This article will discuss how a business owner/ marketer should approach finding the right fit in a Local SEO company.
Branching out to Focus on your Core Business
Creating a local presence continuously and consistently in order to stay ahead can be time consuming. The better your competition gets at it, the more time consuming it is. You opened your business because you believe you are the best at what you do. Now you’re running around investing all your time in the things that you had no idea you had to do and simply don’t have that much interest in. It’s now time to branch out and find someone to do this for you.
First, Know What you Want
Any savvy business owner follows what they believe to be key metrics of success. This may fall under units sold, billable hours, some assortment of conversion rates, etc. It’s important for you to know what you want to get out of your investment with any Local SEO company or consultant. Your conversation should result in reaching targeted goals that can be tracked.
Are you looking to increase sales or foot traffic at a specific location or drive sales of a certain product or service? Remember that you are in the driver’s seat and you know what you want. The expert you choose should complement your ideals and drive results. It’s ok if this is all new to you. The right expert will be an open book with you and direct you towards educational materials that will substantiate the directive. This is a game of trust, trust that your Local SEO expert is taking appropriate care of your business and your investment.
Ask the Right Questions
A Local SEO expert should be versed on all elements of a great local campaign. It’s ok if you’re not a subject matter expert, these questions will help you in gauging the strategy presented to you. You should ask what the importance of Google My Business (GMB) is and Google Maps. These would be things honed in on by a local expert and generally would not be major components of more traditional SEO strategies. Within the Google My Business landscape you will want to ask about what features can be used to assist in the campaign such as Q&A, Posts, Photos and Videos. Ask questions to challenge their track record. What other clients have they worked with, what was the focus and the result? How can they benchmark those strategies into your campaign?
Be on the Same Wavelength
A big piece that is often overlooked in finding a great Local SEO agency or consultant is ensuring that you’ll be able to successfully work with them. You have your tempo and communication style, make sure they are a match. If you are accustomed to responses in a certain amount of time and in a specific format, make sure that they will be able to deliver on that. Or, at the very least, you should have an understanding of expectations at the start of your relationship. Have you ever been at a dinner party where you are sat next to someone that you simply can’t connect with? Where there is just no rhythm to your conversation and that weird sense of anxiety builds? This is not something you want to have happen when you are investing in the success of your company you’ve work tirelessly to build. Communicate with them via phone, email and text message to be sure you are connecting appropriately or set the stage with how you want to be communicated with and be sure it is followed at the onset of your relationship. Be sure you are in tune with one-another before initiating the relationship.
Another important aspect is to ensure that who you are choosing to work with is just as interested in the success of your business as you are. Are they asking you questions to better understand your intentions and your goals. There is no way that they will know your business as intimately as you do, are they trying to? Do you see their gears turning and the proverbial light bulb going off? Make sure the people/ person you are speaking with has an interest in helping you succeed, not just looking for billable hours.
Did you understand the conversation?
After an initial conversation with a Local SEO expert about your business, did you walk away understanding what was talked about? Someone who is really connected with what they do can speak to their operation in simple to understand concepts. These should be easily communicated with examples to help paint a picture of what you can expect from their support. Did you understand what the strategy will be, how it is to be executed and what the result will be? Without an understanding of this information, how are you to evaluate the success of your investment? You should be sure you are walking away knowing full-well how your business is going to be represented.
The expectation timeline
Creating traction on your Local SEO campaign does not happen overnight. The more complex your environment, the more time things may take. Of course there are many factors to this, such as: where you are starting in your process; the business density of your market; how savvy your competition is; are you a new business or do you already have a customer base; etc. The timeline of events is an important topic to discuss with your chosen professional so that you remain on the same page. What are some targets you should be seeing and when? This is a great question to ask on the onset and continue to ask through the process. To throw a number at the wall, you should begin to see measurable results in 1-3 months.