Businesses spent more than nine billion on advertising last year, this exceeded what was spent on print advertising for the first time in history. More than ever, both large and small businesses want SEO vendors to provide exposure via both the Internet and more traditional marketing avenues. If your work involves SEO, whether you are doing it on your own (consulting, or for your own sites) or as a part of a team, there are certain questions that you should be able to answer. How about if you are looking for an SEO vendor? You will need to find one who is able to carry out an effective strategy to make sure that your website becomes highly ranked. Do you know what questions you need to ask? Below are questions to which every competent SEO professional should be able to offer answers. These may be useful in helping you decide who is qualified and who is not.
Q 1. Which of these linking strategies will have a more positive effect on our website’s rank, getting 10 links back from 10 different websites, or having one site link to us 10 different times?
Multiple linking domains provide the best SEO result in Google, possibly because the search engine sees it as a more valid endorsement.
Q 2. A high ranking on Google Local is extremely important to many small businesses; also important is the ranking in Google Places, and Google Maps. Give me the three most important reasons why these search engines play such a significant role in a website’s success or failure.
The consumer’s reliance on Google for its ability to recommend local businesses and the emergence of location-based social networks, are among the acceptable answers. Google Places also allows consumers to rate the local businesses they patronize.
Q 3. Which two search engines receive the highest number of queries in the United States? Tell me the top two search engines for China, the United Kingdom, Russia and China as well.
Baidu is the most widely used search engine in China, with Google ranking second, in the UK the top two are Google and Bing, the same as in the US. In Russia, Yandex is the most popular, and Google is in second place.
Q 4. Other than getting a website linked to directly from social sites, in what other ways would you use them to improve our website’s search engine rank?
Simply put, it helps to build awareness of a brand. It is a tool of promotion. Social marketing can be used to mold perception of a product or service.
Q 5. When it comes to placing keywords on a page, give me five places on a page where using a keyword will provide a positive benefit to that page’s search engine ranking.
The domain and sub-domain name as well as such elements in the page as the title and body are all good parts of the page to place keywords. The answer given may include any of these.
Q 6. Why should we use your services? What makes you better than another company (or individual)? What do you bring to the table that another SEO expert will not be able to bring? Also, how would you manage our account?
An SEO professional should have qualities that you believe suit your company’s specific needs, perhaps due to experience, or knowledge of your industry.
Q 7. How does optimizing a page figure into your overall strategy? Follow up questions here would be: What percentage of pages on our website will be optimized? How will the flow of communication from the end user/client to the provider work?
Page optimization involves figuring out the visitor’s intentions, needs, and to create content that is relevant to their searches. You will want to be kept in the loop and fully informed, you will also want to be able to get in touch with them whenever necessary.
Q 8. How do you go about building links? You may follow this up with, would you alter your method of building links in your packaged solutions based on the client’s needs? What about your team, how are the work responsibilities divided among them? What type of leader are you? There are many ways in which backlinks may be built, these range from requesting links to submitting articles to directories. You will want to ensure that the SEO will be able to adapt his services to your needs.
Q 9. While we do not expect any crises, how well do you handle them? Do you have experience with handling situations where you had to perform damage control where a client’s reputation was at stake? Explain your reaction to the situation, the measures you took and how effective they were.
One way of addressing the issue is by using straightforward and informative blog posts on your sub-domains. These posts should directly deal with the cause of the crises. Ensure that your customers know that you are being open and forthcoming with information.
Q 10. What are the ways in which you would improve the ratio of pages on a website that are indexed by a search engine crawler? Do you understand the concept of topic modeling and how different forms of topic modeling are implemented?
Improving the quality of the content and the efficiency of the navigation can improve the ratio of pages crawled by search engines. Topic modeling is a method of using mathematical concepts to link a search engine query to a particular set of content.
Other Areas to Take into Consideration Consider the SEO’s previous experience, have they worked with clients who had needs similar to yours? Their knowledge of the less obvious nuances can make the difference between a solid business partner and one that is merely average. The key to an effective relationship will be each party’s willingness to learn from the other. Both clients and SEO vendors should be active listeners. Vendors will have to listen to the needs of their clients; clients should likewise be open to instruction from their vendors. Looking for an effective social and reputation management expert involves:
- Finding a partner. The word “partner” connotes someone who is more involved in your business, beyond the level of a mere “vendor.” Your marketing partner is more deeply committed to the growth of your business than someone from the outside. While they will have to take time to learn the ins and outs of your business, the amount that they will need to learn can be minimized if you know what to look for.
