SEO is a lost leader. I love hearing from clients or prospects that say “I just had my website optimized for $299.00” … really? The natural question is “optimized for what?” … and the result … you get the “stare” … because in reality they don’t know what has happened, if anything.
SEO is expensive, takes time and your SEO partner needs to really understand your business. Optimizing your site for specific industry related keywords and key phrases is what will really lead to effective search results, both organically and when using PPC.
Our advice and recommendation on any initial meeting is to provide an Internet Health type report, which outlines the basic statistics on your website. Additionally, install Google analytics tracking and start to provide a bi-weekly or monthly report on your website traffic. Our next recommendation is to implement a Google AdWords program. AdWords is the best process to start to understand the basics of your digital program, i.e. who is arriving at your site, and what they are looking for when they get there.
If you don’t understand these basics, then SEO is either wasted or in the alternative, misguided. Certainly, don’t spend any time or money on those quick fix optimizers.
Michael Bickerton, Raven5 Ltd, Toronto, April 2012