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If you own a business in London, you know that competition is intense no matter what sector you’re in. With increased competition comes the need to become more sophisticated with your marketing and advertising efforts, which means stepping up your SEO strategy.
The problem is that owners of small businesses don’t have the time to ensure they’re up-to-date with good SEO practices. After all, search engine optimisation is a discipline of its own, and staying on top of it can quickly become a full-time job.
This is why many SME owners turn to a local SEO expert for all their online visibility needs. But there are hundreds of SEO consultants in London, so how do you choose someone who is right for your business?
Keep reading to find out what to look for when choosing a SEO specialist who can help create a digital marketing strategy that brings tangible results.
The first thing to take into account when talking to a SEO specialist is whether communication flows easy.
Every business has different needs, and it’s essential that your SEO consultant fully understands what your specific needs are, where your business is, and where you want to take it. This means that a good SEO consultant will be an excellent listener and will ask follow-up questions to make sure no assumptions are made.
What’s more, SEO and digital marketing can get very technical. As a business owner you don’t need to know the ins and outs of every technique, but you should understand why specific actions have been recommended. A professional SEO consultant will be able to answer your questions and explain the details of each strategy in plain English.
By specialised knowledge, we don’t just mean SEO knowledge, although that’s a given. SEO works, but its success largely depends on how well aligned it is with a specific industry and with a specific customer base.
In other words, you want your London based SEO consultant to have in-depth knowledge of your vertical and your target audience. For example, if you run a fitness club, you want to work with a consultant or agency that has experience in SEO for fitness. This will ensure that their SEO service will be personalised and appealing to your audience and their needs.
Good SEO is data driven and requires extensive research, so beware of consultants who immediately come up with a SEO strategy without having looked at your metrics or performance analytics.
At the very least, you want to leave your search engine optimisation plans in the hands of someone who takes time to:
Get data on where you currently rank on search results pages.
Check whether there have been any changes in ranking.
Do keyword research based on real and current search volumes.
Do a technical SEO audit of your website.
Find out where most organic traffic is coming from.
Research your competitors and what type of SEO works for them.
Analyse the latest trends concerning your vertical and your audience.
You will not get more online visibility or appear higher in search results by just applying some random SEO techniques, or by copying what your competitors are doing. There’s nothing random about business success, so every SEO campaign must be carefully and strategically executed, using the right techniques at the right time, targeting the right audience, and using keywords with adequate search volumes.
If you want to be ranking highly consistently, you need to work with an expert that has a strategic vision of this discipline. Most digital marketing consultants and agencies have a SEO service offer that includes keyword research, link building, content and email marketing, technical SEO, etc., but the key is to combine these techniques effectively with a long-term growth vision.
It’s true that running an online business puts your goods and services at the fingertips of a global audience. But this doesn’t mean you should overlook potential customers who live in your area and who are ready to support a local business like yours.
London is a fantastic location for business if you know how to reach the right audience. A good London based SEO consultant will know how to create a winning local SEO campaign.
This will create outstanding value for your business, not just generating organic traffic to your website but also to your physical store. We can’t forget that real face-to-face relationships still matter in business, and are a key to customer loyalty. Local SEO gets your company ranking highly in “near me” searches, which according to research, end up in a call or a visit to the store within 24 hours in 88% of cases.
Should you choose an agency or a freelance SEO consultant?
When you do an initial search for SEO consultants in London, you’ll come across two options: freelance SEO consultants and agencies. Both options can help strengthen your online presence and boost your revenues, but there are some things to consider before making a choice.
Freelancers usually specialise in one or a few sets of SEO techniques. Others may be “jacks of all trades” and cover every technique but not in depth. On the other hand, an agency puts at your disposal a select group of SEO experts, each with ample knowledge of different strategies, from link building to content and social media marketing.
In addition, working with a freelancer is usually more time-intensive than working with an agency. For example, chances are you’ll have to meet frequently to decide what’s the next step, discuss campaigns and next steps, and to assign tasks. In an agency, there’ll usually be a dedicated manager who’ll manage a team on your behalf, so your time involvement will be minimal.
One more suggestion: check customer testimonials to see who has dealt with client profiles similar to yours. That’s a good indicator that you’ve found a SEO specialist that’s a good match for your needs.
Working with an experienced London based SEO professional can be the best investment you make for your business in 2023. By choosing the right expert, you’ll benefit from their insights and experience and gain a competitive advantage that takes your business further.