“I know we need SEO,” you might be thinking. The same way you know you need to change the oil in your car, whether you understand the technical aspects of engines or not.

But how can SEO consulting help, and what should you be looking for?

I’ll give you a few concrete examples so that you’ll at least see at a high level what’s what.

1. Foundational Setup

It’s tough for your website to rank well if the foundational steps aren’t taken care of. Before I start creating new content on clients with SEO campaigns, I like to lock this part down.

When I’m advising someone else on ways to improve their web marketing, I also look here first for suggestions since everything else builds off of this. Things to look at include:

  • Do you have the right plugins installed for full SEO functionality?
  • Are your page/post metas set up well?
  • Do you have Analytics in place and is your site connected to external tools like Search Console?
  • Are your service pages set up to convert traffic?
  • Is your hosting providing the right speed and security to succeed?
  • Are your local search components (like maps) in place?
  • Are there currently errors in the site that would prevent ranking better?

How this helps: Spending time doing all the optimization in further steps of SEO will be more efficient when those bits can go full steam ahead. Avoiding errors that count against your site or hinder the impact of your other efforts is crucial, so this is a big first step. Adding great content to a poorly set up website is like adding water to a bucket with a hole in it.

2. Keyword Research and Focus

Even if a lot of the technical aspects of your site are well put together, success online involves having a clear road map for your rankings. A lot of small business I talk to fall into one of these two trouble spots:

  • They don’t rank for anything and don’t have a keyword list, either because they don’t know how to create one or companies they’ve worked with before didn’t provide it.
  • They rank for some keywords, but they aren’t keywords with any significant search volume and therefore haven’t benefited the site.

Reviewing your site for what it’s currently ranking for, if anything, and producing a strong keyword list will inform all your decisions going forward. After all, how can you know how to optimize your pages otherwise? This list also helps guide your blog material and even the types of things you talk about on your social media channels.

That, and how well is the site currently optimized for those keywords? It’s fine to have a decent list, but if there are missed opportunities throughout the site it’s a simpler place to start than creating new content.

How this helps: You won’t waste time on things that don’t help you, and the content you’ll need to edit and create will be far clearer. You’ll also feel less overwhelmed because this will help create a map for where to begin and where to focus.

3. Design and Conversion Preparedness

The other major part of the equation is how well your site is set up to handle the new visitors you’re acquiring. Everything from the design to the wording matters here, and can make the difference between a new phone call and them hitting the back button.

Refinements in this area might include:

  • Tweaks to your navigation to make it simpler and clearer for readers to find what they’re looking for
  • Ensuring the presentation of information speaks to the audience correctly without fluff or things likely to deter readers
  • Reviewing the presence and format of calls to action

How this helps: New rankings are great. New traffic is great. But if your site isn’t set up to handle these new visitors you’re burning leads every time they leave without taking an action. Maximizing your conversion rate makes all your other SEO efforts more effective, and can be a quick way to improve your bottom line.

Curious about SEO coaching in the Winston Salem and Greensboro areas? Shoot me a message.