Finding a qualified South Africa SEO company can be challenging if you aren’t equipped with the right information. That’s why we decided to create the following list of questions that you should ask before working with ANY search engine optimization agency.
1. What will you be changing on my website?
Almost every SEO agency will say that they are going to “optimize” your website, but what does that really mean? “Optimizing” a website can be broken down into two segments: on-site SEO and on-page SEO.
When you ask this question, you have to make sure this agency addresses the following points in each category. Before we jump into it, you should understand the difference between on-site and on-page SEO. On-site SEO is the process of optimizing the functionality of the site as a whole. On-page SEO is the process of optimizing individual pages.
A good company knows that on-site optimization involves the following:
- Building a strong site architecture to achieve maximum authority flow through the site
- Identifying duplicate content and correcting it
- Identifying pages with thin content and improving them
- Finding and fixing status errors, broken links, and 404 pages
- Performing a site speed audit and improving the load speed
- Implementing schema markup so that search engines understand the site better
- Making sure the site is mobile friendly since 50% of all searches are on mobile devices
After a company explains their on-site optimization strategy, they should address the following on-page SEO concerns:
- META information: every page should be built around specific keyword. The META information is what search engines will use to understand a page’s content and is what will be shown in the search results.
- Keyword density: in the past, repeatedly using the same keyword in content was a way to manipulate the search engine. Now, it must be monitored to avoid being penalized. No single keyword phrase should ever exceed 1-3% density on any single page.
- Keyword placement: Google and other search engines place weight on where keywords are placed within your content. Positions that hold the greatest weight are in the title tag, header tags, the first image on a page, and in the first or last sentence.
- Internal linking: linking to other pages on your site is the best way to build the authority of the site and help guide users to important pages.
2. Do You Believe Content is Important?
Content is foundation of any good SEO campaign. If the SEO company you’re speaking with isn’t talking content then you should run for the hills. A qualified company understands the critical nature of producing content on your blog and on other channels because it is the most cost-effective form of marketing there is. More importantly, good content is timeless and evergreen. That means that it will continue to drive new leads and sales for your business for the rest of its existence.
3. What types of backlinks will you build?
Links are the #1 driving force behind any successful SEO campaign, but can also be a dangerous weapon when placed in the wrong hands. It is absolutely critical that you ask every prospective SEO company what TYPES of backlinks they’ll be building to your website. Good companies will focus their efforts on acquiring editorial links on relevant websites. “Editorial” means that each link must go through an editor before being acquired.
The best links are those that are hardest to acquire. If a prospective company says they’re going to build you directory links, web 2.0s, article directories, or press releases, then you need to move onto the next prospect. Links that are easy to acquire are dangerous and most will end up getting your site penalized.
The only types of backlinks that actually work in 2015 and into the future must from relevant sites that have an editorial process. These include guest posts, resource lists, and brand mentions on authority websites.
4. Who will be working on my site?
Some SEO companies will bring you on as a client and just outsource the work to third party in the Philippines or India. This is a recipe for disaster because most of these outsourcers are being paid extremely low wages. And as you can imagine, low wages equals low-quality work. Make sure the work is being done in-house through a professional team located in the United States.
5. What is your definition of a successful campaign?
Every SEO company defines “success” differently. A good agency will declare a campaign successful when there has been an increase in revenue. Traffic is great, but if it’s not converting than it’s practically worthless. Qualified companies understand that increasing organic traffic is only the first milestone. It’s critical that you ask any prospective company what they’re going to do once organic growth is achieved.
6. Do you have data-backed results?
Don’t ever take a company’s word for it. Ask to see results they’ve achieved. More importantly, results backed by real data. Every successful company should have keyword rankings results, ROI improvements, and organic growth reports.
7. Do you have referrals?
You don’t need to be a specialist in SEO to understand that referrals are huge. Every business that has achieved success for its clients should have people who are willing to back up its claims. Ask for referrals!
You are now more than equipped with important questions to ask any prospective South Africa SEO company.
If you want to work with a nationally recognized SEO agency, then now.
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— Cody J. Drake (@Concepcionsht)