Choosing a Washington DC SEO Company? Read This First.

Being a Washington D.C. SEO strategist, I get to help businesses implement better customer acquisition strategies to improve their leads and sales.

In my experience, business owners have an one idea of what SEO is ("Web Magic Voodoo”) but are often surprised how SEO can help identify core business problems affecting growth.

This article will help local DMV area business owners understand the importance of implementing the right SEO system.

Then identify the big core business problem affecting most small to medium businesses

And explain how you can FINALLY stop losing customers to the competition online.

Lastly, we’ll cover what questions you should ask before hiring your next DC SEO Agency and how you can implement up to 50% of what you need to do for SEO yourself to help save you money.

Washington DC  SEO picture of Business Growth

Bonus: Download My SEO Insider's Questionnaire Worksheet That Will Help You Quickly Eliminate Bad (and Costly) SEO Companies in under 5 minutes here.

The reason businesses look to hire SEO marketing agencies, boils down to 3 main business problems:

1.) They are losing potential customers to the competition because they're just not visible in the places that their customer base actually searching for a solution that they provide.

2.) They don’t have a system in place to actually convince the customers that hit their site to buy or become a lead. 
(We’ll touch on this later but…A telephone number and a lead form is simply not enough anymore)

3.) They are looking for an efficient way to grow their business without drastically increasing their marketing spend.

And in comes SEO to save the day!... Right?

The truth…

Most people will not buy from your or become a lead the first time they visit. You have to actually put in way more effort into convincing potential customers HOW your service is the best solution for their specific problem.

In fact 81% of people research online before making big purchases

That’s likely not even including the mobile research and reviews before walking into your store.

Sometimes, it takes you telling leads in multiple ways how you can fix their problem.

Put simply: “It can’t be about you, it has to be about them”

There is just too much other choices for your customer to choose from.

This requires you to be more visible online in the places that your customers are actually looking for your new product or service right and have a strategy to stay at the top of mind of your potential customers.

“Just because you’re ready, doesn’t mean that your customer is ready.”

What does that mean for your business?

It means you have both a customer traffic problem but an even bigger CONVERSION problem.

And we'll use SEO as a tool solve that problem.

What is SEO? And why is a SEO important if you own business in the Washington DC area?

SEO is the process of optimizing and tweaking your site in order to get the best results in Google. Yes Google.

There are other search engines like BING, but they are secondary to because Google has the most traffic.

SEO search engine market share

Since Google has won the search market share race, that's the main search engine that we focus on.

(Sidenote: At times we focus on Bing...because they install Bing Search on all new computers. Have you tried removing all those background apps from Window 10. It’s like whack-a-mole)

Part 1: SEO Defined and Simplified:

SEO is a combination of content creation and conversion strategy (meaning that we put content on your site that will help build trust with your customers and encourage them to turn around and become a lead or buy)

And

A lot technical website fixes tell Google you’re a rockstar in order to put your site higher in their search engine.

To simplify it even further: “We work to make you more visible in Google”

SEO isn’t some “magical website voodoo” that happens for the fortunate lucky few.

It's actually a system of implementing best practice, making observations, testing theories.  

Think Darwin or Bill Nye.

Hint: The really good ones have an expert level of best practice that can be tailored to your specific website needs.

SEO is really an investment into your long-term business goals similar investing into a new website redesign of an old-looking website.

 “You gotta play up to the competition.”

We know that Google is uses programmatic criteria to decide which sites to put into the top 10.

SEO is a matter of doing the right things SPECIFIC to your site and YOUR business goals that informs Google algorithm to place your site either at the top of their search engine.

Implementing good SEO is delivering on all those requirements way better than your competition.

In order to do this, it takes time and effort.

It’s an investment into your website and your business.

Part 2: The Content Problem

SEO notes on follow up

There's a second part to the SEO equation:

Communicating how your business service actually solves your customers problems over an extended period of time.

You have to find ways of communicating your usefulness online. and building trust. 

Not just “We’re the best stuff”...Everybody has awards and reviews.

What will make your business stand out and convert will be it’s usefulness to your customers.

This online usefulness factor is HUGE!

Here’s why...

Right now you only deal with customers when they call or walk into your establishment, but those are only the customers that are ready to buy now.

What about the ones that aren’t ready to buy? 

What about the ones that aren’t ready to buy right now but will be in 2 weeks to 3 months?

What systems do you have in place for those people?

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Do you want your potential customers to go to your competition who  does have a system to address these delayed-decision buyers in place?

You may be saying “Yeah, Art, but I am only interested in the people who are ready to buy today!”

That’s fine. But I can tell you there are way more people aren’t ready to buy today and need a little bit more encouragement.

How do I know? Just look at your website traffic stats vs how many people actually call in or purchase. You’re website probably converts at less than 3-5%.

What about that 95-97%?

I can tell you this...

If you do nothing. They will go to your competitor.

What I like About SEO Driven Customers (And You Should too!)

SEO customers are the BEST type of customers!

They are relatively cheap to acquire.

They are more informed buyers and take less effort to close.

They are familiar with your brand and may have already convinced themselves.

They have more trust in your business after reading your content. Trust is HUGE!

DC SEO Expert

You can actually tell a customer's main concern (and typically what will get them to convert) by the type of search queries that customers use to find you.

For example: “best xyz service in D.C”

The word “best” let’s you know that that potential customer is likely concerned about quality and reviews not necessarily price. Quality means something different to everyone, but for some it really just means minimize problems down the road and durability.

So what happens, if that customer comes to your site and all you are talking about is how you have the lowest price around? 

What's your customer going to do?

Yup, you guessed it.

