What Small Businesses Should Look for in SEO Packages

9 Sep 2013 | written by Dan Garfield for the Small Business Tips section(s)

SEOPackages

Despite the industry maturing, SEO still varies greatly from provider to provider. Don’t be fooled by cheesy names like ultra-platinum SEO package. Here’s what you need to look for.

Every good SEO package starts with your website

Lots of businesses will spend a lot of money focusing entirely on link building. Early on in my career, I had a client that was unable to make changes to their website, and they had to rely entirely on link building to improve their search rankings. This made my job infinitely more difficult! I had to do 5x as much work to get that client to perform because we couldn’t optimize the website. In the end, I still got them results, but it cost a lot more than it needed to.

Before picking an SEO package, always be clear about what a company will do for your website. In OrangeSoda’s case, it’s easy! We provide great websites as part of every SEO package. We make sure to provide something full-featured that will provide real value to visitors. A good website is the cornerstone of any SEO strategy.

Link building comes in more flavors than Ben and Jerry’s

Just like Ben and Jerry’s, there are real winners like Chunky Monkey or linkbait. There are also big stinkers like Margaret Thatchjam or comment spam. No SEO company likes to go into a lot of detail about how they’re going to promote your business online. Either because what they do is really awesome and they don’t want to reveal their secret sauce, or because what they do is awful and you’ll hate it. Either way, you’re the customer and you should ask about link building until you have a good understanding of the tactics and why they’re doing what they’re doing.

Small business = local business = mobile SEO

Most small businesses are local businesses, and that means they have a totally different competitive landscape than online businesses. Local businesses compete in a lot more places than Google; they compete in Google+ Local (Google Maps), Yelp, Siri, and other business directories. In order to do well here, businesses need a package that specifically includes local optimization or maps optimization. These packages will make sure your website is optimized to match your maps listing, and it will include building authority for your maps listing by making business citations.

Keep these three things in mind and you should be happy with the results.

Dan Garfield
From the world of startups, Dan Garfield is the Senior Brand Manager at OrangeSoda, and author of The 5 Stages of Online Marketing. P.S. He's beat Super Mario Bros 3 without using a warp whistle.
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