Johannesburg SEO: 7 Questions to Ask Any Company

By February 29, 2016blog

JohannesburgSearching for a reliable Johannesburg SEO Company?

This can be a challenging task if you aren’t equipped with the right information. I decided to create the following questions to assist you in choosing the right search engine optimization company.

If you start asking these questions, and you can see the SEO grappling for answers, it is time to move swiftly along to the next company.

 

1. What will you be changing on my website?

Almost every Joburg SEO agency will state that they will be optimizing your website. What does that really mean though?

Optimizing a website is broken down into two major segments, on-site SEO and on-page SEO.

Any Johannesburg SEO worth their salt, will be able to explain the difference between these two areas. Here is a breakdown of the two areas.

On-site SEO

A good company will know that on-site optimization relates to the following:

  • Creating a solid site architecture that will allow authority to flow through the site
  • Identifying and eliminating duplicate content
  • Improving pages with thin content
  • Identifying any status errors, broken links and 404 pages (Bonus points if the company mentions Google Search Console)
  • Auditing site speed, and improving the load times
  • Implementing schema markup for search engines to understand your site better

On-page SEO

After the company has explained the above to you, they should be discussing the following with you:

  • META information: every webpage should be built around a specific keyword and theme. This META information is vital for search engines to understand what a page is about, and will be shown in the search results pages.
  • Keyword density: there was a time when a web page stuffed with keywords would rank nicely in the search results. This time is long gone. This is something that must be closely monitored to avoid over-optimization penalties. Be wary of an SEO that mentions very specific percentages here. Each and every industry is unique, and your a large part of your campaign (with the exception of the obviously shady tactics) should be modeled after what is working for your competitors
  • Keyword placement: Google and other prominent search engines closely look at where keywords are placed inside your content. The positions that are most critical is the title tag, header tags, the first image on the page and in the first or last sentence.
  • Internal linking: your website’s should link to other relevant pages on your website. This increases the authority of your website, and helps the user to find the important information.

2. Do You Believe Content is Important?

Your site’s content is the building block of any good SEO campaign. If the Johannesburg SEO company you are speaking with is not talking about content, or dismissing it as not important, you should move on to the next candidate. A reliable company will understand the importance of creating content on your blog, and other channels as this is one of the most affordable methods of marketing available.

More importantly, good content will remain relevant for many years to come. This means that a single article on your blog, will be driving leads, sales and profits for your business for many years to come.

3. What types of backlinks will you build?

Although search engines won’t say it out loud, links are the biggest factor behind any successful optimization campaign. It can also be a destructive weapon in the wrong hands. It is crucial that you ask any prospective SEO company what types of backlinks they will be creating.

The best links are often the hardest links to get. A prospective company might say that they will be building directory links, web 2.0s, article directories, or even press releases. These are some of the easiest links to build, meaning their effect will be diluted since everybody else has them anyway. Easy links can be dangerous, and can lead to penalties if abused.

If a company mentions editorial links, or guest posts, you know you are on the right track. These are the single most effective link source moving forward into 2016. There are still other links that your site will require to lay the groundwork, but the real power comes from these types of links.

4. Who will be working on my site?

Many Johannesburg SEO agencies will sign you on, only to outsource the work to companies in India, the Phillipines or Romania. This is bound to not end well, as these companies are being paid very low wages and they tend to work on volume, instead of quality. As with most things in life, paying less means you will get less.

Make sure that the work is performed in-house by a company in South Africa.

5. What is your definition of a successful campaign?

Success is often defined differently by SEO companies. A good company will label a campaign as successful, only if the client has seen an increase in sales and revenue. Traffic is great, but if it doesn’t convert into leads and sales, it is worthless.

Trustworthy companies understand that growing organic traffic is only the first milestone on the road to greater sales and revenue for their clients.

It is critical to ask any prospective agency what the plan is once organic traffic has increased.

6. Do you consider your SEO practices to be white or black hat?

White hat and black hat are terms coined by the SEO industry. These terms are thrown around alot, and typically white hat means an agency is sticking to the rules laid down by search engines like Google. Black hat refers to methods that are not approved by Google, and can lead to penalties.

I believe that these terms are a little silly, but you should be asking your SEO this question to guage whether he is comfortable discussing their methods. Any campaign that focuses on on-site optimization, content development, social media and quality editorial links will be the hallmarks of a well planned SEO campaign.

7. Do you have referrals?

Referrals are huge in any industry, not just SEO. Any business that has achieved some level of success, will have clients that are willing to talk about it. Ask for referrals!

If you are interested in working with a nationally recognized SEO company, then get in touch now.

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About Eben

I love spending time with my wife and two small boys, don't mind lighting up the braai 3 times a week, and enjoy watching sports. I am passionate about helping small businesses, especially with the use of the internet and technology. Send me an email on the Contact page, I would love to hear from you.

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