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Seven Gifts Your Search Engine Marketing Company Will Love

By Michael Pedone © 2004 All Rights Reserved

As the owner of a busy search engine marketing company, I've been in the trenches long enough to be able to predict whether a search engine optimization campaign is going to be a breeze or a struggle. When it's a struggle, it's often because the client hasn't provided us with certain crucial elements we need to do our job efficiently.

So if you happen to be a business owner or manager contemplating search engine optimization, here are seven gifts you can give your SEO company to help ensure the campaign they create for you results in more web site traffic and sales without the struggle:

I. Assign a Contact Person. You've already convinced your boss to shell out the cash and hire professionals to do your search engine marketing. But if nobody on your end has been designated as the contact person, it causes delays as the SEO project manager desperately tries to find the right person to supply necessary information. End result: the project takes longer than expected, bosses get cranky, and struggle ensues. Solution: Assign a point person on your end who will work directly with the search engine marketing company. This individual should be given the authority to fast-track the flow of information.

II. Set Goals and Expectations. Now that the search engine optimization company has been hired, they'll want to know about your strategic vision. In other words, what do you expect from the SEO campaign? Obviously your company desires higher search engine placement and more web site traffic. But what do you want that traffic to do once they get to your site? Outlining a clear set of expectations helps your search engine marketing team deliver exactly what you want.

III. Brace Yourself for Change. Your search engine optimization company will arrive at a point in their work when they may recommend changes to certain aspects of your site. Perhaps your HTML code isn't spider-friendly or your content needs to be rewritten to include keyword phrases. Remember, it's in your best interest to take their advice. So brace yourself for change and encourage your web development team to cooperate fully.

IV. Trust Your SEO. This is a big one. I have actually worked with clients who wanted top search engine rankings but refused to let us make any changes to their site! I have also had to discourage some pretty unreasonable requests for keyword terms, in particular the single-word terms. Do yourself a favor... if you sell fixed asset software, then let us optimize for the term “fixed asset software” and NOT the word “software”. Because even if you miraculously get a top ranking for "software", you'll also get a lot of useless traffic. So please, listen to and respect the opinions of your search engine marketing guru. The good ones know the drill and are genuinely looking out for your best interests.

V. Don't be a Scrooge. "You have to spend money to make money." Nowhere is that more true than in search engine optimization. Experienced business managers know that spending $1,000 a month is a wise investment if it earns them $10,000 in additional revenues. Here are just two reasons why you should loosen the purse strings: Link popularity and SEO maintenance.

1. Link Popularity: Our experience has shown that reciprocal linking is a nightmare to manage and takes six months or more to produce any tangible results. So I encourage our SEO clients to consider paying for one-way links to their site. Some are initially surprised at this, but they come around when we prove that paying for the right link partners can increase rankings and generate more than enough new traffic to justify the cost. (Note: These link partners must be chosen carefully, based upon their relevance to your industry and their importance in the eyes of the search engines.)

2. Monthly Maintenance: The search engine optimization world changes constantly and you don't have time to keep up with it all. Paying your SEO team a few dollars to monitor your site's performance and react to the engines' sometimes unpredictable changes is a wise investment.

VI. Prepare to Measure Results. You need a solid plan to measure the results of your search engine optimization. If sales go through the roof, that's great! But what if they only increase slightly? Does that mean the campaign was a failure? You can only answer that question if you're measuring your web site traffic. That's why eTrafficJams.com includes a web site traffic analysis tool with every SEO campaign we run so you can monitor your traffic daily. It tells you what keyword phrases, search engines, and link partners are sending you the most web site traffic, as well as what pages visitors land on and what paths they take through your site. This information is vital to judging the success of your search engine marketing campaign and knowing whether and what changes are needed.

VII. Anticipate a Long-Term Relationship. Try to hire an SEO company that considers your search engine marketing campaign as the beginning of a partnership and not just another sale. Serious search engine optimization companies understand that your relationship will be a long and hopefully productive one. So don't be shy about staying in touch with them and leveraging their vast knowledge about search engine marketing. Ask them what's going on with your campaign, what needs to be done, and what the results are. It will keep you in the loop and keep them thinking about you!

The best gifts offer as much pleasure to the giver as to the receiver. If your business puts these seven elements in place as part of your search engine optimization project, you'll reap the rewards of a struggle-free campaign that produces the results you hoped for. And in the SEO world, that's the greatest gift of all!
About the author:

Michael Pedone is founder of eTrafficJams.com, a professional search engine optimization company that specializes in getting targeted, eager-to-buy traffic to your site! Contact us today for a free search engine optimization analysis of your site.

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