show you, is that the keywords you pick are extremely important. Just because a keyword sounds impressive doesn’t mean it’s the right one. Picking the right keyword is a combination of the overall traffic it gets, in addition to look at realistically, can you get to page 1 of it or not.
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