Search engine optimisation (SEO) is an important part of setting up a website, helping potential customers find you online.
But SEO is a specialist skill. Most businesses will need to use a search engine optimisation specialist to make it work effectively for them.
So what should an SEO consultant do for me?
To start with, you want an SEO strategy that’s tailored to your business and website objectives. So, you should expect your SEO consultant to talk to you about what you want your website to achieve.
The consultant will then be in a position to understand your needs and provide the right search engine optimisation services. These might include:
- identifying the keywords you should target – the words that potential customers might type into a search engine when they’re looking for your product or service
- reviewing your competitors’ websites, to understand what they’re doing in terms of search engine optimisation and what you need to do to compete effectively
- developing a content plan for you – identifying the sorts of information you should include on your website to help search engines find you
- developing a ‘link building’ strategy, encouraging other websites to link to yours to improve your search engine ranking
Depending on the consultant, they may be able to create online content for you themselves or work with a writer who understands writing for search engine optimisation.
Is that the end of their involvement?
No. As well as these initial services, an SEO consultant should offer ongoing reporting and improvements – letting you see how well your website is performing and continually suggesting ways to to improve search engine rankings.
What shouldn’t they do?
Finally, it’s worth mentioning two things you should treat as warning signs:
- ‘Too good to be true’ promises – even the best SEO consultant can’t guarantee that your website will appear on the first page of search results for your chosen keywords. If they claim they can, you should be suspicious.
- Short cuts – some SEO services try to get fast results by using illicit techniques such as hidden webpages filled with keywords, or link spam, which are frowned on by search engines. These could get your site penalised, actively harming your rankings.
So whatever you are looking for, make sure you use a reputable search engine optimisation consultant.