If you are reading this blog, you are probably concerned about some aspect of your website. Most likely it is not being returned on a Google Search Engine Results Page (SERP) with a high enough rank. You need Page One, and it’s not there.
This is a common refrain that we hear from just about everybody, and that’s because there can only be 10 websites (at the most) returned on the first page out of all the businesses that are competing for that keyword phrase. This is generally not a simple fix, and that’s because the search engines index many data points in determining the PageRank. In Google’s case, we’ve heard it’s in the thousands. They won’t say.
Add to the difficulty that, Google (which is used for 64% of all U.S. searches) uses a “holistic approach” in determining the “authority” of a website which in turn determines its PageRank. Thus, one step here or there is not going to “fix” your website and get it to rank on Page One of Google. There are generally several dozen factors that need to be analyzed and corrected.
It’s helpful to buy some tools to assist with your research. You might consider buying a license to Searchmetrics, SEMrush, Hubspot or Moz. They are all excellent and will lead you to some interesting findings using your website metadata. Having your site precisely analyzed by one of these SaaS products will leave little doubt as to what you need to do.
There are some preliminary things that you can do with an untrained eye to give you a good idea of whether your current webmaster can help you, or whether you need to take it to the next level and hire an SEO Expert in Detroit. There are dozens upon dozens of firms that would like your business.
If you need help in determining the best firm for optimizing your website, here are some helpful criteria to consider:
- Ownership of Website: Make sure that you own it.
- Hosting: What are their terms? Required?
- Email: Do they offer it?
- SSL: Will they set up and renew?
Now that the basics are out of the way, let’s move onto the more complex questions that should come up when you’re shopping for a Detroit SEO consultants.
- Years of Experience: How long have they been around? Without experience, you’re probably wasting time and money. If your site is their guinea pig, you’re in trouble.
- Offices: Do they have an office? Do they have regular office hours? Sounds pretty basic, but many out there do not.
- Staff: Do they have any staff? There is a lot to know here and a lot to do. Unless you have tons of time to wait for your fixes, and can trust one person to be brilliant, you probably should not be hiring a “one man/woman band.”
- Regular Business Hours: Will they be easy to get in touch with? Please don’t assume anything here. Ask. Ask. Ask.
- Warranty: Do they warrant their work? If so, for how long?
- Current Clients: Who else are they working with? You deserve to know. Take a look at their work and see if it meets your standards.
- Industry Certifications: Google Partner? AdWords certification?
- Software Used: What software do they subscribe to that will allow them to prepare an in-depth analysis of your website?
- Staff Specialization: What types of expertise do they have on their staff? Content writers? Social Media specialists? IT developers? Graphic designers?
Range of Services
- What services do they offer? There is no precise definition of SEO Expert or SEO Company. There are all sorts of SEO companies in Detroit offering a variety of services. You need to decide on the best fit.
- Content Marketing: Seems to be the basis of how Google ranks your website. Not that other factors don’t matter, but content is king.
- Front and Back-end Developers: Do they have them on staff? It’s expensive and time-consuming for you if they do not. Being able to have your site worked on in one place will save you time and money.
- Graphic Design:Besides the functionality on your site, it needs to be graphically pleasing. If you don’t need to hire an outside design firm, you’re saving yourself time and money again.
- Social Media: Do they offer creation and management of your Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Google My Business pages? You will need them all created, working and posted to regularly. It’s optimal if they do it.
- Local Search Optimization: For most businesses, Google tells us that 85% of their customers are local, so you must have all of your local directories and listings up-to-date and functioning. Again, if your SEO expert agency will handle this as well, you are golden.
- Video Services: As more and more information on the internet is delivered through video, you will need to have some on your website too. Some SEO experts will offer this as well. It is very helpful, and some SEO companies actually have a studio on site.
- Outsource: This matters due to turnaround time and warranties.
- Domestic or Overseas: Do they outsource any of their services? If so, which ones? Outsourcing is not a deal-breaker, but they should handle the high-level strategy in-house.
Hiring SEO Experts in Detroit
As we said early on, there is a lot to consider, but this should put you in a very good position to make the best decision for yourself or your company. It’s a straight-forward way to make sure your SEO expect is really an SEO expert! Good luck!
The author, Bob Ottaway, is President and Founder of Ottaway Digital. Established in 1999, it has been a pioneer in SEO, digital advertising & social media since 2006.