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  • #989801
    lotus
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    I’ve been doing a big marketing overhaul on my business this year. I’ve had my website redone with a focus on content marketing, I’ve been blogging more and sharing my blog on social media. This has all helped my business grow this year, but I think it’s time to look into SEO.

    I’ve done a bit of reading about SEO and my head is about to burst. I’ve heard of so many people getting ripped off from SEO companies. There are so many out there and everyone seems to be saying “do your research” to get the best fit, but I don’t even know the kinds of questions to ask.

    Can anyone direct me to a “choosing an SEO company for dummies” kind of post or site? Or if anyone could have a quick look at my site and give me tips about what I should be looking for, that would be fantastic! http://www.littlevoices.net.au

    Thanks for any tips.

    #1173893
    Anonymous
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    Hi lotus,

    We have some very experienced and passionate SEO folk around here, so I’m sure they’ll chime in with some suggestions for you.

    Thanks for joining the forum :)
    Jayne

    #1173894
    Byron Trzeciak
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    Hi Lotus,

    There are a few SEO guys that are regular around these forums including myself that would be more than happy to help you out. Ask for referrals before you get started with an SEO agency and feel free to ask the question in these forums.

    Do you have a set budget at the moment?

    In terms of your website the first step would be to understand your goals, keyword terms and level of competition. A quality SEO agency will also talk to you about conversions and increasing the number of enquiries you receive rather than basing campaign success purely on rankings/traffic.

    Just looking at your website quickly there are some key improvements that can be made.
    – Website / URL Structure – Nonsensical urls for services
    – Onsite optimisation – Lack meta titles, descriptions etc.
    – Content is thin.
    – Domain authority is 10/100 which is low. However look at some of your competition on Child Speech Pathologist Melbourne there is a mixture of low and high websites.

    Biggest warning signs would be:
    – Guaranteed results for your keywords – nobody can guarantee results.
    – Link building techniques – ask them where and how they get links.
    – What to do they do – explain their process to you.
    – Pricing – I say this lightly because the FS community offers prices at many different price points, including fixed and on-going, but be aware that SEO services can be anywhere between the 75 – 250 per hour price range on average.

    Here are some details on services I provide:
    http://www.pixelrushstudio.com.au/seo-services/

    Good luck,

    Byron

    #1173895
    arrowwise
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    Rule number one for finding a good SEO company – they must have an exceptional rank themselves for the keywords and customers they are targeting. Some will argue they are too busy looking after their customers and don’t worry about their site.

    Another important rule is too see if they have achieved similar to what you want to achieve with a customer in a similar industry or closely related to yours.

    #1173896
    John Romaine
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    arrowwise, post: 202136 wrote:
    Rule number one for finding a good SEO company – they must have an exceptional rank themselves

    This is such a false assumption.

    I could sit here all day long working on my own site for free, or I could rank clients sites and get paid

    #1173897
    Byron Trzeciak
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    arrowwise, post: 202136 wrote:
    Rule number one for finding a good SEO company – they must have an exceptional rank themselves for the keywords and customers they are targeting. Some will argue they are too busy looking after their customers and don’t worry about their site.

    Another important rule is too see if they have achieved similar to what you want to achieve with a customer in a similar industry or closely related to yours.

    I completely disagree with this and it’s certainly not rule number 1. I’ve seen many SEO agencies rank number 1, or on the first page, simply because they used exact match domains i.e. melbourneplumber.com or their marketing budget/team is greater.

    Many SEO Agencies also use private blog networks and other grey hat / black hat link building techniques which may involve purchasing links from link building organisations or other link spamming techniques.

    Although in some cases you can get significant improvement in short periods through on site optimisation, especially on less competitive terms, SEO typically requires a long term strategy. This goes for SEO agencies as well as their clients.

    While it’s likely an SEO agency will rank strongly across a number of keyword terms ranking and search engine results are determined by many different factors
    – mobile vs desktop
    – location
    – personalised search

    Therefore what you see vs your client might be different. The better metric to use for campaign success is conversions because more conversions typically results in more income for your business. Conversions can be improved simply by working with your site and working with the traffic you already receive.

    #1173898
    arrowwise
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    OK – maybe not rule no1 – but it’s an important rule. Assuming they want more customers themselves via their website one would expect they can market themselves online as well through the use of at least some of their winning strategies.

    It is like saying it’s OK for a web designer not to have a website. I have known a few very good ones in this category (and don’t for various reasons from being too busy or don’t see the importance), however they are few and far between if they are actively trying to grow their own business.

    #1173899
    John Romaine
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    I find it interesting how people (for whatever reason) think the online space is somehow different to the offline space.

    Think about it like this for a moment….

    [Local mechanics]

    “Hey mate, I’m interested in having you service my car, but before I do so, I want to have a look at your car. Y’know, take it for a drive, check the engine…the brakes etc just to make sure you know what you’re doing before I get you to fix mine”

    [School teacher]

    “Hey listen Mrs Young, I hope you don’t mind, but before I let my daughter be a part of your class, I’d like to ask you a series of mathematical questions, and maybe some spelling ones too – just to make sure you can add up and spell before I let my child attend this school”

    [Computer technician]

    “So you can fix my computer? Great. Okay, before doing that, let me come around to your house, because I’d like to go through your home computer. Y’know, just to make sure its up to date and virus free. If it is, then you can come fix my computer”

    [Plumber]

    “Listen, I’m not really comfortable having you fix my taps here. Is there any chance I could come over to your house and check your kitchen taps first?”

