How Can Small Business Owners Help Their SEO Specialists?

How Can Small Business Owners Help Their SEO Specialists?

So you’ve decided to hire an SEO agency to assist in driving traffic to your website. More traffic means more possible leads, and hopefully more customers as a result. I’m here to tell you that SEO isn’t a “set it and forget it” arrangement. SEO, and any other type of web marketing, is much more effective when there is collaboration between the business and the marketer.

Starting from the initial kickoff call and through the duration of your partnership, there are many ways you, the small-to-medium-sized business, can help get the most out of your service.

Starting Out: The Technical Stuff

There are some behind-the-scenes, technical factors that SEOs will need to view and/or modify in order to get the data they need to provide the results you’re hiring them for. The two most important items are access to any analytics platforms you are running (e.g. Google Analytics) and access to the site dashboard (e.g. WordPress login). Also helpful are hosting and FTP access.

If you don’t know what any of this stuff is, no problem! We know the right questions to ask, and can get this done given some time. But if you have it right away, we can get to work without delay.

Keep in mind that if you have a webmaster who manages/maintains your website(s), you may want to consult with them and determine the division of labor. SEOs can make recommendations that a webmaster then implements, or do the implementation themselves. Each route has its advantages.

Starting Out: The Business Knowledge

SEO sounds like a field that starts and ends with technical considerations. To put it bluntly: it’s not. Because of the way Google and other search engines operate, and how they aim to operate in the future, knowing your business and brand is more important than any technical details.

The most important things we’ll want to know is what your primary and secondary products and/or services are, what (if any) primary geographical location you operate in, and finally what makes you different from the rest of the competition. What do you do, where do you do it, and why should customers come to you instead of your competition?

Your brand history is also important. How long have you been around? Has the business changed hands? If so, why? Are you active in your local community? Are you running any paid advertisements (e.g., Google Adwords, radio, television, banner ads on other websites)?

Ongoing: Business Goals and Strategies

This actually starts with the initial call, but continues throughout the duration of your service with your SEO. We’ll want to know all about what the future holds, from your point of view.

Is there significant seasonality in your industry? Odds are that’s an emphatic “yes”. Do you have any promotions planned? Or tactics you commonly turn to in order to solve certain business challenges (e.g. flash sales to liquidate the last of a product you’ll no longer be carrying)? Are you involved in any community groups or events (that’s twice I’ve mentioned community involvement– hint hint)? What kinds, and when do the groups meet or events happen?

Since this is an ongoing project, it will need ongoing updates. Set aside some time for a regular call or meeting with your SEO– say bi-weekly or monthly, depending upon what works for both of you– to make sure you’re both on the same page. And plan for more frequent meetings in the lead-up to major promotional pushes.

Be Prepared

SEO and web marketing more generally work best with some collaboration between business and marketing agency. The more you have ready at the beginning, the more quickly your SEO can get to work. If not, don’t worry– we’ll help you track down the right information. What’s more important is that we get to know your business as you see it, so we can help you get the results you desire.

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