The B2Bs that are finding success online today and generating more leads and sales from their respective websites are the ones that are investing in SEO. Even if you aren’t a large corporation that can afford to hire an in house SEO Specialist or an in house SEO team, that doesn’t mean that you can’t do any SEO at all. Outsourcing the work to a trusted, white hat B2B SEO firm is always a good option.
If you are in the market for a B2B SEO firm, it’s important to understand the following to ensure that you make the right decision for your business:
The basics of SEO
The first thing that you’ll need to understand is that there are all different kinds of approaches to SEO and no two firms will go about it the same way. Many firms are trustworthy while others are the reason why the SEO industry has a bad reputation. Before hiring an SEO firm, a potential SEO client should understand the difference between black hat SEO and white hat SEO. Black hat SEO means using spammy tactics that aren’t approved by the search engines. “Why would anyone do that?” you might ask. Well, it can result in some quick SEO gains before the search engines catch on. If the SEO firm is only on contract for 6 months they can get it, get you some results, and get out before the trouble starts. Of course this means that you are left cleaning up (and paying for) the mess that has been left behind. White hat B2B SEO follows the search engine guidelines. Without any SEO knowledge it may be tempting to fall into the black hat trap. There are plenty of free resources online (and many from the search engines themselves) that can provide you with the basic SEO information that you need.
The SEO process
Unlike an advertisement or short term promotion, B2B SEO isn’t going to get you any kind of immediate results. It’s a long term investment and it typically takes at least six months to see any kind of improvement. When SEO clients don’t understand this concept they often get frustrated and question the SEO firm and what they are paying for. On site changes and a few months of link building aren’t going to get a site to #1. Investing in B2B SEO is only worthwhile if you are in it for the long haul.
Nearly every business today has a website, which means that no matter what industry you are in there is going to be competition in the search engines. B2B SEO success, and the amount of time it takes to achieve it, also depends on the competition. If the competition has been doing SEO for awhile and has a solid link portfolio, it’s going to take that much more time to gain any traction. In a small niche you may be able to see results sooner, but it’s still a long term process. It’s important to work with a firm that is going to take the competition into account and take advantage of any opportunity that they may be missing out on.
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