    #1173900
    John Romaine
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    Lotus look, I don’t want this thread to go off the rails, so as someone who has worked in this industry for quite some time, here’s my advice….

    The best thing to do, is the same as you would do for any type of service offering.

    Get referrals.

    Ask people you know and trust. Ask them who they worked with and if they were happy. if you don’t know anyone, contact some site owners directly that might be working in non competing spaces.

    Call around

    Call some agencies. Listen carefully to the language they use. If they’re all about …

    “signing up now”
    “credit cards”
    “lock in contracts”
    “cheap”

    …and so on, and they DON’T talk about …

    “revenue”
    “sales”
    “objectives”
    “goals”

    …or at least demonstrate that they are interested in helping you achieve a positive outcome in terms of generating more sales, leads and or conversions, then best to leave it and move on.

    Remember, you want to increase your bottom line. You shouldn’t be on the phone for an hour talking about meta tags, keywords and rankings.

    A few people I would recommend in this space is …

    Byron Trzeciak
    James Norquay
    Dejan SEO
    Aidan (here on FS)

    …and of course, myself. http://www.worksmedia.com.au

    There are plenty of sharks around, so take your time.

    Good luck.

    #1173901
    Gizmo
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    To answer the posters question.
    I found SEO market to be variable.
    All I can suggest is don’t lock yourself into any contract and try decreasing what you need to pay upfront by as little as possible and then as you see the SEO working and performing pay more then.

    Also learn how to use google analytic s, this is what will really tell you if your SEO is working. You need to measure it and understand what you are measuring.

    Regarding the aspect if they are not on page 1 themselves then how can they be good?
    Problem with that is there are only 10 spots (not including things like maps and so on) available on page 1.
    So that would assume there are only 10 good SEO companies.
    Which I find is hard to believe.

    But then again its a common thing to find and hear from customers…
    Are you good at X? if so prove it to me based on how you do it for yourself.
    Luckily for my business thats easy as its all about phone calls so I can demonstrate it all over the phone.
    For other services tho I can see that as being fairly hard and/or time consuming to deliver on.

    #1173902
    JohnW
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    Hi Lotus,
    If you want the names of a couple of good SEOs, I can recommend Adian and Tigeritto on Flying Solo. There will of course be others around here. I suggest you explore the posts of some of the SEO regulars…

    The problem with your method of “choosing SEO for dummies” is that you tend to get “dummies” making the suggestions about what is important in selecting SEOs. IMHO, you end up with suggestions that are ridiculous, inaccurate, out of date and irrelevant. (I’m happy to put my 20 years of SEO into debating this with anyone.)

    As to your own site…

    I’ve got two grandkids (twins) with mild Autism who require the sort of services you seem to provide, so I can perhaps identify with how your potential clients look for your types of services.

    SEO starts with defining:

    • your target customers
    • the services they want
    • your online competition for the services.

    One of the first search parameters of relevance you need to target will be the location of your clients.

    You have a 40 page website but your location (Melbourne) only occurs on 2 pages.

    To repeat, SEO starts with identifying how people try to find your service. There will be hundreds/thousands of questions they will pose in the SEs and many of them will include the word, “Melbourne”.

    As “Melbourne” only occurs on two pages, your site won’t get into most relevant search results.

    You need the word “Melbourne” to score lots of SE ranking points and this cannot happen if it only occurs on 2 of your 40 page site.
    Regs,
    JohnW

    #1173903
    Cesar
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    Lotus,

    You found the “right step forward” by choosing any one of the regular contributing Internet Marketers mentioned already in this thread.

    Unlike before, where spammy link-building techniques was the norm for manipulating search engines, these days it’s a bit more complex. It’s crucial you get it right from the start, so you are in good hands here on FS.

    #1173904
    lotus
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    Thanks everyone for your tips and advice.

    Byron, I was unsure as to budget as I didn’t know really what to expect. It looks as though it’s around $750-$1000 for the most basic starter though. Is that right?

    From speaking with my competitors at network groups I don’t think many speech pathologists venture into this sort of area. There may be only a few who do as far as I know. I don’t think my budget can stretch much further than the very basics.

    I’ll take all your tips and do some investigations into where to begin.

    Thanks!

    #1173905
    lotus
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    Thanks for your tips about using Melbourne more on my website John.

    What is the tool that I can use to find out the most commonly searched keywords for speech pathologists? I know there’s one through adwords but I’ve suspended my adwords for the moment. Are there any others?

    #1173906
    Byron Trzeciak
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    lotus, post: 202220 wrote:
    Thanks everyone for your tips and advice.

    Byron, I was unsure as to budget as I didn’t know really what to expect. It looks as though it’s around $750-$1000 for the most basic starter though. Is that right?

    For my ongoing packages then yes that’s where it starts for my services. I also offer audits at $550. There is large variance in the way SEO is charged, fixed vs ongoing, but typically services range between 75 – 250 per hour so just be aware of what you’re getting.

    lotus, post: 202220 wrote:
    From speaking with my competitors at network groups I don’t think many speech pathologists venture into this sort of area. There may be only a few who do as far as I know. I don’t think my budget can stretch much further than the very basics.

    That seems to make sense from the brief look I saw there was fairly low competition from the small businesses in this industry. It was websites such as the royal children’s hospital / Monash hospital that were hogging higher ranks on the first page. You might want to look at some fixed cost onsite optimisation to provide you with some early success.

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