Website owners often fall into a pattern of marketing for their websites that can leave their efforts lopsided, for example, they may choose to focus a majority of their effort with on-site SEO building, such as on-site-links for posts or they may choose to focus on building off-site links in for their site to push up SERP. In other cases webmasters simply want to convert the highest number of visitors who visit their website. Unfortunately without the proper mix of all three types of efforts it’s almost certain that a website will fail, it’s the entire reason internet marketing consulting firms exist and are in abundance.
Regardless of why you are hiring an outside firm for optimization purposes there are certain considerations that should be made.
First, it’s important to understand how a consultancy firm will attract off-site visitors and SERP to your website. In some cases an internet marketing consulting firm may own various websites where they will place your site links, you’ll want to find out if links to your site will be on websites that match your content. For example, a link to a tech product website from a health website will hold less authoritative weight since the sites are in different niches. You’ll also want to ask the firm about their linking strategy, having 100 links appear overnight could be seen by search engines as inflated SEO which in turn could penalize your website. If the firm is offering a good mix of off-site links (.com, .edu sites), lifetime links to established directories, etc. they will likely help better secure future traffic for your website.
When examining the on-site practices of an outside firm it’s important to determine how they can make your site “flow.” A properly maintained site plan should address in-site keyword linking, URL structuring and even keyword saturation studies. When I deal with outside firms I ask them to explain how they will help develop the sites structure and linking practices, I also ask if they create better optimization through proprietary systems. Company’s who offer their own technology tend to perform better keyword analysis and overall site studies. It’s also good to ask firms if they have case studies you could read, if they don’t publish studies about their own field it should raise a red flag.
Finally, if running a site that thrives on conversion rates it’s very important to find a company that will investigate how to sell users. Look for company’s that use heat mapping to determine where users are clicking on your site and for site advertising find company’s that will perform split testing on adverts, which in turn helps increase conversion rates by monitoring which campaigns work better than others and which ads work during specific times.
Once you’ve determined that an outside firm is the right choice be sure to get everything in writing. Ask for a contract that will ensure their effort remain in place, the contract should also provide you with the company’s findings in writing.