Consider these following tips in approaching a SEO specialist. All of these basic points should be covered in detail:
1. Establish website objectives. What do you want to achieve? How does your target market search the Internet? What is your website focus and how is it unique? Think about how people are going to find it and what they should expect when they do? What value do visitors gain from your site?
2. Designers understanding business. Designers that are more interested in building your business online than the latest design products are rare. Designers should know how to optimise your pages to achieve a reasonably good ranking. They need to understand your market and how optimisation works.
3. Up-to-date specialists. Whoever you decide to entrust your site to, they need to be up-to-date with optimisation. Search engines are constantly changing the way they operate; making fine adjustments to their algorithms and emphasising certain aspects of a site more than others. Specialists need to keep in touch with what is required to maintain long-term results. This also means reviewing your site regularly, ideally monthly.
4. CMS. Ensure your developers are using content management systems that are search engine friendly (SEF). This makes it easier for search engines to analyse and catalogue your web pages accurately. Ensure all your links are functional and the sitemap is accurate.
5. Keywords. SEO focuses on researching words and phrases that your market use to search for you. This does not include your business name, but what you offer. These are the words that you would submit to search engines to be listed under. Keywords must exist in the text and title of your web page.
6. Content. Write content around the keywords to provide users with the relevant and useful information they were looking for. The content should be engaging and serve the user, not yourself. Write to keep the interest of your visitors and so they might find value in your website.
7. Metatags. These can be used on web pages to help communicate the keywords of the page to search engines. These are not viewable to users. Ensure the tags are relevant. These tags are often used for describing your page on search engine results. DON’T get hung up on these for Google as Google has NOT used keyword metatags since 2006 !!!
8. Interactivity. Be aware that flash, animation and text in images cannot be read by search engines. Google can only recently begin to read text properly inputted in Flash. Although these elements are not usually read, they do impact how a search engine scans and index your site. If you choose to use these interactive elements it should be considered alongside the SEO strategy.