A search engine optimization company can create a campaign to bring you new, targeted leads, and raise your company's online profile, all while keeping in line with your branding strategy. However, you will find that in order to get quality results that last, significant changes will need to be made to your website, from the addition of copy to changes to the code to alterations to the site's design.
If your internal resources are already strained to the breaking point, you are probably considering outsourcing your SEO efforts. The search engine optimization company that you select should have the capability to handle all aspects of the project with minimal involvement from your company to save you time and keep your branding strategy intact.
Protecting Your Time
Your search engine optimization company needs to be respectful of your time by making resources available to handle copywriting, implementation, and keyphrase recommendations, some of the most time-consuming parts of an SEO campaign, so that you don't have to. While you may need to provide reference material about your branding strategy, and while you should always have an approval step for each milestone in your campaign, your company should otherwise be able to sit back and relax while the search engine optimization company handles all the details.
It's very likely that your internal marketing department does not have the additional time that would be necessary to write the optimized copy that needs to appear on your site. Your search engine optimization company should have the resources available to handle all copy, from brand new pages to updates of existing pages, as long as you are able to provide the materials that accurately describe your products and services, as well as your branding strategy and marketing message.
Likewise, your IT department is probably already stretched thin with internal issues. While your search engine optimization company does not perform the same functions as your Web design firm, it still should be able to implement all changes to your site on a test bed, allowing you final approval before your site goes live. This will eliminate the need for your IT people to be deeply involved in the process.
Many companies believe they need to be heavily involved in the selection of keyphrases for their SEO campaign in order to keep the initiative in line with their branding strategy. However, you may be surprised to find that the lingo your customers are using, and the phrases they're searching for, are not the same as the ones you might use internally. Your search engine optimization company should have the experience necessary to do all of the research for you and present its findings, leaving you to simply review and approve the results.
These are only a few examples of how your search engine optimization company can protect your time. A full SEO campaign involves many more steps than this, but your firm should maintain the philosophy of adhering to your branding strategy while taking as much of the burden off of your hands as possible throughout the entire process.
Protecting Your Brand
When you hand the reins of your SEO campaign over to your search engine optimization company, you need to be able to trust that your branding strategy will be followed. In order for this to happen, you need to be sure that the search engine optimization company you've hired has the proven resources available, so you're not jeopardizing your own brand in order to save time. And you need to be confident that the firm can produce copy that is as accurate and well-written as your internal resources would have done.
Your search engine optimization company should have a copywriter on staff that has proven skill in writing search engine optimized copy, and marketing copy in general. The firm should be able to provide its clients with writing samples and references to demonstrate the copywriter's ability to interpret a company's branding strategy and messaging.
At the beginning of your campaign, your search engine optimization company should request a “data dump” of all of your current marketing materials that reveal your branding strategy, including whitepapers and press releases. This will ensure that any new pages that are added to your site will be in line with your marketing message and will be technically accurate.
Differentiators and Initiatives
A quality search engine optimization company will ask you for your brand's key differentiators. These can be woven into your web copy by the copywriter in order to give a more complete picture of your company and enhance your branding. Strategy changes and new initiatives on the horizon should also be discussed with your search engine optimization company so that the firm can make plans to address them as they happen.
Your technical experts are valuable resources for your search engine optimization company, but it's understandable that their time is limited. Reputable search engine optimization companies will need to conduct interviews with these experts in order to get a better picture of your branding strategy, your services, and your products, but these interviews should be kept brief and concise. Of course, the more information you can provide, the more in-tune your search engine optimization company can be with your brand.
Along the way, your company may come across new considerations that need to be incorporated into its campaign. If you change your branding strategy, your search engine optimization company should be able to adjust your campaign accordingly. If you add or remove products, your search engine optimization company should be able to accommodate you with ease. Your search engine optimization company should always be flexible enough to manage your company's unique requirements.
Utilizing a search engine optimization campaign as part of a complete marketing and branding strategy doesn't need to mean additional work for your company. You should be able to find a search engine optimization company that can handle your copy and your implementation so that you don't have to. Your resources should only be involved as much as they can be, and the search engine optimization company should take care of the rest.
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Scott Buresh is the CEO of Medium Blue, which was recently named the number one search engine optimization company in the world by PromotionWorld. Scott has contributed content to many publications including Building Your Business with Google For Dummies (Wiley, 2004), MarketingProfs, ZDNet, WebProNews, DarwinMag, SiteProNews, ISEDB, and Search Engine Guide. Medium Blue serves local and national clients, including Boston Scientific, DS Waters, and Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center. Visit MediumBlue.com to request a custom SEO guarantee based on your goals and your data.
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