They’ll go to the competition.

To the site with the 5 star rating and the site that talks about how they higher priced because are the best quality and value.

Up until recently, PizzaHut and Domino's competed on price but Papa John's competed on quality i.e. "Better Ingredients. Better Pizza..."

This is concept of understand how searches translate in customer concerns or personas is called understanding user intent

For SEO companies, it's not just enough to say, "I can rank you for xyz service in D.C.."

The actual content on your page should speak to the various reasons why that a customer may being searching for your service in the first place.

SEOs help you organize your site around specific keywords or terms that your customers are using.

Another real-life example, say you were looking for a plumber..

You might say and search for: “OK Google I need a plumber in Washington D.C.

But you might also say, “How do I fix a leaky pipe in my basement!”

Two different searches.

Different customer intent and level of specificity 

There are more people in the 2nd scenario and most businesses don’t have a system to adequately address this second situation.

SEO is like that scene in the movie Field of Dreams when he says “If you build it they, will come”

In SEO it’s REALLY like:

 “If you build AND maintain it they will come!” As opposed to paid traffic, where if you stop paying you lose all of your traffic that same day.

SEO is one of the things where if you do it now.

And you maintain it over time.

You will reap the benefits of having a bigger stronger larger site that drives traffic.

INDEFINITELY!

Good Reasons To Hire A SEO Company (And Maximize Your ROI).

Obviously, I am biased, but it makes sense for a business to hire a SEO company instead of doing it themselves right.

If you wanted to do SEO yourself you could..

  1. Go on Google and look up all the different SEO theories and discern the validity of each strategy
  2. Try and implement it yourself and you might get decent results.
  3. Then try an scale it to more keywords and pages.

But then an update happens (like the one on March 7th of this year) or you get stuck on page two.

And you see this from Google:

How can you decipher and implement this information without having extensive experience.

Since Google's requirements change so frequently, all the information that you could be reading online right online now, could be outdated or even worse...

Actually penalize your site. (Yikes!)

To avoid this, it just makes sense to hire a professional that stays on top of all this stuff and THE LATEST UPDATES.

It's also better get an outsider's perspective without internal bias to help better organize your site around topics and help you implement what's working NOW.

It's similar to designing your company business cards or your storefront sign.

I mean you could technically design or build them yourself.

But if you’re like me, you just wanted it done yesterday so you outsource it to a graphic designer or sign shop so you can get the results that you want ASAP.

Same goes with SEO.

Without actual hands on live site testing and experimentation to determine the factors that Google likes, it is simply guessing and hoping that you'll figure out and it will work in Google.

If you hire a good SEO company you're outsourcing your research and development time so you don't have to waste the time testing and trying to figure what works.

An experienced SEO that knows what works and runs the experiments on live sites in order to stay up to date and deliver the best results.

What to Look Out for When Hiring An Washington DC SEO?

Service

Business Case

Importance

Monthly Reporting & GA Setup

You need to know what's going on with your traffic and whether SEO is being effective.

High

Technical Fixes & On-Page Optimization 

Most sites need work because they we designed as portfolio's not as SEO traffic centers and technical issues need to be fixed.

High

Keyword Research & Content Creation

In order to get SEO traffic, you need to research what words your customers are using to find your type of business and know what type of content to create.

Medium

Content Promotion & Link Acquisition

You content can live in a bubble and it needs to be promoted in order to get links and social media traffic.

High

Results and Reporting are the biggest factors that I have found to be the biggest factors to business.

You want more calls and leads but probably also want to know:

What you bought.

What to expect.

And

How to know if it’s working.

Good reporting is extremely critical in getting answers to these questions if you want clarity. 

Specifically, you also want to know what their strategy is you want to know what they're going to be doing this month, three months from now versus six months from now.

Finally, you want to make sure that you have a good grasp on your KPIs (key performance indicators) and ensure that they actually report on valuable metrics that let you know whether your SEO is working or it's not.

You don't want to just have vanity rankings and all that sort of stuff you actually want to have SEO that actually aligns with your business goals right.

Another thing to look out for when hiring and SEO agency in Washington D.C. is to make sure that are specialized and they have a history of being inside the industry.

Not all SEOs are created equal.

There's different levels of expertise, strategies, and different methodologies and you want to make sure that they actually specialize in SEO in order to get the results that you want.

SEO changes all the time and you want to work with an agency specializes in SEO and stays up to date, not just as an "upgrade" or a billable afterthought. 

Finally, you also want to make sure that SEO agency goals truly align with your business goals. For example if you want more high end clients you should target keywords that your high-end clients would use instead of generic keywords.

This goes to a bigger concept of customer search intent and matching that to the correct keywords.

Ask the agency how do they expect their SEO campaign will specifically help you grow your business in the specific areas that need improvement. 

Now you should know what to look for when hiring an SEO company.  

Now you should know what to look for when hiring an SEO agency.  

The core problem is typically is business growth and SEO is one tool that you can use to fix this issue.

You also know that SEO is one of the most efficient marketing channels compared to other forms of traffic if you have the right systems in place.

You also know that if you don’t implement an SEO and content system now, you're going to be losing customers to the competition.

Bonus: Download My SEO Insider's Questionnaire Worksheet That Will Help You Quickly Eliminate Bad (and Costly) SEO Companies in under 5 minutes here.

You also know that your customers are using Google in order to review companies online before even reaching your site. By not having a way to reach these customers, you’re leaving a lot of money on the table.

I can help you solve your customer acquisition problem with specific SEO and content strategy specific to your business. Let's schedule a time that we can work together to map out a plan.

Washington DC SEO

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Arthur Lovell
Washington, DC 20011