In today’s digital age, and with the rise of social media, one of the most important things you can do for your business is to build up a strong reputation online. With so many potential customers browsing the internet before deciding where to spend their hard-earned money, it’s critical that your business has happy customers willing to review you on these platforms.

Most people nowadays consult the internet – whether through social media, online review sites, or search engines – before making a purchase. According to a BrightLocal survey, 84% of shoppers trust online customer reviews for doing online shopping. 

To make sure your business is thriving in today’s digital landscape, focus on building up a strong reputation on sites like Yelp – it could very well save your business! Learn more about how online reviews could save your business in this article!

Written by: Prashant Thomas

Businesses today mostly rely on SEO strategies that worked for other businesses rather than developing one on their own. Many others rely on SEO services companies to do that job for them. Though this is not all that bad, the approach isn’t right.

Every marketing aspect of a business including search engine marketing should be aligned to the business goal. This means SEO strategies should be different as they are key to effective search engine marketing. This is why businesses should develop their own strategies.

But make sure your SEO strategy takes the following into account.
 

A mind map for the whole project

 
Essentially a diagram that can help you develop a strategy from scratch, a mind map branches out to general and specific categories from the center. Ideas can be added to each category. The mind map doesn’t serve as a visualization of your final strategy, but is more like a catalyst to your thoughts, aiding you to develop a strategy. In short, it gives you a picture so you can come up with better ideas for your final strategy.
 

A document representing the strategy you came up with

 
With a mind map, you will have ideas for a strategy that can work for your business. This strategy should be represented in detail in a document i.e. this document should state:

  • Goals
  • Tasks attached to the goals
  • Task priorities
  • Subtasks
  • Expected results

You can add more details to the document. The objective is to use the document to help your team or your client (if you are an SEO consultant yourself) to understand the strategy easily. So the format should be simple. Whoever goes through the document should be able to make changes if necessary without hassle, and should also understand the order the tasks would be executed, to whom each task is assigned to, and the present status of the tasks.
 

Knowledge on the company

 
To develop an effective SEO strategy, you should have an understanding of the business or the company that’s going to use the strategy. This will help you identify the strengths and vulnerabilities of the company, so you can tweak the strategy to fit that profile. It can also give you an idea on the tactics that will be more effective than the rest, and the challenges that are in the way.

Some factors you can study include:

  • The business’ selling proposition
  • The company’s vision
  • Things associated with the company that might impact your SEO strategy negatively

 

Knowledge on the audience

 
Generally when an SEO strategy is being developed, there will be thorough research on keywords that would be effective. The audience and their behavior are just as if not more important than keywords. But learning more on the audience requires you to invest more time.

Here are a few things you can include in your study.

  • How the audience responds to marketing, upselling etc.
  • How much they know about the products or services your business or your client’s business is offering.
  • Are the audience other businesses (B2B) or consumers (B2C)?
  • How your services can benefit them or solve the problems they have?

 

Goals with an expected impact on the company

 
A better approach is to develop an SEO strategy that can have a specific impact on the company and how it functions rather than having it achieve a financial goal. Metrics should be chosen accordingly, and they can be anything from links to organic search traffic.

Though many may disagree, it’s not a bad idea to focus on task-oriented goals with time limits rather than focusing on KPI goals. SEO technically doesn’t directly impact KPIs. And that’s KPI should be a second priority.

Setting task-oriented goals, putting an effort to live up to those goals, measuring and analyzing the impact, and then tweaking the strategy accordingly is a better approach in the long run. An SEO strategy that can somehow manipulate KPIs to provide favorable outcomes may not work for long. And it puts more pressure on the SEO team as well. After all, search engine optimization is a slow process that doesn’t provide immediate results. So thinking long-term is never bad.

Written by: Shibu Kumar

It never is easy to identify a great SEO partner especially when getting your business in the top rank list of search engines is a dominant factor of business expansion. With the rising competition in SEO services, it’s difficult to pick a partner that delivers on their promise.

A gaudy website and SEO jargons don’t make an SEO company good enough to help your business grow. That’s why you should definitely ask 4 questions before making a wise choice.

May I know your present, past and long running clients?

This question aims at helping you measure the capabilities of an SEO company. If the company is what they claim to be, they will have no issues in providing you with details of their work with past clients as case studies, along with other proofs that their services have helped many businesses. Although most of them won’t be able to share much, they will surely be able to share reports on how their services made a positive impact on their clients.

Will I be able to know the changes that you make in my site?

This question stems from the fact that SEO consultants might make changes in your website coding as part of their SEO campaigns. You will need to know what all webpages will be subjected to these changes and how it will affect your business’ SEO. You may even suggest letting them ask for permission every time they change a website code.

What type of Link building do you follow – White Hat, Black Hat or Grey Hat?

According to experts, using Software or other automated techniques to build links for a website may only grant a short term boost. This is considered to be a Black Hat approach. Chances are, it will do more harm than good in the long run. It is also not wise to let your SEO partner buy links on your behalf. Paid links also grant your business a temporary SEO boost, until Google finds out and penalizes you, which will cost a whole lot more. White Hat tactics, on the other hand, is a slow but fruitful process if executed properly. It primarily includes hand-crafted links, blogging and content marketing, as well as social share.

Do you stick to search engines’ SEO guidelines?

Google posted “Webmaster Best Practices” publically, asking SEO Consultants and Website owners to prohibit a couple of SEO practices like bogus links, spam contents etc. You have to make sure that your SEO Services provider abides by these rules. Otherwise, your business may end up with an abysmally low search results rank or, worst case scenario, get banned from search results completely. The Webmaster’s Best Practices are not just limited to Google. There are guidelines for other search engines as well.

Remember that an SEO Consultant can help or harm your business. A good SEO partner is especially difficult to find in the UAE. Keep in mind the fact that any SEO company Dubai is answerable to all the aforementioned questions and more to prove their worth as a beneficial SEO Consultant.

Written by: Shibu Kumar