SCORE

SCORE-Staten business mentors highlight the importance of an effective SEO strategy

STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. – The entrepreneurial spirit exists among individuals throughout Staten Island, whether in St. George, West Brighton, Grant City, Graniteville, Tottenville, or elsewhere in the borough. Regardless of the location, SCORE-Staten Island is underscoring the importance of one constant that should not be overlooked: A website is a critical sales and marketing tool for just about every business.

The website of your Staten Island-based business is a hub for product information, a conversion point for capturing leads, the holding place for marketing materials and company news, and many times serves as your potential customer’s first impression of your business. However, before any prospect can interact with your website, they first have to find your website. This discoverability is the culmination of a strong SEO, or search engine optimization, strategy and an SEO expert behind the scenes.

As with most business owners, many Island entrepreneurs are digital-marketing novices; this makes it hard to know what you’re really buying when you hire an SEO expert.

Like many business owners, you may somewhat understand the role of an SEO expert, but are not familiar with the full scope of what’s involved, or the time required. This makes it a lot harder to confidently hire the right SEO expert and forces owners to take these professionals at their word.

Before you hire an SEO expert, SCORE-Staten Island business mentors advise that you read the following tips for a basic understanding of what it takes to properly optimize a website and what to expect from a reputable professional:

1) Google Values Quality Content. Expect to Create a Lot of It

An effective SEO strategy is rooted in good, quality content. When you hire an SEO expert, expect there to be a lot of discussion about writing blogs or creating new web pages for your website and adding this new content on a regular basis. The key here is “quality” content. If an SEO expert suggests adding pages or blogs to your site that doesn’t help your customers in some way, repeating content already on the site, or writing just to jam in keywords, you can actually do more harm than good to your site’s search ranking. Google wants to see content that’s helpful to the visitor and will reward quality content with higher search rankings.

2) Optimizing a Website is as Much an Art as a Science

No two websites are alike, and neither are their SEO strategies. When you work with an SEO professional, expect to work closely with them as they consistently reassess what part of the SEO strategy is shown to be most effective. Your SEO consultant will likely run tests against keywords and not every aspect of the strategy will always work the first time. Optimizing your website with the right keywords, text links, headline structures, and all of the SEO elements that factor into a high-ranking Google search result is an educated game of trial and error. Once your SEO consultant finds the right SEO approach, however, your traffic and conversion results should speak for themselves.

3) SEO is a Long-Term Commitment

An SEO expert who promises to come in and have your website at the top of Google’s rankings within a few months presents a huge red flag. Effectively optimizing your website takes time and consistent effort. Google prioritizes websites that have proven themselves valuable to web visitors over a period of time. Trying to cheat the system and get a high ranking without putting in the work is not how the game is played.

4) Arm yourself with a high-level knowledge of SEO to help you identify the true experts

Unfortunately, with any specialized profession, there will always be one “expert” who tries to cut corners while promising the world. When it comes to SEO, your best bet is to do your research and gain a rudimentary understanding of SEO so you can ask the right questions when you sit down with a potential SEO consultant one on one.

Invest in an SEO expert who wants to get to know your company and your customers and work with you to build your online presence and overall business. Avoid self-proclaimed experts who promise a silver bullet.

Get references and ask for referrals from your network and other owners you trust.

Before you hire an SEO expert, ask your colleagues, peers, and mentors who they trust to manage their website’s SEO. This is the best place to start your search. A trusted business owner or adviser who’s worked directly with web and SEO firms in the past, like a SCORE-Staten Island certified business mentor, can help you find a professional SEO expert to grow your business.

About SCORE-Staten Island
SCORE-Staten Island is dedicated to fostering a vibrant small-business community primarily in Richmond County by providing cost-free education and confidential mentoring to both aspiring and established
entrepreneurs. Headquartered at 1855 Victory Boulevard, in the Salmon Real Estate Building, Castleton Corners, the Island organization is Chapter 476 of the nationwide SCORE, a nonprofit association. A resource partner with the U.S. Small Business Administration, SCORE is funded in part through a cooperative agreement with the SBA. All opinions, conclusions, and/or recommendations expressed herein are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the SBA. For additional information, or to schedule an appointment, SCORE-Staten Island may be visited at https://statenisland.score.org; called at 718-727-1221; emailed at info@SCORESI.org, and visited on Facebook and LinkedIn.

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Media Contact: Barton Horowitz
Relevant Public Relations, LLC
Headquarters: 718-682-1509
Mobile: 917-715-8761
Email: Bhorowitz@RelevantPR.com

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