It’s a simple fact that not all event centers grow and prosper over time. Just like all other businesses on main street there is massive competition in the Chicago event hosting industry. In today’s business environment you can’t just stand still and expect new business to walk though your door. The simple fact is that you need to advertise; and you have to put your business in front of the people who are looking for your service when they are ready to buy.
So, how do you get in front of buyers in 2016? I’m sure it’s going to come as no surprise to you but it’s the Internet silly; to be more specific it’s Google. When an event planner is looking to book a facility for their event they most often turn to Google to start their search. The question is, are they going to find you? Give it a try, search for “Chicago event venue”. At the writing of this article, there are over 4 million search results for that term. If you click on the all important maps results you’ll find more than 5 pages of businesses for potential customers to choose from.
If you did the searches I recommended above and you didn’t find yourself you might be ready to throw your hands up in defeat already, I beg you, stay with me for a minute. There is a reason why the sites that are at the top list are there and you’re not. Sometime in the past, those venues choose to invest in their businesses and hired a quality search engine optimization company. I’m not talking about a $100 a month seo agency from India who promised you first page rankings in 3 months guaranteed but a legitimate agency that specializes in SEO.
If you’re a business owner we know you get a dozen emails a day from people guaranteeing that they can get your website to be ranked #1 on Google. The question is, how do you choose a somebody you can trust? For some tips we contacted Big League Search, an SEO agency we have worked with in the past to give us some tips on choosing a quality agency to work with.
Here are 3 tips for things to look out for when hiring a search expert.
1. They insist on using their propriety CMS systems – If you are looking for somebody to do both web design and SEO for your business make sure they are clear on what platform they are going to create you site with. Some web design companies will use their own homegrown content management systems. They do this to lock you into staying with them forever because if you want to go elsewhere you won’t be able to take your website with you. There is no reason not to use WordPress these days, if whoever you are considering refuses to work with wordpress then it’s time to go elsewhere.
2. They don’t want to turn over account logins – When a company is doing SEO or PPC on your behalf they will inevitably need to create some accounts with Google Search Console, Analytics, Yelp, etc. You as the client should be in control of those accounts, not the agency. Most of those accounts, you should be the one to set them and then you should share those credentials or give access to the service provider. That way if they go out of business or you have to fire them you don’t have to start over from scratch.
3. You shouldn’t need to sign a contact that you can’t get out of with a 30 day notice – Signing a contact with an SEO agency can be dangerous. If the company you choose isn’t on the level there is no telling what they will put into it. It’s not uncommon for the contract to say that the SEO provider is the owner of everything, I’m not talking about just the site design or even the content but you’re actual URL. If you decide to leave as a customer you shouldn’t be back to square one. The company you choose should also be willing to stand behind the work they have done for past clients and for you. They should be earning your business month after month by showing they can provide value to your business. With our customers, all they have to do is give us 30 days notice that they no longer wish to use our service and we will cease work on their behalf; no hard feelings. Working with a client that isn’t a good fit either way isn’t good for anybody.
If you want to learn more about Big League Search or SEO in general, follow them on Facebook or LinkedIn where they are very active, posting fresh content to help businesses understand search marketing.