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Searching for a reliable Johannesburg SEO Company?
This can be a challening task if you aren’t equipped with the right information. I decided to create the following questions to assist you in choosing the right search engine optimization company.
If you start asking these questions, and you can see the SEO grappling for answers, it is time to move swiftly along to the next company.
1. What will you be changing on my website?
Almost every SEO agency will state that they will be optimizing your website. What does that really mean though?
Optimizing a website is broken down into two major segments, on-site SEO and on-page SEO.
Any SEO worth their salt, will be able to explain the difference between these two areas. Here is a breakdown of the two areas.
A good company will know that on-site optimization relates to the following:
After the company has explained the above to you, they should be discussing the following with you:
2. Do You Believe Content is Important?
Your site’s content is the building block of any good SEO campaign. If the SEO company you are speaking with is not talking about content, or dismissing it as not important, you should move on to the next candidate. A reliable company will understand the importance of creating content on your blog, and other channels as this is one of the most affordable methods of marketing available.
More importantly, good content will remain relevant for many years to come. This means that a single article on your blog, will be driving leads, sales and profits for your business for many years to come.
3. What types of backlinks will you build?
Although search engines won’t say it out loud, links are the biggest factor behind any successful optimization campaign. It can also be a destructive weapon in the wrong hands. It is crucial that you ask any prospective SEO company what types of backlinks they will be creating.
The best links are often the hardest links to get. A prospective company might say that they will be building directory links, web 2.0s, article directories, or even press releases. These are some of the easiest links to build, meaning their effect will be diluted since everybody else has them anyway. Easy links can be dangerous, and can lead to penalties if abused.
If a company mentions editorial links, or guest posts, you know you are on the right track. These are the single most effective link source moving forward into 2016. There are still other links that your site will require to lay the groundwork, but the real power comes from these types of links.
4. Who will be working on my site?
Many SEO agencies will sign you on, only to outsource the work to companies in India, the Phillipines or Romania. This is bound to not end well, as these companies are being paid very low wages and they tend to work on volume, instead of quality. As with most things in life, paying less means you will get less.
Make sure that the work is performed in-house by a company in South Africa.
5. What is your definition of a succesful campaign?
Success is often defined differently by SEO companies. A good company will label a campaign as successful, only if the client has seen an increase in sales and revenue. Traffic is great, but if it doesn’t convert into leads and sales, it is worthless.
Trustworthy companies understand that growing organic traffic is only the first milestone on the road to greater sales and revenue for their clients.
It is critical to ask any prospective agency what the plan is once organic traffic has increased.
6. Do you consider your SEO practices to be white or black hat?
White hat and black hat are terms coined by the SEO industry. These terms are thrown around alot, and typically white hat means an agency is sticking to the rules laid down by search engines like Google. Black hat refers to methods that are not approved by Google, and can lead to penalties.
I believe that these terms are a little silly, but you should be asking your SEO this question to guage whether he is comfortable discussing their methods. Any campaign that focuses on on-site optimization, content development, social media and quality editorial links will be the hallmarks of a well planned SEO campaign.
7. Do you have referrals?
Referrals are huge in any industry, not just SEO. Any business that has achieved some level of success, will have clients that are willing to talk about it. Ask for referrals!
If you are interested in working with a nationally recognized SEO company, then get in touch now.
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I do a lot of research when it comes to SEO. I love reading about techniques being tested by other SEO’s and their findings. I typically remain a little skeptical whenever I read these case studies though.
The search landscape has just too many variables to even name (see Brian Dean’s exhaustive list here), let alone to take into consideration when running a test. At best, a decent SEO will be able to rattle off dozens of different ranking factors widely considered to be in use by Google’s algorithms.
Up until now I had thought it would be near impossible to run a proper seo test excluding all variables, except for the one being tested.
The guys over Reboot Online proved me wrong. They recently did a study on the use of authority outbound links.
