If your business is online, which is should be, then you also need search engine optimization or SEO. No matter how much money you spent on building a website, it is money thrown away unless you also get visitors to it. Not only do you need visitors, you need to make sure that they are people that actually want to be there. What SEO does is make that happen. SEO is an increasingly complex field of work for which you will require an expert. This means learning to recognize which ones are good and which ones are bad.

6 Things to Know about an SEO Provider

  1.  You must find a provider and see them as an investment in the future of your business. It is not a business expense but rather a business strategy that will help you to grow. In other words, you don’t buy a bit of SEO, you hire an integral partner to your overall business.
  2.  The Holy Grail is the first page of Google and the other search engines. Ask yourself how often you go to the second page of Google and you will quickly understand how important it is to not find yourself there or, worse still come up even further. Unless you are on the first page, you are basically nowhere.
  3.  Big keywords matter but they are not everything. In fact, it is better to focus on lots of little keywords and rank through those than to pick one with too much competition and not rank at all. For instance, if you are a plumber in Chattanooga, you may want to rank for plumber, which is a highly competitive keyboard that has a global reach, or you could try to rank for Chattanooga plumber, which instantly makes things a lot easier.
  4.  SEO is a competitive sport. Some actually see it as almost again because, just as with any other game or sport, there has to be an element of luck. You cannot guarantee that you will ever hit that first page of Google or, better yet, the top result; nor can you guarantee that if you reach those points you will be able to maintain them. The fastest man on earth has also have off days and lost races to complete beginners.
  5.  SEO is both off page and on page. On page means that the focus is on the things that you can control such as your internal and outbound links, your page headings, and your keywords. Off page SEO is more complex as it focuses on social sharing, citations, and backlinks.
  6.  When your online position improves thanks to SEO, you are not guaranteed to also see an increase in sales. SEO increases traffic to your website but it is up to you to deliver an excellent product or service that people will actually buy.

These are the six key things to be aware of. A good SEO provider will explain these to you as well, giving you realistic expectations.