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If you’re a small business owner and you hire an SEO company simply to improve your rankings, you’ve just made a rookie mistake.
It’s true that there are many SEO companies out there that tout their skill in improving rankings—after all, that is the essence of search engine optimization. But if you want to get the best results possible from your SEO spend, hire an SEO company not to improve your rankings, but to help you meet your business goals.
Rankings and ROI
If you are, say, a remodeler, and your SEO account manager asks you what your goals for your business are (a quality SEO firm will), your first instinct might be to say “I want my company to rank number one on Google for upscale remodeling in my service area.” Now, think about that. Is that really your top business goal? Look ahead one year from now, or even five, 10, 20 years from now—is a number one search engine ranking going to be what sustains and grows your business? (Never mind that in 20 years the internet will be embedded in our brains and we’ll all be eating drinking soylent and choosing remodelers based on their performance in monster truck demolition derbies.)
Your Business Goals Are Critical to Your SEO Strategy
You don’t necessarily have to take the long view when working out your business goals with your SEO manager. But it’s important to first separate your business goals from your marketing goals—and then put them back together the right way.
Let’s say you decide your main business goal is to grow your revenue by 30 percent over the next 12 months. That’s a great start. What’s the best way to do that? (Hint—it’s not by trying to be the number one search result.) If kitchen renovations are your most profitable jobs, and deck installations are the least profitable, you don’t want to increase the number of calls you get for decks. You want more kitchen jobs. To get those, you need qualified leads. To get those, you need to market your company the right way on the web.
A number one ranking won’t necessarily bring you relevant traffic. A well-thought-out SEO strategy and PPC campaign, designed specifically for your business, will increase your relevant traffic, which in turn will bring you more qualified leads: people in your service area who are ready to renovate their kitchens. This is why you hire an SEO company. A high-quality one, that is. Lots of SEO firms can increase your rankings. Only a company focused on helping you grow your business will do the real work of getting you more traffic and better leads.
Keywords and User Intent
The SEO team working on your account should combine keyword research with user intent in order to increase relevant traffic to your site. What is user intent?
Think about the sales cycle. Some people are browsing for a kitchen renovation yet to be planned, some are getting estimates but won’t be ready to sign for about six months, and some are so ready to remodel that they’re about to start knocking down their kitchen walls themselves. In order to attract homeowners in the third category to your site, your SEO team should build pages with “high-intent” keywords.
High-intent keywords will differ based on your offerings and service area. At Blue Corona, when we provide SEO services for remodelers, as well as other home service businesses, we like to use long tail keywords to attract qualified traffic. In addition, we’ll implement local SEO strategies, analyze the structure of your website, and build rich, relevant, and remarkable content into your pages. We do all this because…
User Experience Trumps Rankings in SEO
While you certainly can find a low-rent SEO company to “game the system” and shoot your rankings up, that simply won’t work if you want to attract quality leads and increase sales. SEO is a critical component in making business goals and meeting them, but it requires commitment to a long-term strategy.
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About The Author: Blue Corona is a data-driven online marketing company with offices in Gaithersburg, MD and Charlotte, N.C.
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