I have for quite some been a big believer in adding outgoing links to relevant resources on pages and posts that I was optimizing. Other seo’s have been doing the same. We were all operating on the assumption that it had to be important somehow.
With this case study, Reboot Online has proven that these types of outgoing links definitely play a role in Google’s algorithm.
The guys at Reboot Online did an excellent job with this case study, and I can’t wait for more studies like this one.
Keep up the great work, guys!
P.S. For local companies, these types of outgoing links might be the local business chamber, other companies not in your industry, local area blogs, etc. Hit me up here if this is something you might want to implement on your site.
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This is a question I get a lot. Unfortunately there is no set price for search engine optimization. As with most things in life, you will come across companies charging what you consider to be arm and a leg, and you will find companies that charge so little it is hard to imagine them making a profit.
When you decide to work with a big agency, you will be charged quite a good deal more than when working with a smaller company.
Big agencies vs small companies
Big agencies have more overheads (fancy offices, company vehicles, call centre agents, etc) that must be recovered somehow. The question you have to ask yourself, how much of your hard earned money is going for actual marketing of your website, and how much of that is going towards fancy offices with big boardrooms?
On the other side of the spectrum, you will find companies willing to work for only a couple hundred rand a month. Again, you have to ask yourself a question.
How many clients would a company need to make a living if they only charge R300 or R500 or R750 per month?
You are bound to be one of dozens and dozens of customers, meaning you are likely not going to be a top priority.
What to expect from a good SEO company
Any reliable SEO worth his or her salt, will sit with you to learn more about your company, the services you provide and the margins you make on your products and services. By understanding your business, a good SEO company will be able to create a personalized search engine optimization campaign that makes financial sense for your company.
No two companies are the same, and each industry poses its own challenges. A company selling medical aid will be competing against big companies with big budgets (think Discovery, etc), while a carpet cleaning company in Pretoria East will be competing with smaller companies with much smaller marketing budgets. Your SEO consultant should discuss your competitors with you, to get a feel of what they might be doing in terms of search engine optimization.
After all, with SEO it is a case of beating the competition. If your SEO doesn’t mention your competitors, you should be alarmed! If your search engine marketer doesn’t know who your competitors are, how can he\she beat them?
Different industries and different areas
In the same way that no two companies are the same, no two industries are the same. Plumbing companies and dentists are completely different, and their search engine optimization will also be different. In the same way, there might be a company in your industry and area that are spending a lot on SEO. That will only be obvious if your SEO is doing his homework, and investigating your competitors.
Let’s be honest, with SEO (and anything else), do you want to pay someone who are just grabbing figures out of thin air with no knowledge about your company and your situation, or would you rather trust your hard earned cash to someone who knows and understands your business?
With all that being said, I want to turn this question around and ask…
How much does BAD search engine optimization cost?
Many, many companies have been burnt by bad SEO over the years. Each year Google becomes more strict with their rules. Techniques that worked well two years ago, have become incredibly dangerous in the wrong hands.
Your website is a valuable asset, and you should protect it. For many companies, a website being penalized or de-indexed can be catastrophic. Think about your website as a tap, and your customers as the water that flows from that very tap.
Google can at any time close the tap, and your steady flow of customers will be gone.
So, be very wary of hiring the cheapest internet marketing service you can find. As with most things in life, you get what you pay for. And in this case, you could cause alot of damage to your business.
The Cost vs Investment of search engine optimization
This is a very important concept to grasp.
Search engine optimization is marketing.
If your company is still looking at marketing as a cost, you are going to battle to beat out your competition. Marketing (when done right) is an investment into your company.
That’s why any half decent SEO will talk about return on investment (ROI). This is a figure that indicates how much money you made back from the investment made.
Return on Investment Example
You invest R2000\month on your SEO.
You make R10 000 more in sales than before.
Investment: R2 000
Return: R10 000
Return on Investment: R10 000/R20 000 * 100 = 500%
In this example, you are making R5 back for every R1 you invest into SEO.
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