Luiz Serva is not intimidated by search engine optimization.
“I’m an IT professional, so I have no problem with SEO,” said Serva, CEO of Bridgeport-based Prysma Lending Group. “But time is running out and this is something I don’t have time for.”
On the flip side, Amanda Delorme recognized that SEO can require an additional level of expertise beyond traditional marketing strategies.
“SEO, in general, is a bit more complex than a DIY task,” said Delorme, director of sales and marketing for BioClean, a mold removal operation serving Westchester and Fairfield counties. “You need some background in it.”
Serva and Delorme have outsourced their respective SEO needs to digital marketing agencies specializing in this particular practice. But finding an SEO expert can often be as difficult as using SEO to stand out in the digital crowd. Just typing the words “SEO agency” into the Google search bar produces over 182 million results.
So how can a business choose the right agency to handle their SEO needs? According to SEO agencies and their clients in the region, there are several key considerations that need to be put in place.
Can the agency walk in the lane and not just talk?
Ruan Marinho, chairman of Develomark, the Southington-based agency that manages BioClean’s SEO needs, said it was critical the agency was used to delivering results.
“A good indication of a good SEO agency is to analyze its performance in real Google search engines,” Marinho said. “If you enter ‘Connecticut Mold Removal,’ you’ll see our client BioClean at the top of the search engines. If you type in “New York SEO” you will see Devellomark, our company, at the top of the search engines. If a company cannot show you its results, it is because it is not doing it the right way and cannot publicly show its methods and results.
Chase Hutchison, senior vice president of Brookfield-based Mack Media Group, which manages the SEO needs of Prysma Lending Group, agreed.
“The most important thing to consider when choosing an SEO company is to see how the agency ranks on Google in its target region or area,” he said. “If I was looking for an SEO company to use for my business, I would google“ SEO Company at (insert city name here). Do this search three or four times, using three or four nearby cities and see if they consistently appear on the first page of search results. If they can do it, they’re probably good enough. After all, if they can’t rank consistently, how are they going to rank you and your business? “
Scott Lipow, president of Fairfield-based Six7 Marketing, actively encourages potential clients to contact his current client list, which he posts on his company website.
“I tell my potential clients to look at all of our case studies and contact these companies and organizations,” he said. “I’m not giving them one or two. All of our work is on the website, and whoever you want is for you.
For Steve Elser, vice president and chief marketing officer at PCSB Bank in Yorktown Heights, having an agency that can handle multiple tasks has been beneficial.
“PCSB Bank uses the same company that developed our website for SEO, ZAG Interactive,” he said, referring to the Glastonbury-based marketing company. “We felt that with the constant changes in search engine algorithms and other emerging trends in this space, it is smarter to outsource this function rather than trying to manage it ourselves. ZAG’s experience in the financial services category has also helped make outsourcing an easy decision.
Delorme appreciated being at a distance by car from the Devellomark agency because it offers greater convenience than dealing with a remote agency by phone or email.
“Working with a company in Connecticut, I like being able to have lunch or coffee with Ruan and discuss the changes we want to make and hear his perspective,” she said.
For Kelly Campbell, head of Agency Growth Consultant LLC at Nyack, companies that hire an agency should not make the mistake of handing over the assignment and having complete confidence in the idea that the agency will carry out the task. task.
“It’s a collaborative effort,” she said. “It is important to understand that this is not a unique thing. Any engagement with an agency must be collaborative. After all, the company knows more about its business than anyone else.
Campbell cautioned that businesses need to be realistic about how SEO works, adding that they shouldn’t fall prey to clever promises from agencies that might promise more than they can deliver.
“A lot of small businesses are looking for a quick fix,” she continued. “They are looking for guaranteed organic first page positioning. But it’s a huge, huge red flag if an agency can secure an organic first page position. It is not possible. Google changes its algorithms daily, and sometimes every hour.
A successful SEO campaign will use the search engines to drive business inquiries and ultimately the bottom line.
Gerry Matts, president of Matts & Davidson in Port Chester, noted that when it comes to business inquiries, “70% to 80% come from search engines.” But not all requests can be translated into new business, and Matts’ agency seeks to keep track of every SEO response that comes in.
“We have a call tracking phone number for each website,” he said. “We keep track of the type of calls that come in. We want to make sure the right customer comes in, and we record every call that comes in, to make sure how the calls are diverted.”
Matts added that while many SEO companies direct their attention to Google, they also pay attention to less important Bing searches.
“Bing takes 30% of the market,” he observed. “But 30% of the world’s small business market is a lot of calls. “
Those who outsource this task should realize that it will take some time before results can be tracked. However, if this work is outsourced, the results should become evident as soon as possible.
“I understand SEO is not an overnight success,” said Serva of Prysma Lending Group. “It can take six months to mount a campaign. But I have to see the return on my investment.