- Building a brand via using social sites. Social media is an important tool for building brand awareness, which can in turn lead to positive results when it comes to search engine ranking. The most easily recognized benefit of a strong social media presence are the links directly to your site from social sites like Twitter and Facebook. Also, brand associations on social sites may be used by search engine algorithms to decide whether a particular page is popular or relevant to the search engine query.
- Considering the big picture. When looking for someone to handle your SEO and digital marketing, avoid those who place a stress on using social media sites like Facebook and Twitter. While these sites are important elements in a social media strategy, they should only be parts, not the entirety of your game plan. There is also much more to the role of SEO than mere jargon, you will need an SEO expert who can provide a specific benefit via a clearly defined method.
- Finding a vendor who can get your site indexed on Google. If you are not indexed on the Internet’s most popular search engine, then your site will likely not be found by customers using Google for searching for products/services in your niche. Part of the work of an SEO professional is getting your site on Google, and getting the links back to your website indexed. A SEO vendor should be able to explain to you how they go about getting links back to your website indexed.
- Identifying the trends. While certain aspects of SEO are fairly easy to carry out, one that requires a fair amount of skill and knowledge is trend-spotting. The ability to spot and use trends in link building can make a huge difference in how fast your site gets indexed.
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If you are building a website for the first time, it is imperative that you hire an experienced web designer. However, given the sheer number of prospective designers out there, the hiring process can easily overwhelm you. Here are some tips you can follow to help you hire the right professional.
First off, you must never replace experience with low rates. If a web designer is asking for dubiously cheap professional fees, you might want to be careful when decidng to get the service. It might be wise to ask for some samples you can evaluate before making a decision. If you are a business owner who depends on his website for sales and other business transactions, you cannot settle for something that was poorly designed because your business will ultimately suffer.
Ask a prospect designer how many websites he had already designed. It would be best if your designer was able to work with a business website like yours in the past. This way, you know that he already has an idea about how to make a design fit for the website of your business.
When meeting a prospective designer for the first time, immediately ask for a work portfolio. Examine the designer’s style and determine whether your target market group will be able to connect with the styles of your designer. Keep in mind that it is not enough that you like your website—your customers should respond to it.
Your designer must also cover all ends of the project. Thus, it is important to ask about the process the designer uses to test the website. Browser testing is important in order to find out if your website works properly on all known browsers and operating systems. This process will take some time in order to work out the bugs, but it will be worth it. If done right the first time, it could spare you from future headaches once the website is launched.
Aside from the aesthetics, your designer must fully understand why you are building a website. He must have a good grasp of your business objectives. This will enable him to come up with styles that are in-line with your business themes and goals.
To make sure your designer will produce a design that would suit your taste, don’t hesitate to throw in your suggestions or what you would like to see in the design. This goes without saying that you must find a designer who is easy to work with. After all, coming up with a great design for your website does not solely depend on your designer but also with how you are able to work together.
All these pointers will help you identify the right web designer for your business website.
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Google defaults are set to use your personal web history and browser information to personalize your search results. This means that your search results could be a bit different from someone else searching for the same term. Most people are fine with the personalized web results, but others may want to edit the settings or stop it completely. There are several different ways to do this:
1. Simply sign out of Google. If you aren’t logged in, Google can’t access your history. This is best for people who only need the personalization default turned off sometimes and don’t need to be logged in to Google to access other applications.
2. You can follow Google’s instructions for the official way they recommend for disabling personalization. You will first need to sign out of Google while searching. You will see “disable customization” under the “web history” tab in the top right corner of the search results screen. Click the box to disable the customization feature.
3. If you use FireFox, download an add-on called Google Global. This add-on allows you to stop Google from personalizing all of your web searches. It also allows you to see the results other countries receive to your web searches.
4. If you are a Google Chrome user you can use the Disable Google Personal Search plugin.
5. Finally, you can always insert the parameter “&pws=0” in the URL bar of your browser after performing a search (you’ll have hit the enter key or the search button again). This will remove the personalized web results feature for that search only.
So there you have it! Here’s how you can stop big brother from watching every step. In addition to that it’s a also a great way to track site rankings if you are running an SEO campaign.
This video is geared for small business start ups with low marketing budgets thus providing low cost ways to get more exposure online.[youtube width=”560″ height=”315″ video_id=”jIk78_B2NCg”]
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