Want a higher ranking for your website on the search engines? Never confuse your search engine ranking with SEO! If we want to bring traffic to our website, we need to work on search engine optimization and get in touch with potential clients, that’s a given. Here’s the problem though: A lot of people don’t actually know how to do great SEO.
There are a lot of SEO service providers on the market, but do you know what kind of methods they use when providing you with SEO services? Black Hat SEO on your website? Any sneaky methods to get your Google Keywords ranked? This blog will unveil the secrets of SEO, answer the most common Google SEO service fallacies, and help you choose the best SEO service for your business.
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Q: What is SEO?
A: SEO is the process of targeting search engine algorithms, the optimization of various requirements such as content, website technology, website structure, backlinks and more, with attracting more organic traffic in mind. Currently, most countries and regions, including Hong Kong, uses Google (surprise, surprise). Other search engines include Yandex in Russia, Naver in Korea, Baidu in China, and Bing. So it is easy to see why most SEO service providers will target Google’s algorithm and policies to optimize websites.
Q: Is SEO the same as Google’s Keyword Ranking?
A: Clients, and some SEO companies, believe that an SEO campaign should be based on a fixed amount of keywords, and the website should be optimized according to these selected keywords, in order to achieve a higher ranking. The truth is, a lot of people will forget that the ultimate goal of SEO is to generate organic traffic! Yes, it is still important to rank your keywords, but the real question is how to select your targeted keywords, how to devise a strategy that is customized to your business, and how to adapt to market change and user behavior. Targeted keywords should not only be chosen at the very beginning of your campaign, it should be flexible, and ready to change according to your market environment and user behaviors. Thus enabling you to make constant changes to your SEO strategy. SEO also includes content marketing, search appearance optimization etc. If we only consider keyword planning, it’s not a comprehensive SEO strategy, and there is no chance we can see long-term benefits for your business!
Q: Some SEO companies promise Google keyword rankings, does that mean the SEO campaign is a definite success?
A: A lot of SEO service providers will make Google keyword rankings as one of the Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) of their SEO campaign, maybe even going as far as promising you that they will not charge a single dollar if they do not fulfill that promise. You must pay attention to whether their selected keywords are beneficial to your business. In some cases, SEO companies will deliberately select keywords that are easy to rank, in order to chase those KPIs. Needless to say, the selected keywords will not be relevant to your business, and won’t be able to attract organic traffic. In the end, you will have your KPIs met, money out of your pocket, but no growth at all.
On top of all this, we must concern ourselves with the everchanging Google algorithms, it changes at least once or twice every single day, nobody, and we do mean nobody, not even Google themselves can guarantee the ranking of a certain keyword. Hence, companies that make Google Keyword promises are either making false statements or selecting keywords that are easy for them to work with. With such methods, I’m sure you are able to evaluate whether or not it can actually help your company.
Q: How can we select the right SEO company?
A: Here are a few tips to help you select the right SEO company for your business:
1) Google keyword ranking promises?
As discussed above, SEO companies will promise Google Keyword rankings, but you have to remember that these rankings don’t mean anything. It doesn’t automatically translate into success. You can still treat it as one of your KPIs, but never get carried away by the sweet talk. Evaluate whether or not the sales pitch is sensible and accurate. Stay clear of any promises that are not going to help your business in a realistic way.
2) Will it only target one group of keywords?
SEO and Content Marketing strategies must be revised all the time. A good SEO service provider will monitor market and user behavior changes, then select new targeted keywords for you. A strategy should never target the same keywords for an extended period of time.
3) Will they provide you with a list of the link building websites?
Link building is one of the most important parts of an SEO campaign. You must pay attention to whether or not your service provider gives you a list of the websites they have linked for you. Some SEO companies may use content farms and link farms to build links for your website, and they don’t want you to know. These bad links will be defined as low-quality links by Google and will hurt your ranking.
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4) Will they provide an SEO report that includes Organic Traffic analytics?
Organic traffic is one of the most important metrics for SEO. If your SEO company does not provide you with an SEO report that includes Organic Traffic analytics, they are probably focusing on Keyword Ranking, which does not help your business.
5) Will they provide suggestions on strategy according to changes in Google’s algorithms?
Google changes its algorithm every day, and major changes happen 3 to 4 times a year. Every time major changes happen, there is a possibility that the website’s organic traffic will be affected. A professional SEO company will monitor any changes in Google’s algorithms, assess the effects on your website, and make changes to your strategy accordingly.
Q: How should we set a KPI for an SEO campaign?
A: The ultimate goal of SEO is to gain organic traffic, not just to rank high on a select few keywords. Thus, the emphasis of your KPIs should be on the growth of organic traffic, and not how many keywords rank on the first page. Bear the following points in mind when you are setting your SEO campaign KPIs:
1) SEO keyword rankings are difficult to predict, and that applies to organic traffic too. Normally, website traffic predictions are made according to a website’s past performance, so try and choose an SEO agency that has solid experience in your business sector.
2) SEO needs time, for the first 3 months of a new campaign, the growth of organic traffic will be slow. When setting your KPIs, don’t expect significant results immediately.
3) Target growth as your initial KPI for an SEO campaign, not a concrete traffic figure. A typical SEO campaign’s traffic is difficult to forecast and differs from one industry to another, hence, gather sufficient data first, then devise a reasonable target for your traffic. Remember a simple rule for your SEO campaign KPIs, first you need overall growth, then focus on the growth rate, finally, focus on volume.
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