Pinkape404

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Guys, I am looking around online to find some general SEO guide, a Best Practices approach if you want to call it. I am planning to build out my company website over the summer and hire a specialist.

My issue is that despite the sea of information out there and the number of so called "experts", I would like to tighten up my own knowledge and understanding of what needs to be done.

I speak to several companies everyday and they offer services that seem shady at best. For instance a company whose name rhymes with "next" promises me my claim to SEO stardom via the jamming up of a plethora of keyword rich domain names and landing pages and g+ listings to have some result in the localities I cover. While this all sounds fine and dandy and possibly illegal, I am looking to organically grow a well built website and thinking long term and am essentially looking for a checklist or guide on what is necessary, what is not, and what is a do and don't in terms of good sound SEO, maybe even hiring practices, and growth of ones business online.

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warrenpd

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The kind of SEO resources you may need really depends on what type of business you have. Is it eCommerce, local location based or something else? If you have to serve a local area you are going to need both local SEO and organic SEO. Here is a very extensive audit from Moz on local SEO but it isn't for novices.

If you want an overall organic checklist for a new website here is a pretty good one for 2015 from Click Minded.

If you are a more experienced local SEOs this forum offers imo the most extensive amount of local search information and Linda is pretty well known in the industry.
 

Pinkape404

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Thanks Warrenpd - I will definitely check this out. Apologies for not being detailed about my specific needs in the original post. I operate a pest control company and cover New York and New Jersey. Id like to rank for multiple services across the various localities.
 

Eric Rohrback

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There's a lot of great guides out there which will give you the basics, but not really give you a true road map how to succeed in organic SEO. My advice is to read those guides, and understand what kinds of things that will help search engines and users find/understand your content, then test yourself.

Moz's Beginners Guide to SEO helped me when I first started out in the industry. That'll give you a starting overview of how to get going. Quicksprout has some good stuff in their Guide, and I could probably dig up 10 more guides on best practices.

Really though, read through these and start to understand the technical foundation then just dive in and start playing with the site. The industry changes pretty fast, so what works today may not work tomorrow.

I've tested some hypotheses I thought were going to flop, then it turned out to work well and get clients to rank on the first page. You never know until you try.
 

JoshuaMackens

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Thanks Warrenpd - I will definitely check this out. Apologies for not being detailed about my specific needs in the original post. I operate a pest control company and cover New York and New Jersey. Id like to rank for multiple services across the various localities.

Are you planning on doing the SEO yourself or hiring a company?

If planning to do it yourself, I would just start with researching the 5 factors of Local SEO:

  • Google My Business Page
  • Citations or Local Search Directory Profiles
  • Online Reviews (Mostly Google reviews)
  • Optimizing Your Website
  • Backlinks

If you're planning to hire a company, I would do a few things:

  1. Ask to be put in touch with multiple clients that have a few years of experience with the company
  2. Ask them what their strategy or plan is (should involve all 5 steps above)
  3. Ask them how they get their backlinks (should concentrate on "safe" strategies)
  4. Also ask them how many keywords they will target and how
  5. Consider hiring an independent company to help you audit your choices

The biggest from that list is just checking multiple clients of theirs as well as the backlinks. With the backlinks, if they mention Press Releases, Forum Profiles or optimized anchor text, I would probably just pass. Those methods are very outdated and their SEO strategy as a company probably is as well. Also, backlinks are easily the most important factor in Local SEO. If they can't get you good backlinks, your ranking will middle out.

Does that help?
 

Pinkape404

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Joshua - That's dead on what I was looking for. Thank you and everyone for contributing. I will dive into this and surely come back with questions. Ps- hiring / looking to hire a company, but want to stay on top of it / them.
 

JoshuaMackens

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Joshua - That's dead on what I was looking for. Thank you and everyone for contributing. I will dive into this and surely come back with questions. Ps- hiring / looking to hire a company, but want to stay on top of it / them.

Staying on top of them is the hardest part.

Each month I would ask them what work they put in and have them report it to you for the first couple of months.

Some of the better companies aren't used to doing this, for instance we don't report the work we do because most of our clients won't understand it, but I'm sure the company would be more than happy to be accountable until you develop a trust and relationship with them.

Also, I'm sure they'll give you monthly reports on ranking/traffic, etc. so you can use that to stay on top of them as well.

Be careful how hard you ride them though because most good companies probably won't be use to reporting every little thing. A good SEO is worth their weight in gold so find a balance between keeping them accountable and wearing them out.

Good luck!
 
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